Pep Guardiola 'Lucky' Manchester City Gave Him Time, Says Maurizio Sarri

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2019

Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola greets Chelsea's Italian head coach Maurizio Sarri ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 10, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was lucky to be afforded time to succeed following a slow first season at the Etihad Stadium, according to Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

The two teams will meet in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, and there's big pressure on Sarri, whose side sit sixth in the Premier League while City lead the standings on goal difference.

Chelsea's manager told reporters Guardiola required more time to implement his methods at City, similarly to how he may need at least a full season before he can thrive at Stamford Bridge:

"He (Guardiola) was lucky. I think that, if you choose Guardiola, you have to wait because the club knows very well that Guardiola needs time.

"It's not really very easy for an English team to play that kind of football, so it's normal. In the end, the most important things are the results. In my job, I need the result, nothing else. I don't know if I am under pressure from my club.

"It's important to win the final, otherwise you are second. I think it's very important for us because we have to find the confidence.”

City thrashed Chelsea 6-0 at home in the league just two weeks ahead of Sunday's Wembley showdown to illustrate just how far apart the teams are in quality. 

Guardiola sympathised with his opposite number when he addressed the media in the buildup to the final, per Sky Sports:

Sarri's more controversial changes at Chelsea include moving N'Golo Kante away from his anchored role into a more advanced midfield position, assigning £50 million signing Jorginho as his anchor in the centre.

The Blues failed to record a loss in all competitions until November 24 but have already suffered five defeats in 2019. They lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday, leaving them with one more chance at a trophy in the UEFA Europa League after Sunday's final.

The Blues will face Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the European competition.

Guardiola has been handed massive transfer resources since his arrival at the Etihad, however, and Sarri's record stands up to the Catalan mastermind's at this stage of his tenure, per OptaJoe:

Chelsea's chief recently defended himself against criticism of his maiden campaign in England, per ESPN FC:

Guardiola spent more than £140 million on players in his first transfer window at City following his arrival in the summer of 2016, while they sold Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic for a little less than £25 million.

Sarri splashed £121 million on Jorginho (£50 million) and Kepa Arrizabalaga (£71 million) in his first summer, the latter being recruited out of necessity after Thibaut Courtois moved to Real Madrid.

Chelsea hold a cutthroat reputation when it comes to underperforming managers, though a League Cup win on Sunday may grant him more luck in the long run.

Related

    Sancho Retweeted a Message About Joining Man Utd 👀

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Sancho Retweeted a Message About Joining Man Utd 👀

    via men

    Herrera to PSG Claims Shut Down

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Herrera to PSG Claims Shut Down

    via men

    Neymar Confronts PSG President 😯

    Over Dani Alves' contract issues

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Neymar Confronts PSG President 😯

    Over Dani Alves' contract issues

    AS.com
    via AS.com

    Real Madrid Target West Ham's Anderson

    If they don't get Hazard, they want Felipe (Sky Sports)

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Real Madrid Target West Ham's Anderson

    If they don't get Hazard, they want Felipe (Sky Sports)

    Sky Sports
    via Sky Sports