Bayern the perfect choice for Pep
Pep Guardiola has established legendary status for himself with his spectacular feats as Barcelona coach and, as such, he could have taken a low pressure but high paying managerial job in Asia or America. That would have been the easy option.
But Pep is made of more than that.
Next season Guardiola will take the reins at European giants Bayern Munich, who will expect success in both the German Bundesliga and the Champions League.
Pep will know he is not in for an easy ride in Munich, but he will have every reason to feel comfortable in the choice he has made.
The Spaniard has been a man in demand since taking a sabbatical from football. The nouveau-riche Paris Saint-Germain were rumoured to be willing to throw their vast amounts of cash at Guardiola but he showed he is not in the game for the money.
A couple of Italian teams were linked with him but Serie A clubs are not as competitive as they used to be and probably wouldn’t appeal to a coach who has lofty ambitions.
Chelsea and Manchester City were both interested in bringing Pep on board and – because of his admitted desire to one day work in the Premier League – these clubs were seen as viable options.
He could have earned a small fortune at either club and if he was not successful his reputation would still be intact because so many other managers have failed there before him.
But these clubs’ habit of routinely firing their managers when success is not guaranteed would have been a warning for Guardiola.
Bayern however is different. They provide an environment that is not too dissimilar from Barcelona.
German clubs are renowned for their youth policy and the Bundesliga features some of the most talented young players in Europe.
Bayern have also recently adopted a different playing system in order to wrest control of domestic honours from Borussia Dortmund. While this new style is not at Barcelona’s stratospheric level, it is closer to the Catalan’s approach.
This leaves Guardiola with a system that he can work with and easily tweak so that both he and the players will be comfortable with the way they play.
In addition, Bayern already have a squad graced with gifted players.
Manuel Neuer is one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are part of an envious midfield while the two Marios, Gomez and Mandzukic, have been prolific in front of goal lately.
The backbone is there. The team is running away with the league at the moment and were robbed of the Champions League title last season.
Guardiola can now prove his ability without the services of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta. He can provide the extra push that the German club needs to become truly successful.
Typically, Guardiola has taken on a project that will challenge him. It is a project that requires tactical vision, diplomacy and belief. If it works, his reputation will be beyond believable.
Don’t bet against the Spanish maestro achieving it!