Jürgen Klopp was right about Pep Guardiola as Man City could soon face same task as Liverpool

Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp greet one another ahead of Man City vs Liverpool.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

There were fewer tears around Anfield than many anticipated as Jürgen Klopp waved farewell just over a week ago. The departing Liverpool boss held it together and managed to come up with a typically excellent final speech.

On the same day, Manchester City won the title — but it was Klopp's departure that saw Pep Guardiola welling up. The Spanish coach was visibly emotional when asked about the German and what he has meant to the current Premier League era.

In the week leading up to Manchester City winning the league for a fourth successive time and Klopp taking charge of his final match at Anfield, the Liverpool manager had outlined his views on the Etihad side. Manchester City was so dominant, he said, because of Guardiola — and not because of its financial advantage.

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"I will miss him a lot," Guardiola said when asked about those comments during his post-match press conference, his voice wavering. "Jürgen has been a really important part of my life. He brought me to another level as a manager. We respect each other incredibly.

"I have the feeling he will be back and thank you so much for his words, but he knows that behind me there is a lot that this club provides me with, otherwise alone I can't do it. I'm humble enough to understand that."

Clearly, the money that Guardiola has been able to spend has played a substantial part. Manchester City insists that it is innocent but there remain 115 charges leveled at the club by the same competition that it has won in six of the last seven seasons.

Without Guardiola, though, things would not be quite so good for Manchester City. It is one thing splashing the cash and another getting so much out of a group of players. Alongside Klopp, Guardiola is the defining manager of his generation.

The money can never been completely separated from Guardiola's achievements but there is a very good chance that Manchester City will not be as dominant when he is gone. Only then will we truly get a view of how good he was.

Klopp, of course, is leaving this summer, but it might not be too long until Guardiola departs too. The Manchester City boss has only one year left on his contract at the Etihad Stadium and according to the Daily Mail, he will not pen an extension.

"The reality is I’m closer to leaving than to staying," Guardiola said last week. "It’s eight years, will be nine. Right now my feeling is I want to stay next season. We talked with the club, we have time to talk next season because I have to see the players as well, (to see) if they follow me, they follow us, for many reasons. I will stay and during the season we will talk when calm."

The chances are, Klopp is right about his main sporting rival. Without Guardiola, it is hard to see that Manchester City will be quite so dominant, just as Liverpool could find that there is a transition phase required to move beyond Klopp.

The difference at Anfield is that Arne Slot — the answer that Michael Edwards and co came up with when tasked with solving the dilemma of how to replace Klopp — will inherit a group of players on the up. His job is to next the group to the next level rather than ensure that they remain at an incredible peak.

If Guardiola does only do one more year in the Premier League, Liverpool — and Mikel Arteta and Arsenal, of course — could benefit because there is a very high chance that the levels required to win the title will drop to some degree. Klopp is right about the Catalan and it might not be that long until we see some proof.