Has Guardiola made the right choice?

July 1, 2013 1:33 pm

Last Monday, Josep Guardiola was officially introduced as the new manager of FC Bayern Munich. A keenly anticipated moment since his appointment on 16 January 2013, everyone was waiting for him in great expectation. But has Guardiola made the right choice?

Jupp Heynckes set very high standards last season with the German club. With four titles achieved – DFL-Supercup, Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal -, the pressure for the Spaniard is going to be tangible. A pressure he had been recovering from for the past year.

1320136826_extras_mosaico_noticia_1_g_0And the thing is, Guardiola quit his job as the manager of FC Barcelona after setting himself his own high standards. The succeed he had achieved with the Catalonian team was stratospheric,and it is not likely to happen again. The first evidence is the average season Barça has had -compared to the Guardiola era- in Pep’s absence. They were still recovering from the loss of a member of the family they are.

Of course, it is not reprehensible that Guardiola needed a change, because he clearly did. He has given 16 years of his life to FC Barcelona -playing and managing combined-, and four years managing a top level team like this can take its toll.

His first season coaching the main team was superb. At 38, he became the youngest manager ever to win a Champions League, and Barcelona won every possible title in 2009. He went on to win La Liga three times, the Copa del Rey twice, two UEFA Super Cups, three Supercups of Spain and two FIFA Club World Cups. And of course, the UCL twice. If you look back at Barça’s history, the three Champions League titles of the club have his name on them.

With such a line of triumphs, and the consequent media pressure that this caused -linked to the aggravated enmity between Barcelona and Real Madrid-, Guardiola needed to recover. And so he has done for a year, in New York, thinking about his next move. And that move has been Germany.primera-Champions-Guardiola_PREIMA20120427_0201_11

Only months after his appointment as manager, Guardiola spoke to everyone in a surprisingly good German, proof of his commitment to this project.

During his press conference in Munich, Pep said that his time with FC Barcelona had been “wonderful”, but he needed a new experience, a challenge. “And Bayern Munich has given me this opportunity“, admitted the Catalonian.

He arrives to the German club with plenty of ideas, the main one being that they do not require a big change, only small details. And he wants to focus the work on the players, like he always has: “Football belongs to the footballers, not to the manager“.

Still, his love for the club that raised him lives inside him. Guardiola does not believe that the difference of quality between his former and his new club is 7 to 0 -the result in the Champions League semifinal. Nonetheless, the time to confirm or refute this theory will be in July, specifically on the 24th, when both teams will meet again.

He does not know what he will feel when this match takes place, but it will not be indifference. Maybe, he will realise that he just needed to rest, and that he belongs to Barcelona, a team filled with players that still miss him deeply.

Or maybe he will confirm that this change was for the best, and Pep will make Bayern an even greater team. One can only wish him all the best, no matter what he decides to do.

Pep Guardiola sails past the language barrier at Bayern Munich unveiling - video

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