Limited – u having a laugh!!!!!!! or not??????? Pep’s ready to return peeps

Ok let me explain the title. Early December 2012 – I was out with a few mates watching some footie. Once the game finished and the pub emptied we sourced some seats and I began to have a chat with one of the lads, an Everton fan. We spoke about various things, Wayne Rooney, Chelski, Bayern Munich were mentioned and eventually we moved onto Barcelona (we both agreed the best team in Europe) then the contention, the comment was made by my erstwhile footie officiano that maybe just maybe (he was a bit stronger than that)  Pep Guardiola is a limited mamager, YES HE SAID THE WORDS LIMITED!!!!!!!

Needless to say I was in a bit of shock when I heard that –  at the time I reeled off his win list – 3 La Liga Titles, 2 Champions Leagues and 2 Spanish Cups then on research add 2 Spanish Super Cups, 2 Fifa World Club Championships and 2 Uefa Super Cups to his roll of honour oh yeah and in just 4 seasons of management!!!!!!!. Undeterred my friend went on and explained his thinking mentioning that he should have stayed and tried to take on Mourinho and claim back the La Liga title, furthermore he noted how well Barca were doing without Pep – unbeaten in the league with just a draw against Real their only dropped points, which is still the case now as I post this blog.

Now whilst I acknowledged his comments – especially with my support of a team with a manager that just keeps coming back for more despite his age – but for me, Guardiola had already decided he needed a break before the start of last season and was always going to take a sabbatical at some point to spend time with his family, and further to this it is known that Guardiola has always been a cosmopolitan kind of guy who always at some stage in his career would like to try and manage in a different country – London is one of his favourite cities apparently. At this point we agreed to disagreed whilst both acknowledging that he was a fantastic manager.

One thing that has been brought up is that Guardiola has only ever managed in a Barcelona setting (initially with Barcelona’s B Team) and as a legend of the club some people will say he would have been given an easy time of it with minimal pressure and a much easier working environment than maybe at other clubs (he did quite well me thinks then) but in my opinion the fact that he has performed to such a high standard should be enough to ward off any detractors – but clearly not if my friend is anything to go by. On top of that I have heard people say that with the additional pressure of a new job in a new country and having to familiarise himself with a different club structure (one whose ethos he was not brought up on) things may not be as plain sailing as in the capital of Catalonia, especially as he struggled in his playing days when he moved to play for Brescia and then Roma in Italy.

As I say in my opinion – Pep Guardiola has proven himself big time at Barcelona and would be a massive asset wherever he turns up and I wish him well.

What do you think – is Pep a busted flush??????? or will he come back strong??????? and with his comments this week stating that he is ready to return to the dugout, where is he gonna turn up??????? – I’m sure my friend will have something to say. Feel free to say something yourselves.

1 Comment

  1. Marc

    Let me start my reply with a direct quote from Guardiola after the defeat to Arsenal February 2011.
    ”I can only play one way, don’t expect me to change.’

    It would be quite easy to end my point there with a direct admittance by the man himself in regards to his tactical capabilities, and management style.

    I judge a manager on a) Success b) Tactics c) Transfers d) Success elsewhere d) Longevity and e) Adaptability

    I’m afraid that Guardiola only ticks one of these boxes, that being, a) success. I ask the question, was that success a result of a team Pep built, or a team that Pep inherited? The answer is inherited. Messi, Iniesta, Xavi, the three players that make Barca tick were already integrated long before Pep took the helm. Where would Pep and Barca be without them, I’ll tell you, no where!
    Lets look at (a)tactics, Guardiola on paper generally employed a 4,3,3 formation, all roles are generally interchanghable, with the exception of the two central defenders, and this interchangability remains the key to Barcelona’s success. This is a tactic of possession, movement, and attack. Nothing more nothing less. When Barca were beaten by Chelsea, Arsenal, and Inter Milan, it was the case of an immoveable force defeating an unstoppable force. Or to use a boxing analogy, a good big un’ will beat a good little un’. Guardiola’s failure to adapt has probably cost his team a further 3 champions leagues, ridiculous as this seems, it’s true purely on the quality Barcelona have had and continued to have. There was only ever a plan A. (I’ll refer to him trying and failing at Plan B when I get to transfers.
    c) Transfers, Guardiola had spent 370 million euros in building his team around the Nessi, Xavi, and Iniesta. That’s a 129 million euros more than Rikaard who spent a year long at the camp Nou. The big name signings Ibrahamovic, Villa, and Chygrynskiy. A straight 100 million loss. With the exception of Manchester city only Barcelona fc would allow such a dreadful net loss on such high profile players. These players flopped not because they couldn’t adapt to Guardiola, but because Guardiola couldn’t adapt to them. These players were the plan B, that Guardiola was incapable of incorparating. Another note on Transfers, this man literally gave away Etoo, and Ronaldinho at their peaks. This man has and indeed Barcelona would be bankrupt if it was a normal business.
    d) Success elsewhere, well questioned answered there already, could Guardiola recreate the trophy success without his three amigo’s. Highly unlikely. Why would any club take this risk?
    e) Longevity, easy once more, he lasted 4 years, and quit when the going got tough. He and La Liga knew that Barcelona had reached the Zenith of their tactical peak. He walked and left Barcelona when they needed him most. Would sir Alex walk away everytime a Chelsea, or City build a team to challenge. No he wouldn’t, he’d rebuild, learn, and adapt. Guardiola has never demeonstrated these qualities.
    Finally (e) adaptability. Covered throughout in the above sections, and remains Guardiola’s true failing. He doesn’t adapt, he carries on. It worked for three years, it doesn’t now.

    Barcelona are now better than ever, they play a very similiar way, but a new man brings new ideas and avenues of play. Alba brings a different Leighton Baines esc qualities to a Barca team who keep the ball central for the majority of the game. Players like Pedro, and Busquets less raw and nervous, and Messi although still brilliant is not so relied upon. Goals and play are more spread and there is a greater balance to this Barcelona team.

    I end my reply with this analogy. Guardiola was the driver of an express train that was already en route. Fuels were available to make them better, he didn’t know how to use them,he jumped out of the engine before it reached it’s destination, would another train company really want to risk him to drive their new express…..

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