His first season in charge saw the team win the treble and subsequently become the first ever Spanish side to do so. He then followed that with a record of 14 trophies in four seasons and has made him the most successful coach in Barcelona’s history.
After the 2011/12 season, Guardiola needed a deserved break from football, having put the amount of effort he did in Barcelona he left, leaving Vito Vilanova in charge of the team he had changed into world’s most talked about to the world’s greatest.
After a season out, he decided to take over the treble winning side of Bayern Munich, replacing Jupp Heynckes as manager.
On March 25, 2014, Bayern Munich beat Hertha Berlin 3-1 and wins the Bundesliga in the quickest recorded time with an incredible seven games to spare. In the five seasons he has been a manager, Guardiola has picked up an incredible 17 trophies but why is he still being doubted by the press and public?
The issue many people have about the former Barcelona player is that he only takes over teams that are already great. One article published “He stated in a press conference he was excited to coach in a different country, a new league, and to build a new squad to win trophies. Oh, oh wait – this team has already won every trophy they can.”
When he left Barcelona, people believed he left because it needed rebuilding and that he was uninterested in starting again, if failing to do so his managerial credentials would be in doubt, so he left until a new challenge came along, the challenge was to take over former treble winning side, Bayern Munich and turn them from incredible to… Exactly, there is no way to improve a team that has already won everything, the only thing you can do is take over the ship and keep it steady, in which he has done so.
But has Guardiola improved Bayern Munich? So far this season he has managed 43 games winning 37 times, drawing 4 times and has lost just twice, giving him a win percentage of 86%. In Jupp Heynckes final season in charge of Munich he managed 54 games winning 46, drawing 5 and lost just 3 times, giving him a win percentage of 85%. A progress has been made, but only slight.
Former players under Guardiola have come out against him and questioned his managerial style. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a former player under Guardiola, questioned why he chose to join Bayern Munich:
“Why did he opt for Munich? Because the team functions without him. It’s a complete team. He bought new players, but he does not need them. It was a smart move by Guardiola, because nothing can go wrong in Munich. He will have success.”
Ibrahimovic has also claimed the Munich manager is a ‘coward’ and pushed him out to the wing because Messi wanted to be striker. ‘He wanted to play in the middle (Messi), not on the wing, so the system changed from 4-3-3 to 4-5-1. I was sacrificed and no longer had the freedom on the pitch I need to succeed.’ You could argue that making Messi into the main striker was the best decision of his career but you need to keep the team together and changing the team to support one player doesn’t help.