Berg 'impressed' by slick City

BY foxsports • November 15, 2011

Former Manchester United defender Berg has watched with interest as City have flown out of the Premier League traps, taking a five-point lead at the top of the table after winning 10 of 11 games, scoring a whopping 39 goals in the process. The 42-year-old admits his former boss Ferguson must take City's threat seriously as they "have resources like nobody else". But Berg says United's "biggest advantage" is that they have been there and done it under the Scot, who recently celebrated 25 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford and still has "enthusiasm, hunger and love for the game". The Norwegian, who made 66 appearances for United and won a Champions League winner's medal, said: "It's a big challenge for Ferguson because City have resources like nobody else. "Roberto Mancini has done a great job in terms of handling it so far - and the players he has brought in have been fantastic. "I've been impressed with the way they've started the season - but it will be interesting to see if they can continue that. "United's biggest advantage is that they have been in this situation before - and they know that when you come into February and March, that's the time when the league and everything is going to be decided." Berg knows from first-hand experience that Ferguson will have his players pumped up for the title fight, adding: "Playing for him was both fantastic and difficult as his demands are so high, and every time you play an opponent, all they want to do is beat you. "There is a responsibility when you play for Manchester United and for Ferguson - you have to do your best at all times. "Sir Alex is fantastic at making sure every player performs to their best level - and also at building new teams for different generations whilst still keeping Manchester United at the top. "It's one thing to transform the club so they win a title once or twice - he has made sure they've won it many more times than that. "He has still got the enthusiasm, the hunger and the love of the game - and his link with his players is still very good. "Everybody thinks he is very strong and hard - but he is fantastic with the players, supports them a lot and gives them a lot of confidence." On the subject of who will eventually replace Ferguson in the Old Trafford hot-seat, Berg believes a former United team-mate of his has "done everything right so far" following his transition into football management. Former 'baby-faced assassin' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been earning rave reviews in recent times having steered Molde to title glory in Norway. And Berg, who has had management spells in charge of Lyn and Lillestrom over the last seven years, said: "He has done everything right so far. Molde was his first club and he chose well as they are a good club with good resources. "They had been in the top half of the league for a long time, but not managed to take the final step and win the league. "Ole and his team came in and made a big difference to the mentality in terms of taking that next step - and looking at the way they have handled this season, I'm sure they will be a dominant force in Norwegian football for a couple of years. Hopefully they can step out into Europe as well and do well there." Talking of Europe, Berg believes both United and Real Madrid have managed to close the gap on European and Spanish champions Barcelona - but still face a "massive challenge" trying to dethrone them. When asked if he believed the current United squad are good enough to conquer Europe this season - and how it compares to the Treble-winning class of 1999, Berg admitted: "Well it's always difficult to compare generations because you play against different teams and at different levels as football is always developing. "In terms of quality you would the teams of today are better than the team of yesterday - but United have a massive challenge in the shape of Barcelona, first and foremost, as they have raised the level of European football in recent years. "I think Real Madrid are beginning to close the gap - but I can also see United doing the same as going forward, they are much closer to Barca than they were, say, six months ago. "Defensively they still have some way to go, but that is possible to adjust during the next six months before they get to the decisive stage of the season."


share story