Teddy Sheringham claims he ‘wouldn’t mind’ being compared to Pep Guardiola’s Man City side as they threaten to replicate Man United’s triumphant 1998-99 Treble… but Gary Neville insists United would win if both teams met, on PENALTIES!
- The first-ever Manchester derby FA Cup final will take place on Saturday at 3pm
- MICAH RICHARDS: The ‘noisy neighbours’ are on top and United are underdogs
- IAN LADYMAN: FA Cup final is all about United repelling City’s relentless assault
Teddy Sheringham has said he ‘wouldn’t mind being compared’ to Pep Guardiola’s treble-chasing Manchester City side, as they prepare to face his former club Manchester United in Saturday’s FA Cup final.
The United legend was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1998-99 team that became the first and only team in English football history to claim the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Champions League in a single season.
But Guardiola’s City will edge one step closer to matching this peerless feat with victory over their crosstown rivals at Wembley, after claiming the league with three games in hand.
On the day, United players will no doubt find motivation in shutting down the ‘noisy neighbours” attempt to level their record.
Whilst Sheringham will be rooting for the red side of Manchester on Saturday, he admited in an interview with The Times that he’s flattered by the association between the two teams.
Teddy Sheringham’s injury-time equaliser kept United in the hunt in the 1999 UCL final
The treble-winner had won the FA Cup with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side just four days earlier
‘I feel like I should say I want to keep the achievement just as ours, especially with the rivalry between City and United, but I wouldn’t mind being compared to them,’ Sheringham said.
‘They are awesome, destroying teams for fun. I take my hat off to Pep. To be in the same bracket as this team, I’ll take that.
‘That’s not bad company for both of us.’
The forward played a starring role on the night of the team’s Champions League final against Barcelona which sealed United’s treble, scoring the equaliser deep into injury time to keep the Red Devils in the hunt.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær netted the winning goal with less than a minute left to play, writing the team into the history books.
Even 24 years on, Sheringham – who named his Essex home ‘Camp Nou’ in the wake of the triumph – says he is is constantly reminded of his achievements with the storied side, often discussing the season with strangers keen to share their experience as supporters.
‘Everyone knows my story but they want me to hear about theirs,’ Sheringham added.
‘How they fell off the sofa when the goal went in. Which pub they were in. Who they were with. How they jumped up and smashed their head on a chandelier.
‘I’ve heard thousands of stories, it might be from a little old lady in Africa saying, ‘Are you Teddy Sheringham who scored in the 1999 final?’ It can be someone from a village in India. And I never get bored of hearing them. I love it.’
Sheringham’s team-mate Gary Neville claimed that the treble-winning United side would be able to edge the 2022-23 Man City side, but by the finest of margins.
‘Facing this City team, we would have to defend how we used to against Arsenal, very compact,’ Neville said.
‘But I don’t think there is any fear. I think Jaap (Stam) and Ronny (Johnsen) would give (Erling Haaland) a hell of a game, physique and pace to deal with him.
‘I would be tugging Jack’s (Grealish) hair and trying to get him wound up, kicking his ankles and putting a scrape down those beautiful legs. Giggs, Keane, Scholes and Beckham against Rodri, De Bruyne and Gundogan would be a thing of beauty, the greatest midfield I have seen in British football against a quality City engine room.
‘Up front, could Cole and Dwight Yorke, plus Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) and Teddy, get at, say, John Stones and Diaz? I think they could.’
‘I am going for a 2-2, then to penalties and we nick it. But it is all very subjective and hypothetical.’
The pundit added of the historic season that he had always known that one day ‘another team would do it in the future’.
‘This City team are fantastic, brilliant and actually my favourite of Pep’s teams to watch because they have so many ways to win, so complete.’
Gary Neville (left, after winning the 1999 FA Cup final) believes his United side could edge City
The pundit also compared Pep Guardiola to his former manager Ferguson, calling them both ‘obsessed’ with greatness
Erik ten Hag will be expecting his players to put the club’s past glories out of their mind on the day, having insisted that the squad’s focus will be winning their own trophies.
‘Yes I know (the importance of United’s 1998-99 treble). I know what is the thinking from the fans.
‘But what we want is to restore Manchester United by winning trophies so on Saturday we have an opportunity to win a trophy and we don’t want to be distracted by anything.
‘If it is important for the fans it is important for us so we will give everything to win the cup.
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