Manchester City have been planning for football domination, and now they’ve finally landed their man. With the arrival of Pep Guardiola, Manchester City could be set to achieve what they set out to do.
As one of the most lauded managers in world football, Guardiola has achieved success everywhere he’s been. He assembled one of the greatest teams in history during his tenure at Barcelona, and he carried that winning pedigree to Bayern Munich.
He will be handed the perfect recipe for success at Manchester City. An unlimited transfer kitty; the best academy in English football; and a wealth of talented football players already at the club’s disposal. But the current players must be wary, as the former World Coach of the Year will dispose of dead wood and draft in new blood.
When Guardiola replaced Frank Rijkaard at the end of the 2007-2008 season, Barcelona had finished third – almost 20 points behind winners Real Madrid. Guardiola immediately began to oust the players he didn’t think had any future in his squad. High profile players such as Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Deco were told they weren’t part of his plans, and it’s likely that a portion of the current squad will suffer the same fate.
Yaya Toure’s agent has already spoken prior the announcement, fearing that Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad could spell the end of Toure’s time at City. Guardiola has previously sold Toure at Barcelona for not fitting his philosophy, and the Ivorian’s agent feels it could happen again.
It’s been reported by The Guardian that the incoming boss will initially be handed a transfer kitty of a least £150 million, but that number is expected to rise.
Theirry Henry has said that City will now to be able to attract the very best. Names like Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and even Neymar have been mentioned, but Henry reflected on his time as a player under the Spaniard – speaking about his willingness to look to bring through youngsters – where he gave 22 youth players debuts.
The former Barca and Arsenal striker told Sky Sports that:
“At my time at Barca, he put on the field through the ranks of the youth team the likes of Pedro and [Sergio] Busquets. Bojan was already there, also Jeffren – and I am not going to name all of them as it is a long list.
“He did the same with Bayern Munich and I would like to think that obviously he is going to bring some big names, because he has the resources.
“But he is not scared of bringing young talent through, whether they are in the academy or young talent in Europe that will not be a big deal of money, like Kingsley Coman, who is now at Bayern Munich.”
Guardiola brings a style of football that will likely try to emulate that of his dominant Barcelona and Bayern Munich sides. A high tempo, possession-based game that is rigid in its approach play. Players must stick to their positions and trust their teammates to find them – once the ball enters the final third, the players are allowed to express their creativity.
He doesn’t like his teams to surrender possession and his high pressing win-the-ball-back-in-6 seconds rule was key to his success at previous clubs, and he will look to implement that at City.
For City, the ultimate goal has always been Europe’s premier club competition, the Champion’s League. They’ve spent over £1 billion under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour trying to achieve this, but despite domestic success, they’ve struggled to compete on the continent.
Guardiola is a manager City believe will bring them Champions League success. He’s done it at Barcelona, he’s done it at Bayern, and he will be given the resources to do so. It’s an exciting time for Manchester City fans, and the future is looking even brighter.
David Clarke, Pundit Arena