Guardiola's visionary qualities remind Summerbee of Allison, the brash Cockney who was the brains of Mercer's operation, which won four major trophies in three seasons.
“Just like Pep, Malcolm did things that nobody else was doing," says Summerbee to The Sun.
“Every Monday he'd have us training with great marathon runners, sprinters and Derek Ibbotson, who had the world record for the mile.
“At first we'd moan - 'we're footballers, why are we doing all this bloody running?' But within weeks we were fitter than any other team.
“Malcolm took all the training sessions but he wasn't a dictator. He'd love it if you argued back in the dressing-room, he wanted players to have minds of their own.
“He was a genius. Joe Mercer was a true gentleman. But Pep is a genius and a gentleman, the best I've ever seen."