Having excelled as manager of Barcelona from 2008- 2012, Pep Guardiola won fourteen trophies in all including three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues. Guardiola had revitalised Barcelona, making them the best in the Europe again with a unique style of football. During that time, the Spanish national side won three successful tournaments landing their first World Cup in 2010. Spain then struggled to retain their title in 2014 being eliminated after only two games. At Euro 2016, they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Italy.
What went wrong?
In 2013, Guardiola moved his considerable talents to German giants Bayern Munich, via a yearlong sabbatical, where he won three Bundesliga titles, two German cups and the Club World Cup.
A year after Guardiola’s appointment, Germany went on to win the 2014 World Cup, becoming the first European side to triumph in South America.
After Die Mannschaft triumphed in Brazil, Johan Cruyff spoke of Guardiola’s influence on national sides. He told German tabloid Bild: “It’s no coincidence that Spain in 2010, with seven of Guardiola’s players, became world champions or that Germany did the same with seven of his players in 2014”. Germany manager Joachim Löw also added: “We are lucky that many of this team benefit from the coaching of men like Pep Guardiola.”
So could Guardiola’s influence improve our national side?
Whilst Manchester City only have 3 England Internationals, John Stones, Fabian Delph and Raheem Sterling, in their squad it’s the league on a whole that could benefit.
In Manuel Pellegrini’s only season at the Bernabéu, where he faced Guardiola’s side at their best, Real Madrid managed 98 points, the highest points total of any Madrid side in history, but could still only finish second. You see, with Guardiola around, people have to up their game, the bar gets raised and a new style of football washes through the league. Already, his Man City side have started with nine wins from nine. The standard has been set and Guardiola’s rivals will have to respond.
If England are to succeed under new manager Sam Allardyce, they need new direction and with an education of how to play the football to compete with the world’s best. Guardiola has enhanced every league he has worked in, improving fitness and providing a platform for young players to develop.
This could this be just the shakeup the Premier League and it’s English stars need.