Pep Guardiola: A Great Manager or A Manager of Great Teams?

Despite being the most successful manager in the history of FC Barcelona, there are those who consider the current Bayern Munich manager to be overrated. Guardiola won thirteen trophies in four years as manager of FC Barcelona, including two UEFA Champions League titles, beating English powerhouse Manchester United in 2009 and once more in 2011. Guardiola is the youngest UEFA Champions League winning coach in history and won six trophies in 2009, winning all competitions his team took part in. He has achieved, so far in his relatively short managerial career, more than managers whose careers have spanned over twenty years. Regardless of his list of achievements, Guardiola is accused of simply being a man in the right place at the right time.

Critics of Guardiola critics argue that he simply inherits squads filled with great players, firstly at FC Barcelona and now the European Champions, Bayern Munich. While Pep can be considered to be fortunate to be able to manage two of the biggest football clubs in the world, he fully deserves all the plaudits he has received.

At FC Barcelona, he did not conquer the footballing world by just taking Frank Rijkaard’s team and throwing them on the pitch. Pep knew what he wanted to do and how to achieve it. He had to make changes and he did. Upon being appointed, Guardiola made it known that superstars such as Deco, Samuel Eto’o and former world player of the year Ronaldinho, among others, were not part of his plans for the upcoming season. Eto’o ended up remaining at the club for one more season while Deco and Ronaldinho left to join Chelsea and AC Milan respectively. Guardiola brought in players who became key components of his success at FC Barcelona such as Dani Alves, Seydou Keita and Gerard Pique. He also promoted Sergio Busquets and Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona B, who also played key roles in his tenure. This is a trait of an excellent manager, creating his ideal squad for success and making no hesitation in making significant changes to a good squad for the good of the club even if it is at the expense of fan favorites.

The identity that he gives his teams is another admirable trait that Pep possesses. The brand of football that he employs is of equal importance to Guardiola’s legacy as his thirteen trophy haul at FC Barcelona. Guardiola’s FC Barcelona team redefined the “beautiful game” and he has his current team, Bayern Munich, aiming to play the same style of football.

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