Guardiola making doubters look foolish

How could Josep Guardiola possibly improve a side that has just won every trophy possible the season before? Why does a coach who has lead the best players in recent times to unprecedented success at Barcelona really deserve that much credit?

These questions were just a number of those posed when Pep Guardiola was appointed as Jupp Heynckes’ successor in January of this year. Whilst his detractors pointed at the likes of Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi as the reasons for his success at Barcelona there were those who knew better. His success at his beloved Barcelona was of course aided by these wonderful players but it was Guardiola who extracted the best from them.

A little under half way through his first season in Germany and already he is being credited with making Bayern Munich even better than they were last season – a scary thought for every European Club. He has already managed to impose his ideas on the dressing room and already their results, as well as performances, have confirmed to his players that his methods are working.

Guardiola is a very thoughtful man and one who considers every possible ramification from his decisions. He was very quick to cement a relationship with Lionel Messi during his tenure at Barcelona and he has moved quickly to form relations with two of Bayern’s key men; Philipp Lahm and Franck Ribery. One of course the captain and the other arguably their most important player; both of whom have been sublime in the early months of Guardiola’s reign.

Coming in and sustaining the success Bayern achieved last season was always going to be tough. Winning is hard enough but to repeat success is something few coaches are capable of and even fewer actually achieve. His situation is of course aided by Bayern’s sheer size and all encompassing nature but it would still represent a feat very few have been able to before.

The manner of their performances so far this season have been immensely encouraging. Having started a little slowly it appears the Bavarian giants are quickly moving through the gears. The manner in which they dispatched Manchester City in the Champions League made everyone sit up and take notice but there is still room for improvement.

Pep is a coach who believes in the need to be flexible and capable of dealing with varying degrees of unpredictability. He has experimented with Lahm in the defensive midfield position, in which he excelled, and has rotated well which has enabled to see his squad in a number of varied tactical approaches. The depth of the squad is unbelievable and he has mixed and matched very well thus far.

It would be fair to say that an air of cynicism has surrounded Guardiola’s coaching career thus far due to his close links with Barcelona and the sublime ability of the squad he inherited. However, despite the obvious advantages to working with a squad as talented as Bayern the ability to motivate them and make them strive for further success is what will make him stand out. He is a coach in the most basic of senses and will no doubt be improving every player he works with due to his reading of the game and natural ability.

There were not many but certainly quite a few who doubted Guardiola and his ability before the season began; he is making them look rather foolish at this moment in time.

(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

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