Another Futile Season at Man City Could Turn the Tide against Guardiola

Filed under Premier League

Pep Guardiola will join Manchester City from Bayern Munich ahead of the 2016/17 season

Getting sacked isn’t something Pep Guardiola ever had to worry about. An incredible first season at Barcelona saw him catapulted into the limelight and gain acceptance as an elite coach after winning three major trophies, much to the surprise of the football world.

Promoted from coaching the Barcelona B team after Frank Rijkaard’s dismissal, he won the treble in his first season. Guardiola followed that with a record six trophies is his first calendar year in charge at the Camp Nou. A total 14 trophies during his four-year reign in Catalunya included becoming the youngest coach to win the Champions League.

Guardiola brought an entertaining attacking style to Barcelona, turning them into the most difficult club to defend against. It had a major impact on Lionel Messi, turning him from a relative unknown to a Balon d’Or winner.

After a year-long sabbatical, he moved to coaching with German club Bayern Munich. As well as winning the Bundesliga title in each of his three seasons in charge, he guided the Bavarians to UEFA Super Cup, DFB Pokal and FIFA Club World Cup glory. The Champions League was the only trophy to elude him at the Allianz Arena.

Expectations were high when he joined Manchester City last summer, given his pedigree as the best manager of his generation. The City hierarchy envisaged a flood of silverware but 2016-17 proved to be the first trophy-less season in the Spaniard’s career.

Guardiola took England by storm with 10 consecutive wins in the first ten games. Six came in the Premier League, but then City slipped to third place, finishing 15 points adrift of eventual champions Chelsea.

They crashed out of the Champions League to Monaco in the Round of Sixteen, and lost to Arsenal at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. That forced the club chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak to admit there was “nothing to celebrate” in defeat.

At Barcelona and Bayern, Guardiola knew he would have been shown the door. Despite City’s tolerance, the pressure on him now is greater than before to deliver trophies. He spent £220 million in the transfer window to bring in Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Kyle Walker, Danilo, and Benjamin Mendy. And he needs them to deliver.

At the end of last season, Al-Mubarak declared that not winning any trophy was a disappointment for the club; a repeat will not be tolerated. Guardiola and his men need results on the pitch.

Anything less than the Premier League title and Champions League semi-finals will put Guardiola’s future at the club up in the air. Another trophy-less season could be too expensive for him to afford.

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