By Sam Noel | The Duquesne Duke
The biggest signing of the January transfer window wasn’t a player. Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola, who is one of the youngest and brightest managers out there, made a commitment on Monday to lead Manchester City starting next season.
Guardiola, 45, probably has the most impressive resume of any manager in the world. His initial job as a first team manager was at FC Barcelona at age 37, when he took the reigns after replacing Frank Rijkaard in 2008. Prior to this, he handled Barcelona’s reserve team. Critics and pundits alike didn’t give him a chance due to his youth and inexperience as a first-team head coach.
But in four years, Guardiola led the Spanish giants to three La Liga championships, two Copa Del Rey titles and two UEFA Champions League triumphs.
In 2013, Guardiola left Barcelona to join German superpower, Bayern Munich. In both seasons he’s managed in Germany, the Spanish manager won consecutive Bundesliga titles, and he’s well on track to make it three this year.
Now, ready to move on once again, Guardiola will be heading one of England’s most talented and wealthy teams.
What this means is that Premier League clubs should embrace for perennial dominance by Manchester City for years to come. Manchester City already boasts a highly skilled squad, with the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and adding Guardiola will only make them better.
Not only do they already have a title-winning side, Manchester City have one of the richest bank accounts in Europe. In the past couple of years, they shelled out ample amounts of cash to acquire top talent, such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
While Guardiola isn’t renowned for his eccentric spending, mostly due to Barcelona’s focus on developing young academy talent, you can predict he’ll break the bank for several players he feels fits his playing style. Manchester City’s youth system is pretty much non-existent. They have a buy first and develop later style of progress. And Guardiola has already hinted at a minor squad overhaul, which means he’ll have to buy.
Guardiola’s managerial philosophy relies on possession and disciplined pressure. His Barcelona squad was known for its “tiki-taka” offense, one that focuses on keeping the ball and moving it around. With players like David Silva, one of the Premier League’s elite playmakers, the Spaniard will easily find success in England.
He’ll have to work on his defense, however. So far this season in the Premier League, Manchester City’s inexperienced back line has allowed 21 goals, and in two of those games, they conceded four in one sitting. The absence of veteran leader Vincent Kompany due to injury has damaged their coherence, and centerbacks like Eliquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi have committed several bluffs that have led to goals.
In regards to their discipline, their defenders have conceded more than 20 yellow cards. Compared to Guardiola’s current Bayern Munich defense, they have earned about 10 less than his future team.
If Guardiola is to succeed in the Premier League, he’ll have to work on Manchester City’s defense, but a few signings and by developing younger defenders, we could see his squad as the annual champs for years to come. Along with their already potent attack and hefty transfer budget, Guardiola has Premier League clubs fearing for the future.