Pep Guardiola – Inside the mind of modern football’s greatest tactician
Even during his playing days, one could imagine Pep Guardiola going on to lead a successful side from the dugout. A midfield general who was the brains of the Barcelona side during the 90s, Guardiola had been hailed as the on-field orchestrator of Catalan symphony.
The legendary Louis van Gaal once perfectly explained Guardiola’s quality as a leader: “You could see even then that he was a tactical player.”
“He could speak like a coach, even then—not many players can do that. Guardiola’s best position was in the centre of midfield, because from there he could see the game and he had the personality to dominate it.”
Therefore, it was of little surprise to see Guardiola being handed the reins of Barcelona back in 2008, despite having only one year of experience under his belt—managing the B team.
While the Barcelona faithful did dream about the romanticism of having the prodigal son attempt to lead their side to glory from the doldrums, the decision of the Blaugrana hierarchy was accompanied by skepticism, as many doubted Guardiola’s capabilities,: he was, after all, an inexperienced 37-year-old manager who was still learning his trade.
Guardiola was aware of the doubts, but such was his belief in himself that the former midfielder did not beg for time, patience or a honeymoon period. Apart from his unshakeable confidence, Guardiola was an articulate speaker, an avid student of the game and a man with a clear vision of the philosophy he wanted to implement.
Much to the delight of the fans, what followed next under Guardiola’s tutelage as the manager of Barcelona was unprecedented success for the club. The Catalonian led his beloved Barcelona to three consecutive La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League titles and a total of 14 trophies during a spell of only four years.
Winning is one thing but doing it in style is a completely different animal. Guardiola’s Barcelona side was not only a frustratingly brilliant winning machine, they claimed their triumphs as true advocates of the Beautiful Game, exhibiting football as an art, rather than the physical skirmish it had become in the modern era.
Ignorant critics of Guardiola feel that managing a team of superstars like Barcelona is as simple as picking the best 11 players from a videogame and letting them do their stuff on the pitch. Evidently, management is not as straightforward as that and it is downright dumb to say that Guardiola simply inherited success.Yes, he was presented with a wonderful group of players but it was the changes that he implemented that transformed Barcelona into one of the greatest teams football has ever seen. – Sarad Bade Shrestha Read More….