Five reasons why Pep Guardiola isn't as good as he's made out to be
Love him or loathe him, Pep Guardiola is widely recognised as not only one of the best managers in modern day football, but some would also claim him as one of the all-time great managers. After all, he’s the man who led possibly the best club side of all time in the form of his late 2000’s Barcelona side, he practically invented tiki-taka, and then he went on to dominate the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
He’s won a ton of trophies and a ton of acclaim along the way, but is he actually as good as people make him out to be? Or is he a lot of smoke and mirrors, a man who’s simply benefited from picking the right jobs at the right time, and then cutting and running when he knows the house of cards is about to fall? I’m inclined to believe the latter, and here are five reasons why.
#1 He’s a short-term solution who never builds dynasties
While Guardiola won plenty of trophies at both Barcelona and Bayern Munich – and may well do the same at Manchester City – for a man supposedly responsible for building Barcelona’s monstrous success, he didn’t actually stick around for that long. The length of his reign at Barcelona? Just four seasons, from 2008/09 through to 2011/12. And he spent even less time at Bayern Munich, lasting just three seasons before moving to Manchester.
Hardly the work of a dynasty builder. Compare his reigns to those of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United (27 years) or Arsene Wenger at Arsenal (21 years and counting) and you’ll see the difference – granted, Guardiola hasn’t faced as much criticisms or hardships as Wenger over the years but is he ever likely to given his short-term nature?
The fact is that when the going got tough at Barca – his side lost both La Liga and their Champions League crown in 2011/12, his final season in the hotseat – Guardiola got going. And when it became clear that he couldn’t lead Bayern back to the Champions League title – the title they won in 2013 right before he arrived – he abandoned ship there too. Where Ferguson built three truly great sides at United (the initial double-winning side in 1993/94, the treble winners of 1998/99 and the Champions League winners of 2007/08) Guardiola only built one, at Barca, and then inherited one at Bayern Munich.
To be a true great you need longevity and unfortunately, with his current track record – remember he’s said he doesn’t want a long-term reign at Manchester City either – longevity just doesn’t look like it’s in Pep’s dictionary.