Home / Football / European Football / Barcelona / Is Pep Guardiola Overrated?

Is Pep Guardiola Overrated?

Embed from Getty Images

Since announcing he would be leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season, Pep Guardiola has been linked with a host of top clubs. If speculation is to be believed, it is Manchester City who are in pole position to land the Spaniard, but Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG are also reportedly interested in appointing the former Barcelona manager. While few could dispute Guardiola is a talented manager, his achievements and abilities may be overrated by the clubs trying to secure his signature.

Guardiola won fourteen trophies in four hugely successful years at Barcelona. He is regarded as the greatest manager in their history after guiding them to three La Liga titles and two European Cups. He built a world-class team that played exhilarating football, with talisman Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi becoming unplayable at times. A Barca legend as a player, Guardiola understood the culture of the club and incorporated several players who had played in the academy, known as La Masia, into the first team. Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique, who had been let go by the club, were bought back and became part of the team that dominated world football.

However, while many believe that Guardiola revolutionised the way Barcelona played, others will argue it was merely evolution. Frank Rijkaard had given the likes of Messi and Iniesta their debuts, while it was Louis van Gaal who put a greater emphasis on the academy. Guardiola also failed to incorporate Zlatan Ibrahimovic into his squad, with his big money move proving to be a failure.

While Guardiola undoubtedly left Barcelona in a great shape, the achievements of his successors have also bought into doubt just how good Guardiola was. The late Tito Vilanova, who served as Guardiola’s assistant, won La Liga in his sole season in charge. Gerardo Martino had a poor season at the Nou Camp, but despite being called tactically naïve he still reached the latter stages of the Champions League and came within a whisker of winning La Liga. While Martino wasn’t as successful as Pep, Luis Enrique has delivered trophies since becoming the club’s manager. Despite mediocre spells at Roma and Celta Vigo, Enrique won La Liga and the Champions League in his first season with the club. While Guardiola failed to in doctorate Ibrahimovic, Enrique has seamlessly incorporated Neymar and Luis Suarez into his forward line, creating the most feared attack in Europe.

Guardiola has had success in Germany. In his first two seasons Bayern romped to the Bundesliga title, and they look set to do the same this year. However, Bayern haven’t won the Champions League under Pep, they haven’t even made the final. In the season before Guardiola arrived at the Allianz arena, Bayern won the treble, a feat the Spaniard is yet to achieve. Guardiola’s Bayern side was thrashed by Enrique’s Barcelona in last season’s Champions League semi-final, whereas in the season before Pep’s arrival, the roles were reversed as Bayern demolished Barca.

Guardiola’s managerial career has been littered with trophies, although unlike the great managers before him, Pep has never achieved at a smaller club. Sir Alex Ferguson had success with Aberdeen, Brian Clough with Derby and Jose Mourinho with Porto. While Guardiola managed Barcelona B before he took over the senior side, he has never achieved big things at a smaller club.

There is no doubting that Guardiola is a great manager, but despite his stunning CV, questions remain over just how good he is. If the rumours about Guardiola having his eye on the Man City are job are to be true, then it will be the perfect chance for Guardiola to show his class. If the Spaniard can win the Premier League and guide City to European success, then he will have his place in history as one of the finest managers of all time.


About Ryan Caunt

Check Also

Champions League – 13/9

It was another good night in Europe for English sides as both Tottenham and Manchester ...