This past weekend Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said that people would see him as a failure if Manchester City did not win the Champions League under him, but was he right, or just being very hard on himself?
Under Guardiola City are playing their best football in the history of the club and they have won 2 league titles from the four possible to him. In his first season he had to see, Chelsea win the league, then City won two in a row amassing an incredible 198 points, an unbelievable total. This season Liverpool are surely going to win it and might break every record along the way.
But trophy wise Guardiola has won 7 with City in his 3 seasons so far. We can’t count this season given that the club are in the final of the Carabao Cup, there is also the FA Cup and Champions League to look at too, even if the league looks gone.
This is all well and good and being dominating especially in the Carabao Cup has been excellent, but then again it is England’s second cup. To suggest Guardiola has not done a good job at City is plain silly of course. It is not just what the club have achieved on the pitch. It is also the mentality which he has installed in his players. His one to one chats, the fact that he can understand problems at the club before they happen, he is an absolute master of this and the run his players had to achieve to fend off Liverpool last season was simply incredible. Remember as champions all of the pressure was on them.
But it is true there is that lingering feeling that City have not won the Champions League and it comes about very naturally when you see all of the money the club have spent. And of course they have Guardiola who won 2 Champions Leagues with Barcelona in the space of 3 years.
Guardiola was so successful at Barcelona he has become a victim of his own success. He has not won the Champions League since 2011 and what is happening with City happened at Bayern Munich- all dominant in the league but in Europe they kept falling short under Guardiola. But does anyone seriously think he failed in Germany? Surely not.
City will have to conquer Real Madrid in the knock out rounds when the competition resumes this month. This isn’t the same Madrid from a couple of years ago but then again City have looked fragile too, having lost 6 games this season in the league. Of note a Guardiola led team has never lost more than six games in a single season.
So failure seems the wrong word if Pep does not achieve European glory. Could have done better would be the teachers report though, only because of the money spent and the bar that Guardiola has raised from football.
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