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Parker: ‘Underestimated’ Guardiola has transformed Man City into the best team I’ve ever seen

Scott Parker described Manchester City as the "best team" he has ever seen in his 25 years of professional football.

Guardiola’s side easily defeated the Cherries 4-0 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, moving them to the top of the early Premier League table in their pursuit of a third consecutive title.

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The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the game’s great managers, having won three league titles as manager of Barcelona, three more as manager of Bayern Munich, and three more as manager of City before joining City in 2016.

The four-time Premier League champion has also led clubs to a slew of other major trophies and has only once been named World Coach of the Year, back in 2011.

Guardiola praised Parker’s defensive strategy after Saturday’s game, comparing some of his team’s attacking plans to those of Champions League rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The two bosses also had a lengthy conversation after the game on Saturday, just outside the Etihad Stadium press conference room.

When asked about Guardiola’s praise and their conversation, Parker told the Daily Echo, “That’s nice to hear.” I was just chatting with him.

“Someone who is truly exceptional at what he does.”

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“He is frequently underestimated. What I’m saying is completely insane. But I understand that people can see the quality and the money that Man City spends, but when you analyze that team and how well they’re coached and how functional they are in every aspect, it’s pretty remarkable, and that’s definitely due to him.”

Parker was also asked if the current Manchester City team is the best he has seen in his time as a player and manager.

The 41-year-old, who broke into Charlton Athletic’s first-team squad in 1997 and took his first steps into management in 2019, said: “Yes, without a doubt, the best team.

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“Everything about them.” The best-coached team. Everything about their game model is functionally and technically difficult to play against.

“It’s not just the caliber of what they’re playing at. They obviously dominate the ball, but to be able to hurt them in large parts of your game, you need a certain profile in your team.

“Ninety percent of the time, when you’re a team like us, it’s going to be counter, transitions, and you need a certain player profile to get you up the pitch.”

“The pitch becomes so big for opposing teams, and even then, they’re so well coached positionally that you often find they’ve always got it locked down.”

“On the other hand, they obviously have their positions in the attacking phase, which can hurt, and they’re committed to them.”

When asked how much more of a threat they are now with Erling Haaland up front, Parker responded: “Not only Haaland is affected. For me, it’s the 11 players on the pitch with Man City and their quality.

“I understand why people would single out one player in Haaland – a new signing who is clearly an exceptional center-forward. But the quality is evident throughout their pitch.

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“(Kevin) De Bruyne’s goal and the quality he possesses, (Phil) Foden, and (Ilkay) Gundogan You concentrate on one player, and another appears who will cause you problems. That’s just the way things are. You must do what you can as a team and as a unit.”

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