Graeme Souness makes bold Pep Guardiola claim despite Man City success

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola told he's not a genius -Credit:James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Graeme Souness has dismissed the idea that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is a genius, attributing his success to "having the best players".

Souness' comments were made on William Hill's new podcast 'Three Up Front', which also features Simon Jordan and Troy Deeney. Despite Guardiola's impressive collection of 37 major trophies with Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City, Souness is not ready to bestow the title of genius upon him.

He believes it's the calibre of players at Guardiola's disposal that has been pivotal to his trophy-laden career. During the podcast discussion, Souness said: "Pep Guardiola has managed three clubs and in all of those he has had the best group of players in whatever league he's been in.

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"He took over from Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona where he had Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and many others. He went to Bayern Munich after they had just won the Quadruple.

Then he came to City where he took over a side that both Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini had won the Premier League with. Souness suggested that when Guardiola arrived at City in 2016, the squad was already primed for success and only needed "the slightest bit of tweaking" before Guardiola embarked on a period of dominance in English football, securing five Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, and two FA Cups.

"He took over an exceptional group of players in every case," Souness added. "City are the richest team in England and they only needed the slightest bit of tweaking when he took over.

"He obviously manages players very well, but there is no genius there. It is just about having the best players. If you have an average manager with great players, then you have a chance at being successful."

He also reflected on his own experiences, stating: "I've been in dressing rooms where everything had been set in stone for the squad by the players that came before us, so the manager barely had to speak to us."