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Showing posts with label Guardiola. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guardiola. Show all posts

Aug 14, 2018



Source: BBC Sport via Twitter

Manchester City blew their competition away in the Premier League last season to claim the title with a record number of points. Pep Guardiola’s men were truly dominant in the league, while they also claimed the EFL Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over Arsenal. However, their quest for the quadruple was ended in the FA Cup by their stunning defeat at the hands of Wigan Athletic, while Liverpool knocked the club out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage.

Jul 15, 2012

Joseph Pep Guardiola

What Josep Pep Guardiola achieved with Barca in four years cannot be termed anything less than a miracle. May be it cannot be termed as a miracle in the literary sense, simply because this was nothing unexpected and also was carefully planned. But still fourteen titles in four years does tell the story. Titles and individual honours actually does not tell the story of the miracle manager, it's more than that. Guardiola redined football as we know or atleast as we we were all following. In an era when football is becoming more static with unchanged tactics and predictable styles, Guardiola brought the fun back to the game. Watching Guardiola's term at Barca is the only lesson a keen football fan need to understand the nuances associated with the game. He was also able to squash the stereo type associated with the today's game(especially the English game), that "Beautiful football does not win Titles". Guardiola's Barca did play beautifully and they definitely won titles, lots of them. In an age when football is becoming more and more negative, Guardiola can hold his head high as he not only bucked the trend but also managed to instill some belief in them among others.

Jul 19, 2009

This is something which has gone through my head a thousand times. Is Guardiola that good a coach as he is been featured by media? Surely a guy who has won an unprecedented treble with this FC Barcelona side has to be good, but is he a legend. For me Guardiola at this moment is more of a disciplinary genius than a tactical one. Many may disagree pointing to the was he switched Messi inside in the Champions League final. But to be honest that game was all about blunders Ferguson made than the tactics employed by Guardiola. To Guardiola's credit he managed very well with the resources at his hand. Now many may ask whether Guardiola had no part in the success of last season, surely he had - maybe the largest part. He brought something which the Barca setup was lacking for the last two seasons - discipline. In Rijkaard's last two season there were no doubts about the fact that he was never in control. Guardiola came out with an iron hand approach and did kept a complete control on the proceedings. No one was able to take their place for granted and that proved one more point thing - FC barcelona had two bad season because Barca was playing bad, not because of others playing well.

But to all his credit Guardiola is not a tactical genius. He has been out-thought by Hiddink and looked lost till that dramatic turn-out in the injury time. Actually that was one battle we had trouble dealing last season. The same was with the way we played at Atletico Madrid. His reluctance to use substitutes to change the course of match was very irritating. Many a times we saw he holding back substitutes to be used as a time wasting tactic. The prime example was the Sylvinho substitution against Chelsea, don't call it a master piece, I thought he forgot we had a substitute left. More over he looks like a guy who comes with a lot of pre-conception. His reluctance to accept that Toure was the best defensive midfielder we had was a prime example of that. The way he handled Eto saga earlier last season showed his inexperience and reluctance to accept ground reality. And it looks like he has not learn from that also. Under him and Laporta, we successfully managed to unsettle Eto again without any proper back-up assurance. Strangely now every egg lies in Eto's basket. He can decide to stay in Barca for one more season and leave for free at the end of it, if he stays we will be forced to use him as a striker this season. Guardiola and Laporta went ahead with upsetting him without really taking ground reality of signing a replacement in account. Now mostly we have to cough up a much higer value to land Ibrahmovic, that again depends on Eto agreeing to Inter's terms.

But it might be too early to judge him. He is in his second season as a coach and will probably improve with more experience. He has all the making of becoming a good disciplined coach but I doubt whether he will be able to mold himself into a tactical genius. In FC Barcelona he is the ideal man as we always play a very attacking style and we need a guy to hold the team's discipline intact. But I would love to see him using his brain a bit more in transfer market. The Hleb saga was a disaster in making from the beginning. And we still have not addressed the left side issue. If he is planning to use Iniesta upfront more, that also could backfire as that will deprive us of the service of the best attacking midfielder in the middle. Without Iniesta it is easy for teams to double mark Xavi and take him out of the equation, we had seen it many times last season. I believe this could be the make or break season for Guardiola as a coach. There was not much pressure last season but that success means there will be more and he will be scruitinized in every step he take.

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 España 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.

May 8, 2009

The Euphoria surrounding the last gasp entry into Champions League has slowly settled down. It was indeed a strange night, throught the match you were dissappointed by Barca's performance, I even had a headline for my match report "Chelsea Humiliates Barca" but for one man - Andres Iniesta, everything changed. One shot on target, one goal that was the story of the night. On a night when Barca's silky football was halted by a Chelsea defensive wall, it was the never say die attitude installed by Guardiola in his players which took us through. Much has been said about Guardiola's celebration after that goal. But people should understand his position, just minutes before the goal he looked completely as a man who has lost the last faint of hope. Guardiola sharing a laugh with Hiddink, which he normally wouldn't have done explain the same. So we can excuse him for that celebration. Guardiola has brought a sense of belief and commitment to the team which was missing Rijkaard's last two season.

Guardiola might have got the result he wanted, but there is no denial that he got all the tactical moves wrong at Stamford Bridge. He was put in a precarious position with the absence of two central defenders, but no one expected him to destroy his midfield to carve out a defense. This Barca side has the wonderful trio of Henry, Messi and Eto up front but the engine still lies in the midfield. If Barca win the midfield battle they will play comfortably throughout the match. Xavi, Toure and Iniesta are indispensible from that midfield. GUardiola by moving Iniesta up and Toure down gave the control of the game to Chelsea. Without Iniesta, Xavi can be easily double-marked in the middle. Some might have appreciated the effort Toure put in central defense, but still he never looked anywhere near to comfortable there. Guardiola should have included Caceres and Bojan in the side which would have preserved the midfield.

Bygones are bygones, so why fret? But we have to. Because we have to face a resurgent Manchester United side without our usual full backs. Alves was poor in last couple of day and Puyol should be able to fill that role. But then how we will align the central defense. The best way is to have Puyol in the centre and either Caceres/ Sanchez on the right. But it is essential that Guardiola leave the midfield as it is. He also should show more pro-activeness with substitutions. What was he thinking holding substitution till the 83rd minute. Bojan should have given more time to settle in the match. If we have to come out as the winner in Rome, we definitely want Guardiola to be on top of his job.

Dec 13, 2008

Guardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid Clash Guardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid Clash

Have a look at this article from Guardian - why are Barcelona scoring so many goals?

Guardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid ClashGuardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid ClashGuardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid Clash

Guardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid ClashGuardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid ClashGuardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid ClashGuardiola, Barca Coach attends Press Meet ahead of Real Madrid Clash

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