Pep Guardiola: Why the Spanish Genius May Not Impress the English Audience

With Pep Guardiola ending his association with Bayern Munich this summer having won them their third straight Bundesliga title, he has averaged one major trophy for every 20 competitive games he has managed.

Whilst refraining from serious challenges such as taking charge of a struggling club like Liverpool remains his major criticism, the fact that he has revolutionized the beautiful game can hardly be disputed.

Despite his success, many pundits are now branding his time in Germany a failure. During his three years at Barcelona, he had lifted 14 trophies, including three Segunda Division titles. Under his predecessor in Frank Rijkaard, in that time frame, they had plundered just four trophies, with two being Supercopa de Españas.

His time at Nou Camp not only marked the birth of tiki-taka revolution but also transformed Barcelona from a good team into a great team. However, despite succeeding at implementing his brand of football at Allianz Arena, the result has not been as fruitful as it was in Spain, as he could not whet the German juggernaut’s appetite for European glories.


Will dethroning the Foxes suffice?

With his second stint as a manager dividing opinion, the Spanish genius commences his managerial expeditions in the United Kingdom with Manchester City come the summer, and Sheikh Mansour is expected to hand him a war chest that could make his club the biggest in Manchester for good.

The arrival of world-class players married with his managerial prowess should suffice to dethrone Leicester City and become Premier League champions after two seasons, but even an alleged failure in Manuel Pellegrini had been able to guide them to a title in his debut season.

Even a domestic double may not justify all the hype around him. Only a Champions League trophy — something he has not tasted in five years now — will help him escape public criticism.

The average age of the current roster is 28; no manager would dare to enter a football season with such aging stars as reliability and consistency usually plummet with age. With a dysfunctional squad, his predecessor reached the semi-finals of the elite European competition and was merely inches away from taking his side to the Stadio San Siro.

Accordingly, an alleged superior talent in the former Barcelona manager should help them land their maiden Champions League trophy. However, it would not as easy as his expeditions with the Catalans as the Citizens need an almost-complete squad overhaul to even compete for domestic glories.


Is domestic success guaranteed with the Spaniard in charge?

With Leicester pulling off the unthinkable and Tottenham Hotspur securing Champions League football, the Premier League has only become more competitive and unpredictable.

Besides, it boasts a plethora of ideologies, and his team will be going up against Liverpool’s gegenpressing a week after wrestling with Leicester’s counter-attacks.

The English top-flight has become more defensive in the recent past, and one needs to look no further than the systems espoused by teams that have been crowned champions in the last two seasons.

Teams that play similar in tune to Guardiola’s brand of football — Arsenal, Everton, and Manchester United — have largely been underperforming; the innovator in the 45-year-old should evolve in order to tackle the defensively astute English league.

Perhaps, he did not actually take the easy route this time.


Written by Praveen Paramasivam

Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen

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