EPL : Pep Guardiola is the only manager capable of ‘changing Manchester, Cantona

EPL : Pep Guardiola is the only manager capable of ‘changing Manchester, Cantona

Van Gaal’s departure after two disappointing seasons was finally confirmed on Monday night his successor does not fill one of the club’s most celebrated former players with optimism, either


Eric Cantona turned 50 on Tuesday and is still doing what he has always done best: playing the part of Eric Cantona to a tee. For Manchester United fans still digesting the end of the soured Louis van Gaal era and the imminent arrival of José Mourinho, he has a simple diagnosis of what has gone wrong.

“They miss me,” Cantona says, playful but serious at the same time. “I think they have lost something. You can feel it. But it’s difficult to come after someone who has been at the club 25 years. Even if you are a great manager, the fans still feel the philosophy of Ferguson.”

“I love José Mourinho, but in terms of the type of football he plays I don’t think he is Manchester United,” Cantona says

“I love his personality, I love the passion he has for the game, his humour. He is very intelligent, he demands 100% of his players. And of course, he wins things.”

“But I don’t think it’s the type of football that the fans of Manchester United will love, even if they win. He can win with Manchester United. But do they expect that type of football, even if they win? I don’t think so.”

Cantona believes Mourinho’s once and future nemesis would have been a much better fit.

“Guardiola was the one to take. He is the spiritual son of Johan Cruyff,” he says,

praising the late Dutch master for having overseen “two revolutions” – one as a player at Ajax and another as a coach at Barcelona.

“I would have loved to have seen Guardiola in Manchester [United]. He is the only one to change Manchester. He is in Manchester, but at the wrong one.”

“I do many things and I’m very happy. But if they asked me to become the manager of Manchester United, I would. Because Guardiola is in Manchester City and they want someone to win things with wonderful football? It’s me,” he says.