Manchester City have announced Bayern Munich and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will be taking over as manager for the 2016-17 campaign.
Manchester City confirm Pep’s appointment… Read full statement pic.twitter.com/crVIo70rxD
— Sports5050 (@GHsports5050) February 2, 2016
Guardiola rose to prominence with Barcelona, where he took the role as manager in 2008 and immediately guided the team to his first of three La Liga titles. Under his watch, the side also won two UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey trophies.
The Spaniard quickly became known for his free-flowing, attacking philosophy built around possession and quick passing, and he had the perfect forward for his system in Lionel Messi. Frequently using the Argentina international as a false nine, movement in the attacking third became a staple of his Barcelona teams.
He took that same philosophy with him to Germany when he became coach of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in 2013 after a brief sabbatical. With Bayern, he won the Bundesliga title in his first two seasons at the helm.
Another big aspect of his philosophy is his willingness to trust youth. With Barcelona, he was backed by the famed La Masia academy and made full use of the wealth of talent that was ready to make an impact for the senior side.
The trend continued in Munich, perhaps best illustrated by the arrival of Kingsley Coman on loan. The Frenchman barely featured for Juventus during the 2014-15 campaign but found a regular spot in Guardiola’s starting lineup a year later.
Guardiola has a superb track record of finding immediate success, but it’s worth noting he twice inherited squads that were bursting with talent. At Barcelona, he got to work with Messi, the top young talent in world football at the time, and Bayern were already a dominant Bundesliga force in 2013, coming off a treble-winning season.
The Citizens field a ton of quality of their own with the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and with Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho, they boast a ton of young talent. But there are some defensive question marks, and ageing pieces like midfielder Yaya Toure will have to be replaced.
Expect the club to use its financial muscle during the summer transfer window and bring in some world-class talent, with an emphasis on players Guardiola knows he can trust. His possession-based system isn’t easy to master, and it wouldn’t hurt adding one or two veterans familiar with the philosophy.
City will provide the Spaniard with a new challenge, and based on his track record, silverware should follow quickly.
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