Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o has also come out and questioned how Guardiola man managed the player:
“Guardiola has never had the courage to say things in front of me. He passed by the players. Xavi told me they wanted me to stay but I had to talk to Pep. I say ‘never, if you do not respect me, I do not respect you’.”
Although Guardiola did handle both situations poorly based on what the players have said, there is a pattern showing. Guardiola shut out the problem players of the team, having sold Deco and Ronaldinho the season he was put in charge, players like Eto’o and Ibrahimovic are still problems within clubs, they are both very outspoken and that always causes controversy.
Guardiola had banned press to attend any training sessions Barcelona had, making the team not feel like celebrities but just what they are, footballers. Celebrity footballers like Ibrahimovic could never handle that situation properly; they are self-confident players and like to speak to the press. Guardiola obviously knew this from the beginning and began to faze them out of the club which has led to such backlash. An interesting point to note, no Barcelona player currently playing for the club has come out against the manager, coincidence?
A complaint the press have about Guardiola is that he only takes over a team which are already great, that simple isn’t true. Barcelona under Rijkaard was a shambles when he took over, they had not won the league in two seasons and the team needed to be rebuilt, Guardiola took over the team and they won the treble for the first time in their history in his first season, that doesn’t happen by chance, only a truly great manager could possibly do that.
Why should Guardiola take over a ‘smaller’ side to prove his worth? When you’re managing at the top stages every year to then suddenly drop to prove how great you truly are is a pointless exercise. The press don’t question Lionel Messi’s ability as a footballer even though he has only played for Barcelona, one of the biggest clubs in the world. If you have made it at the top, you want to stay at the top.