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Jun 2, 2009

It will be difficult for Guardiola to look back into history and draw his plans for the future; because he stands alone in this wonderful juncture of footballing history. No coach has achieved the coveted treble in his opening season and Guardiola understands the significance of the same more than anyone. After the match in Rome, he said "I have achieved everything and I will be leaving tomorrow". That was just meant as a joke, but it also revealed that Guardiola understand the magnitude of his achievement. Guardiola has more trophies to look forward for next season but he needs to keep himself and his players firmly rooted to ground. There is a high chance that the players could be a bit complacent on the wake of the biggest achievement in La Liga history. FC Barcelona would be competing for six trophies next season. The two super cups, the World Club Championship, the La Liga, the Copa Del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. That means that is going to be another lengthy and tougher season and any complacency from his or his players part will be scrutinised heavily by media.

Guardiola has to be the most well-equipped manager to handle complacency. He has brought in discipline and accountability to this Barca side and has never deviated from for whole of the season. The fining players for being late by a minute after the League triumph serves the best example for that. But the extend of challenge that lie ahead for him is enormous. We have a high chance of ending trophyless next season, but then again we have a chance to end next season with half a dozen trophies. The first two trophies are the Supercopa de EspaƱa and the UEFA Super Cup both will be held in August. Since Barca were the winners of both La Liga and Copa Del Rey, Atletic Bilbao will be our opponent in Spanish Super Cup. FC Barcelona will be playing Shaktar Donetsk in teh UEFA Super Cup which will be held on the 28th of August at Louis 2 Stadium in Monaco. Victories in these trophies will not be highlighted by the media but failure will surely be. Then the League will start and then Champions League and Copa Del Rey.

Guardiola has rightly emphasized on the need to have a larger squad next season. We will be playing constantly next season and we should definitely have re-inforcements ready for critical position. I will highlight those in my next post. Guardiola's advantage of coaching Barca B should also come into picture as we should be able to see new talents emerge from the youth structure. Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain quest in Transfer Market would be made difficult by the presence of Real Madrid and Manchester City, both of them reportedly have a 250 million tranfer kitty available. Add the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and the newly rich Portsmouth, Barca will have some tough time ahead in the market. FC Barcelona will definitely have the advantage in signing players because of his history and recent success, but the presence of so much rival clubs will simply hike the price.

Another matter which will require immediate attaenction from Guardiola will be about negotiating the contracts about key players. The most important will be Eto, Valdes and Toure. In Eto's case both parties involved has expressed their interest in penning a long lasting deal. Valdes also for me will be given a deal which is wort his stature as his recent exploits have been good fro Barca. There is no doubt that Toure is the best defensive midfielder in the world right now and Guardiola has to be a fool to let him go. He also needs to find proper clubs for Hleb and Gudjohnsen and seriously has to come out in open with what he plans to do with Bojan. Bojan is a huge talent and he has to decide whether he will be able to give him enough playing time or has to find a club to loan him out. Tha fans and players can take some rest after a gruelling and delightful season but sadly not GUardiola.

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