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Ahead Of 2017/18: Pep Guardiola -Tactically Astute or One Club Wonder?

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BY SAM FRANSISCO’

 

The former Barcelona manger has not reached the same heights he attained at the Camp Nou despite spending astronomical amounts on transfers

Pep Guardiola was regarded as one of the best players of his generation with his combination of creativity and technically prowess and made the switch to football management first with Barcelona B, eventually succeeding Frank Rijkaard as first team manager in 2008.

The Spaniard’s time at the helm of the Catalan giants was bedridden with ground breaking achievements, winning the treble in his first season and becoming the youngest manager to win the champions league. Between 1st July 2008 and 30th June 2012,    Pep’s team won a total of 14 major trophies with a win rate of 72.47% and he was quickly heralded as one the best minds in football management.

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After choosing to go on a one-year sabbatical, he joined German giants Bayern Munich in 2013 replacing Jupp Heynckes who just won the treble the previous season with the same squad.

But apparently he could not wield the same magic wand that brought him so much acclaim in Spain at the Allainz Arena losing 5-1 on aggregate to Real Madrid and receiving strong criticism from German media.

In the 2014 season, things didn’t improve as he lost four games in a row for the first time in his career and still couldn’t get into the final of Europe’s elite club competition, and on the 20th of December 2016, he announced he would be leaving the Bavarians at the end of that season.

He won only seven trophies in his three-year reign in Germany, with some very bad losses; a far-cry from his time at Barcelona.

Pep joined English outfit Manchester City for the 2016/2017 season and finished outside the top-two in the league for the first time in his managerial career after a blistering start to life in England and everyone tipping them for the title, but that form didn’t hold as he lost six games in a row for the first time as a manager and lost to Monaco in the Champions League.

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But his inability to replicate his successes at Barcelona has sparked controversy with many terming the Catalonian ‘Fraudiola’. And even though his record puts him at the very top of the managerial ladder, it is totally unacceptable to have spent 1.037 billion pounds on transfers and not deliver trophies.

With his recent splurge on defenders, all eyes will be on City and Guardiola this season to deliver, City to prove they can finally compete that they are amongst Europe’s elite and Pep needs to shut up his critics who have been growing ever since his last triumph at the Camp Nou.

The coming season might define Pep Guardiola as a manager and I’m sure he feels the weight of the pressure to deliver both from within and without as reputation can only carry you so much without results.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Premier League

Anthony Martial confirms departure from Manchester United

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Manchester United forward Anthony Martial will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June, the Frenchman said on May 27.

The 28-year-old arrived at Old Trafford from AS Monaco in 2015 and has since scored 90 goals in 317 games for the Red Devils.

The departure was expected, as he had struggled with injuries in recent seasons and had not been in the squad for months.

He not in the team for the 2-1 FA Cup final victory against Manchester City on May 25.

“It’s with great emotion that I write to you today to say goodbye. After nine incredible years at the club, the time has come for me to turn a new page in my career,” he said on Instagram.

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“You have been an unwavering support, through the good times and the difficult. Your passion and loyalty have been a constant source of motivation for me.”

French defender Raphael Varane also stated he would leave United earlier in May.

-Reuters

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Thomas Tuchel believes he’s new Man Utd manager

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Former PSG, Chelsea and Bayern Munich manager, Thomas Tuchel who is one of those being touted as possible replacement for sack-threatened Erik ten Hag has spoken out that he believes he will be Manchester United next manager.

According to different sources in Europe, the 50-year old German  reckons he is already nailed on for the job.

Hag who led Manchester United to a dramatic FA Cup win over city rivals, Manchester United on Saturday will officially learn his fate in the coming week.

Reports in Germany claim that theTuchel turned down the chance to remain in charge of Bayern Munich  because he wants another crack at the English Premier League by succeeding Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford.

Bayern announced that Tuchel was leaving the club after it became clear that Bayer Leverkusen would be crowned Bundesliga champions. But the Bavarian club then decided to perform a U-turn by offering to hand him a new contract to stay in charge.

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They were shocked when Tuchel turned down the proposal – and the suggestion in Munich is that he believes United have identified him as the man to replace Ten Hag.

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Premier League breaks new scoring record after last-day goal spree

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Premier League - Manchester City v West Ham United - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - May 19, 2024 Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne and teammates celebrate with the trophy after winning the Premier League REUTERS/Molly Darlington

Thirty seven goals hit the back of Premier League nets in Sunday’s finale making it officially the highest-scoring season since the competition started in 1992.

The 380 matches produced 1,246 goals at more than three per game — eclipsing the previous best of 1,222 in the inaugural Premier League season when there were two extra clubs.

Manchester City topped the scoring charts as they won an unprecedented fourth title in succession, their 3-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday taking their tally to 96.

Runners-up Arsenal managed 91 with Liverpool 86 and Newcastle United their best-ever Premier League haul of 85.

Bottom club Sheffield United concluded the season with a 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur, meaning they conceded 104 in the campaign — a Premier League record.

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-Reuters

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