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Won every cup on offer including the Champions League on two occasions with Barcelona, Pep carried on his odyssey to Germany won every domestic cup there was to play for with Bayern Munich and it was still not enough for the naysayers.
Most of them apparently believe he can not be as successful in the supposedly “toughest and best” league in the world, the Premier League, but fast forward to the 2017/18 season: 18 games have been played and Pep’s Man City are still undefeated.
Pep Guardiola’s journey to managing at senior level started in 2008 succeeding Frank Rijkaard as FC Barcelona manager where he went on to win the treble in his first season in charge of the Catalan giants. His 4-year spell at Barcelona saw him turn the club to the most dominant and feared team in the world winning 3 La Liga titles, 2 Champions League titles and 2 Copa Del Rey titles amongst other honours.
In 2013/14, he filled the vacant manager post at the 2012/13 treble winners Bayern Munich manager after Jupp Heynckes resigned.
Despite failing to win the Champions League with the German giants, Pep won 3 Bundesliga titles during his 3 year tenure and 2 German Cup titles much to displeasure of Bayern fans who were still clouded by the treble and ended up disrespecting Pep Guardiola.
To their defence, the critics claimed that Pep managed already-established fantastic teams that any manager with half a football brain could manage and still win cups. That’s fair enough on their side if it is constructive criticism, but it is not necessarily the truth.
Carlo Ancelotti, one of the most successful managers ever, failed to impress during his short-lived stay with the Bayern side that Pep left for Man City. A star-studded team with quality and depth does not guarantee you success unless you have a good manager who knows how to get the best out of the individuals as a team.
It is true Pep has always managed top teams as many other successful managers and is always given a war chest to buy the players he needs however, the fact is you can assemble players with money but that is not a team just a collection of individuals and Pep has brought them together to a certain style of football he requires.
In addition, he knows who to buy he doesn’t just spend money for the sake of buying. Pep got Manchester City to master his trademark tiki-taka style of play that many never thought would thrive in England.
Despite enduring a slow start in his debut season in England, Pep Guardiola is a master tactician and he deserves credit. The man is a visionary.
Written by Bonno Macheng
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