To say that Pep Guardiola is the most sought after football manager in the whole world is an understatement, which is why news that he will be moving to Manchester City this summer was received with a lot of excitement.
After enjoying 47 caps with the Spanish national team, the 45-year-old retired from professional football and became a coach. He started with the Barcelona B team before taking the first team over from Frank Rikjaard in 2008.
In his first season as manager, Guardiola Barcelona won a treble, La Liga, the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. In doing so, Guardiola became the youngest manager to win the Champions League.
The following season, Guardiola led Barcelona to win the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup, bringing his tally to the maximum of six trophies out of six competitions in one year, thus achieving the sextuple.
By the time Guardiola announced his departure from Barcelona in 2012, he had won fourteen trophies in four years.
Guardiola joined Bayern Munich at the beginning of the 2013-14 season, during which he won four trophies, the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Since he started his managerial career in 2008, Pep has won a total of 19 trophies for two teams, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Out of 426 games played he’s won 312, drawn 71 and lost 43.
What Pep has, however, never done before is manage a Premier League team. It’s a case of the most sought after manager in the world moving to the best league in the world.
Firstly, Pep would need to assemble a team he can work with. No doubt he will like to get some of the best players in the world. Gareth Bale, Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane are already being speculated as his likely targets. Iniesta’s name is being mentioned too but it is doubtful Barcelona would part with him. Other possible targets are Griezman, Alaba and Coleman. It is estimated that those three along with Bale, Pogba and Varane may cost Man City almost $500m. Football commentators believe Pep may struggle if he doesn’t assemble the right team.
The Premier league is a difficult terrain to navigate for foreign coaches, he should go and ask Mourinho, Ancellotti, Claudio Raneiri, Andre Villa-Boas, Mancini, Louis Van Gaal just to mention a few. There is the press to deal with. The English press is one of the most critical and unforgiving in the world. Then he has the fans to always please, two straight draws and his head is on the chopping block.
The most successful Premier League manager, Sir Alex Ferguson is British after all. There must be a reason for that.
Manchester City owners and fans would expect Pep to repeat the same feat he performed in Barcelona almost ten years ago by winning the Premier League and Champions League during his first season. Failure to do this and his days at the club are already numbered.
Summer is coming soon when all eyes will be on Pep. The first few fixtures will be interesting. There are rumours that Pep’s arch rival, Jose Mourinho, will be taking over from Louis Van Gaal at Manchester United. If that happens, the most anticipated match of the 2016-17 Premier League season will be the clash between Manchester United managed by Jose Mourinho and Manchester City managed by Pep Guardiola. Now, that will be a match football pundits will talk about for years.