Is the Premier League tougher than Pep Guardiola expected? May be! Or is he losing his invincibility?
Most English Premier League followers, especially, Manchester City FC fans still believe that the early announcement of the agreement between the club’s management, Pep Guardiola and the subsequent confirmation distracted the then incumbent manager, Manuel Pellegrini, and his players. The team was playing so well at the beginning of the season, but ended fourth on the log, picking the chance for Champion’s League through the play-offs.
Others could argue there were no distractions because the team won the Capital One Cup. Both sides have their justifications. Remember, there are only two kinds of coaches, anyway: the one already sacked and the one waiting to be sacked. Moreover, coaches come and go, the club remains! Even players are sojourners, no matter how good, skillful or talented they are.
What could Pep Guardiola be bringing forth for him to distract a manager and his players? He is a colossus; a football manager of managers. He has won many trophies and laurels.
Check them out: in Spain as the manager of Barcelona B team, he won the Tercera División once. After his promotion to the main Barcelona team, he won 3 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Reys, 3 Supercopa de España, 2 UEFA Champions League trophies, 2 UEFA Super Cups and 2 FIFA Club World Cups. All those for just one team!
When opposing fans felt he might never do well in other leagues, he moved to Bayern Munich FC and 3 Bundesliga titles, 2 DFB-Pokal trophies, 1 UEFA Super Cup and 1 FIFA Club World Cup. All these were intermingled with personal laurels like Coach or Manager of the months and years.
Coming to England will, without doubt, send shivers down the spines of many other managers, then. But who?! Who is afraid of Pep Guardiola. Certainly it is never Jose Mourinho, the “Special One”, nor Arsene Wenger, the “Professor”. Both of them had beaten Guardiola’s teams in the past. Not even Antonio Conte; his Juventus team and Bayern slugged it out in the Champion’s League last term.
So who is afraid of Pep Guardiola? May be it was Manuel Pellegrini!
By: Olaniyi G. Akanji
This piece was written before the 2016/2017 Premier League season started.