Football: Hamann feels Pep will find EPL dull

Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann (far left) believes Pep Guardiola will find English football to be a step-down from Spain and Germany.
Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann (far left) believes Pep Guardiola will find English football to be a step-down from Spain and Germany. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

BERLIN • Former Liverpool star Dietmar Hamann believes Pep Guardiola will find English football to be a step-down from Spain and Germany when he takes over at Manchester City next season.

The Spaniard was announced on Monday as Manuel Pellegrini's replacement next season, in a deal said to be worth more than £15 million (S$31 million) a year. But Hamann, a former Germany international and Bayern Munich midfielder, says Guardiola can expect dull atmospheres in stadiums and over-inflated wage bills.

"After his time in Munich and Barcelona, he will wonder about the atmosphere in some English stadiums and feel like he's in (German fourth-division side) Unterhaching," wrote Hamman in his column for yesterday's edition of football magazine Kicker. "English football faces huge problems.

"I saw Stuttgart play Hamburg last Saturday live and was excited by what I saw.

"When I compare it to a top (English) game like Liverpool against Manchester United in mid-January, it was an affront to see what the spectators there are being offered. Therefore the Premier League isn't the best in Europe, quite the opposite.

"The Premier League is heading straight into a crisis and the increase of television money to €2.3 billion (S$3.6 million) from next season will not improve the level in any way.

"If Wayne Rooney or David Silva each earn €15 million, that's okay, but when some players are collecting €3 million a year just because they can run straight, then it's dangerous for the English game.

"The English have been delivering the best proof for the last five years that money doesn't buy you success."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2016, with the headline 'Hamann feels Pep will find EPL dull'. Print Edition | Subscribe