20 January 2013

Rwanda: Can Guardiola Succeed At Bayern?

In the past, the German Bundesliga opted for Swiss, Dutch and German coaches. However, this time, Bayern Munich has gone the extra mile by bringing on board a Spaniard in Pep Guardiola.

The former Barcelona coach needs no introduction after winning numerous trophies in his spell at Barca. While there was talk of Guardiola joining Manchester City or Chelsea, Bayern was in the end the best option for a man who is on the verge of winding up his year-long sabbatical leave from professional football.

One of the reasons why Bayern suits Guardiola is because it is the closest you are going to get to Barcelona in terms of football philosophy.

During Louis Van Gaal's time at the club, he modeled Bayern's playing style after that of the Catalan giants. However, there are subtle differences between the two.

Bayern is much more physical than the Catalans. Bayern has a presence about them which the Catalans do not. Bayern presses incessantly; Barcelona does the same but the way in which they do so is slightly different.

Guardiola in his time at Barcelona seemed like a coach who liked to make his own decisions. Players who he did not reportedly like were not part of the club for too long. However, in Bayern, he will not be able to get rid of a player if he does not want him. Arjen Robben could turn out to be one of his biggest problems at the club for example.

Robben's attitude issues have been well managed by Jupp Heynckes who will step down at the end of the season. Heynckes brought out the best in Franck Ribery while Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller have also reached their best forms this season. He improved an incredibly leaky Bayern defence and turned it into the Bundesliga's best in 2011.

Guardiola will not be able to spend freely to bring in the players he wants as he was allowed to do in Barcelona at times. He will have to convince the top management of the player's abilities before bringing him in.

Guardiola must learn how to do deal with the German media as well. Incidents such as the recent one with Cristiano Ronaldo where he didn't shake the Portuguese's hand will not be taken lightly. He will have to answer to the media. Each of his moves will be scrutinized.

Overall, considering that Guardiola has Barca flowing through his veins, this decision is almost a strange one for Bayern and Pep knows surely that he is walking into an extremely difficult job, one that many established managers did not survive as Borussia Dortmund's Hans Joachim Watzke commented.

Guardiola must succeed; he will not be presented with a settling-in year as such. He brought success to Barca in his first season in charge and will have to do the same in Munich. He will surely be glad that his main rival's coach will be a nice man with a small beard rather than Jose Mourinho in Jürgen Klopp. He will also be glad to know that Bayern did beat Mourinho's side last season in the Champions League.

I see two outcomes; firstly, he could end up like Jürgen Klinsmann and be dumped out unceremoniously by April 2014 or go on to become one of the most successful coaches in the club's history like a certain Otmar Hitzfeld. Pep will have to win over the fans too; the majority of the fans liked Heynckes.

Guardiola has decided to take the big job. Now, he must find a way to keep everybody happy and win titles at a club where nothing but success on and off the pitch matters.

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