Last year, Pep Guardiola had arrived at a crucial moment with the team Manchester City. It was a crossroads he had never encountered before.
Towards the end of his tenure with the team Barcelona, the Spaniard found himself in trouble.
Barca has won 14 trophies in their four seasons in charge, becoming the world’s best team. But he felt the cracks begin to show.
Both men did not question their advice. Stick to your beliefs, and keep renewing the team.
Ferguson, an expert on that method, summed it up succinctly: “Reuse your team, or before you know it will reuse you.”
This is not the first time Guardiola has chosen to ignore counsel.
At the end of the 2011-12 season, the fourth in the club. The exhausted and frustrated Guardiola realized he could no longer get what he needed from players who had long hung their voices.
Suffice it to say, to the surprise of everyone in Barcelona. He went to supplement his batteries on a one-year Sabbath in the United States.
Properly revived, he returned a year later to take over at Bayern Munich. But, despite having three Bundesliga titles and two German trophies.
He felt that the players and strikers did not fully understand what he was trying to do during his three-season stint. So in the City – and more success.
However, by the end of the corrupt 2019 Covid-19 season and the Premier League title got transferred to Liverpool. Guardiola had a decision to make on his contract.
At the time, Benitez and Ferguson’s names made more sense than they had done almost a decade earlier.
Did Guardiola consider leaving Man City?
At the time of this incident, Guardiola has signed a new contract. And the mutual faith between the two has been awarded the third Premier League title in his five years with City.
If he so desires, the agreement could keep him in the City for seven years. A sure sign that there was no sense in which Spain began to surpass its adoption.
In his view, he never imagined the distance from Paris St-Germain. And he won’t even go to a French club, at least because Abu Dhabi City’s owners would consider it a move. To a Qatar-owned club like PSG.
The City has never forced him to accept a negotiated application in less than 24 hours. But have been on the table for the past few months.
They asked Guardiola if he decided to leave the club and should be given a lot of notice.
A crucial moment at that time came on Guardiola’s trip to the Maldives in October. To meet with City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who assured him, he would not stay.
“We have to move on,” Guardiola got told. “We will now continue to win, and we will also do what we need to keep competing at this level. You have to stay.”
The consistency of the message from his bosses and the fact that he is comfortable and surrounded by people he trusts have done all the work.
Updated team – but renewed style
His contract with the club forced them to consider reviving the squad.
At the end of last season and the beginning of the current season, it is clear that change is needed.
The Portuguese had a very positive impact on the pitch, encouraging others and seeking most of those around him. Defenders and his team’s attackers aided by the absence of fan noise.
The first impression was that only four or five from the ‘old guard’ could be considered impractical. Although the resurgence of certain players such as Joao Cancelo and John Stones.
And how the market was affected by the epidemic made it clear that the seller needed it. To be more substantial than previously thought.
While the team was a little refreshed, it was the ways that got the most significant adjustment.
In a 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 15, City, in sixth place on the table, forced a closer look at the situation.
The feeling that the group was bored, uninterested, weak, and often short on the required enthusiasm.
The lack of proper rest and the lack of new mental health contributed to and exacerbated the situation.
Guardiola, speaking of his previous experiences at Barcelona. And Bayern began to think that perhaps his students were tired of hearing his words.
And he opened the door so that they could communicate more with his coaches than with him directly.
After a thorough analysis with his coaching staff and honest discussions about his second coach, Juan Manuel Lillo, a man who has become a great mentor than the general assistant coach, Guardiola has decided to return to his team’s game context.
In the future, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling will be in wide positions, creating more gaps within.
Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Kevin de Bruyne, now free from injury, and Cancelo, who got found to be the wing midfielder, were able to make high numbers in the middle of the pitch.
Calmness got used to attacking more patiently with the ground. As Guardiola realized, he could no longer rely on Sergio Aguero‘s firmness.
He became more concerned about finding a way to put more bodies in the box. He wanted the wingers, midfielders, and even full-backs to be a goal threat.
That’s how Gundogan started scoring goals regularly and why Foden started bringing in numbers. That was better than those produced by club champion David Silva in his first season in England.
The manager has decided that the most important thing for him is the players who provide the fluid, their touch.
And the first position that allows the ball to move quickly. That was the decisive factor in his choice of significant games.
An obsession with counters
A side effect of this new approach has been many players in front of the ball. With which the problem arose as to how to reduce the threat of possible opposing attacks.
In Guardiola’s first year at City, they conceded five goals on the card, and they looked weak when they lost the ball. From then on, this was one of Guardiola’s victims.
This season he has decided that there will be a line-up of four full-backs after the ball, including two middle-halves, a full-back, usually Cancelo, and a midfielder in charge.
This season they have allowed themselves simultaneously a quick change after agreeing to hold on.
Also, Guardiola has boarded the board that sometimes the results have to get used down and well built. And City starts playing differently, less bright than before but consistent.
In December, a crucial game, a 1-0 win against Southampton, did not produce good football but allowed City to compete with the big teams. There was great relief and joy at the end of that game.
If there was a ‘eureka’ moment that came on January 3 when City, eight points Liverpool leaders at the time, blew Chelsea 3-1.
With City trailing 3-0 in the 34th minute, everything Guardiola had worked for got included in the first-half masterclass.
A 4-1 win at Anfield in February, as at Stamford Bridge, except the old number nine. It meant they had established a successful formula for significant games.
It was the same building that Guardiola used to do this weeks ago.
Within the epidemic, the lack of rest on a busy calendar. And the need to change the energy of the season that did not start well.
Moreover, this can get considered an excellent example of the team-building Guardiola has produced in his career.
It would be best if you only looked at how difficult it has been for some opponents. To maintain the harmony needed to challenge the topic.
Guardiola coached the players and helped convert youngsters into a fully formed team to meet his needs.
Even De Bruyne, signed before the manager’s arrival, was hired with his knowledge and permission.
He has come out on the other side with the Premier League title. And the Carabao Cup and could complete the treble when City faces Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 29.
Where will Guardiola strengthen next?
When Guardiola arrived in City, he received a precise moment. Dominate the home area and gain a typical appearance in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
With three league titles in five years, home domination exists. And this season was his first Champions League final since his arrival.
He roamed the streets with a 4-1 win over Paris St-Germain. Those who look to reduce his success claim that success gets achieved.
By spending big money on bringing some of the best players in the world, a statement that is as true as over-emphasis.
Among the Premier League’s ‘money-spinners,’ there is little difference in the cost of their clubs.
City’s XI spent this season could finally cost £ 499.8m, while Manchester United’s equivalent is £ 504.2m.
The only real difference is that Guardiola has grown and developed himself completely. The goods he receives.
But there is room for more purchases.
With Aguero’s departure at the end of the season and Sterling and others seemingly putting their accuracy. In front of the goal, however, too many chances got wasted.
The City has been jealous of other strikers, and it is something the team will try to fix in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi continues to be the club’s last dream, although the most important thing is to bring in a striker.
In the next five or six years, a young man at a high level could turn a high percentage of the chances on the side.
Yes, City is one of 14 teams that have shown interest in Erling Braut Haaland. And are hoping to convince him to join the club.
All of this is possible as Guardiola continues to lead a significant team rebuilding in his career. A team shaped entirely by what he dreams of having on the field.