The upcoming derby between Manchester United and Manchester City is shaping up to be a can’t miss affair. On one hand, we have Pep Guardiola’s side, who need a win in order to keep up with Arsenal, who got a convincing win over Tottenham Hotspur yesterday to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.
On the other hand, we have Manchester United, who have been resurgent under the management of Erik ten Hag, winning four games on the trot. And despite all their struggles in recent years, the Red Devils do have a decent record against their crosstown rivals when you consider how dominant they have been under the management of Guardiola.
A Manchester Derby is always interesting but this one has an added layer to it of being a contest between Guardiola and Ten Hag.
The two have a lot of history that many fans might not be aware of. When Guardiola was managing Bayern Munich, Ten Hag was the manager of Bayern Munich II. Thus, in many ways, the Spaniard was a mentor to the Dutchman, early on in his managerial career.
Manchester United: Erik ten Hag makes Pep Guardiola admission
As reported by Sky Sports, Ten Hag said about Guardiola:
"“I think for my development as a manager, it was really good to be there as the U23 coach.“The team in a big club, in a club with a great mentality born out of a good philosophy and of course there was Pep Guardiola driving change in German football, totally.“In that environment I learned a lot. I’m really grateful for the opportunity he gave me to have a look inside his work. He did great things in football, not only in collecting all the prizes but the way he did it. I really admire that.”"
It is safe to say that Ten Hag will be the underdog going into the away game against Manchester City, who have a striker in Erling Haaland, who looks genuinely unstoppable.
At the same time though, Manchester United have raised their game when up against big teams this season and beaten Arsenal and Liverpool already. Thus, it would be a mistake to count them out. And if Ten Hag’s side are able to win this game, they will have to be considered as title contenders. Thus, there is a lot riding on today’s result even though it is just October.