Does Pep Guardiola need a UCL title at City to be One of the greatest managers in football history ?
Manchester city manager Pep Guardiola has come in for criticism after his City side were knocked out by Real Madrid on Wednesday night.
Many believe that his inability to win the UEFA Champions League for another club after his success with Fc Barcelona is one reason Pep Guardiola cannot be ranked as one of the greatest managers in football history.
For the progenitors of this thought, Pep has only been lucky to handle the biggest and most talented group of players at Fc Barcelona , Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.
In a veiled attempt to crown Lionel Messi not Pep’s tactical prowess as the reason for the two UCL titles won at Fc Barcelona (2018/2019, 2010/2011) this unpopular opinion holders will blame his inability to win the title at Bayern Munich and now City on his tactics.
James Edidiong a Facebook user will go as far as questioning Pep’s ability to manage some of Europe’s top sides like Atletico Madrid, Tottenham , Ac Milan who don’t spend a lot of money. He wrote ” Take Pep Guardiola to Atletico Madrid and exit the Champions League in the first round every year ”
For this writer , this set of reactions are from hurting fans who are apologetic about Manchester City’s push for a first ever UCL title and Madrid faithfuls who will see nothings good from the Catalans following their agelong rivalry .
How do we assess great managers on the table of Champions league titles won alone , maybe Roberto Di Matteo who won Chelsea’s first title should rank amongst the greatest managers in world football too.
Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League title with a Chelsea team that struggled under Andre Villas Boas beating giants Fc Barcelona and Bayern Munich in some of the greatest games in Champions League history.
So if it is only the best managers with sound tactics that win the UEFA Champions League, where is Roberto Di Matteo or did he misplace his tactics box while celebrating the historic win in Munich.
Winning the UEFA Champions League to this writer requires more than just investment in talents or the tactical prowess of the Coach. What tactics did Fc Barcelona and Bayern Munich not throw at Chelsea in the semi final of the Champions League in 2012.
What tactics would explain John Terry’s slip enroute the missed penalty vs Manchester United in 2007 which denied Isreali manager Avram Grant a chance at registering his name and that of Chelsea on the list of Champions League winners.
For me the UCL has its own unwritten Culture and Winning there is 80% determined on the pitch while the other percentage is taken by luck. Yes remember the Sergio Ramos goal in the last seconds to deny Atletico Madrid a famous win in 2013/2014.
No team can buy the UEFA Champions League and that is what Manchester City and PSG are facing. Eventually it will happen . They will win but this won’t be as a result of coaching magic or grade A spending in the transfer market alone they will win when the time is right.
Take your eyes away from yesterday’s game and you would agree Pep Guardiola who was announced Manchester City manager on 1 February 2016 has brought so much change in tactics to Manchester City the Premier League and football around the world.
He also brought a new style and pattern of play that has worked for him in the domestic scene and ensured City consistently hold their own against some of the biggest clubs in world football.
Pep Guardiola has won the Premier League back to back as well as taking the Cityzens to a runner-up finish in the UEFA Champions League last season.
Despite failing again in his attempt to win City’s first UCL title, Pep remains one of the biggest and most tactical sound football coaches in the world in the class of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Zinedane Zidane, José Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte, Hansi Flick, etc.