Manchester City and Pep Guardiola stand on the verge of matching one of English's football's most hallowed achievements this season, as they attempt to win an historic treble of Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League crowns.
Though many sides have won doubles of different variations over the years, only Manchester United have achieved the "treble" - winning all three major competitions in the 1998-99 season.
They did so with legendary manager Alex Ferguson at the helm, with the Scot widely renowned as the greatest manager of the Premier League era.
If Manchester City do achieve the treble this season, there will undoubtedly be many debates as to where Guardiola stands in comparison to Ferguson, especially given the bitter rivalry between the two clubs.
Famed Manchester City fanatic and Oasis legend Noel Gallagher appeared on talkSPORT this week and was asked to compare the two managers. Gallagher rather bizarrely played down the achievements of Ferguson in winning two Champions League titles with Manchester United, before saying that Guardiola has already surpassed him.
Noel Gallagher makes skewed Guardiola-Ferguson comparison
There is no doubt that Pep Guardiola is approaching the level of Premier League managerial greats such as Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger, given the continued success of his Manchester City side since the Spaniard arrived in England.
This season marks the seventh for Guardiola in England - and could well see him claim not only a fifth Premier League crown, but a treble to boot. It will be hard not to place Guardiola in the "legends" tier of Premier League managers if such an achievement comes through - and many would argue he is already there.
Nonetheless, he has a long way to go before matching the achievements of Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Speaking to talkSPORT this week, City fanatic Noel Gallagher gave a rather one-sided analysis of Ferguson's achievements.
❌ Noel: “Pep changed football. Ferguson never did it in other countries.”
👀 Andy: “Pep needs to prove himself. I could’ve managed that Barca team.”
Andy Goldstein & Noel Gallagher debated who’s better: Pep or Fergie? pic.twitter.com/ji8ec5BDdq
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 25, 2023
Gallagher downplayed Ferguson's achievements, saying that Guardiola's style of play has been more revolutionary for football than anything achieved by Ferguson - before suggesting that both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League wins for Manchester United were "jammy":
Alex Ferguson never invented anything. Pep Guardiola changed football.
Ferguson never did it in any other countries, did he?
The "greatest manager of all-time" jammed two Champions Leagues, one on penalties and one in injury time.
You're saying Ferguson won the Champions Leagues, but you're saying that Pep's never won them, that his players won them. What is it?
Pep changed the way football is played, changed the way football has been played in this country and then probably every other country he's been in. Everyone plays out from the back - kids play out from the back, they don't even know what it means! But they do it because he does it. He's a tactical genius and a lovely man.
It is reasonable to say that Guardiola's greatest legacy will be the free-flowing passing style of play which originated from his Barcelona team and has since spread across European football, but the lack of attention given to the achievements by Alex Ferguson does not do the great man justice.
The most bizarre suggestion of all from Gallagher is that Ferguson "never did it in any other countries." Ferguson came to United from Aberdeen, where he remains the last manager to lead a team other than Celtic or Rangers to the Scottish league title. It was also during his time at Aberdeen that Real Madrid were vanquished in the 1984 European Cup Winners' Cup final - the last time the Spanish side were defeated in a European final.
Guardiola deserves plaudits for his achievements at Manchester City, of that there is no doubt - but that can be done without attempting to tarnish the reputation of one of the true managerial greats.