Pep Guardiola had been linked with Manchester City far too long for the announcement of his arrival at Etihad to come as a surprise. Pep has signed a three-year contract with the Citizens and is expected to arrive at the Etihad Stadium in July this year.
Pep Guardiola has been the most sought after Manager since last one year, with clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea prying into Guardiola’s availability over the coming seasons. After landing the likes of Guardiola, there is not a single reason to regard Manchester City as just another noisy neighbours of Manchester United.
Football pundits have made various predictions about changes that will be taking place upon Guardiola’s arrival. However, with his profound wisdom of the game, Guardiola can invoke a new spirit of hope and inspiration among all other Premier League clubs while taking City to the next level at the same time.
The following four changes are very likely to occur when the Spanish Manager arrives in Manchester:
New Faces And Replacements
Yaya Toure is on the verge of City exit, and his agent has spoken quite openly about it. Yaya Toure has not been at his best in this season so far, and Guardiola would ideally want someone younger and more energetic, for instance, Paul Pogba, to replace him. Now that City has acquired the most coveted Manager in the world, they have a high chance of landing Pogba in Manchester anytime this summer.
There is no doubt that, with Guardiola on their side, Sky Blues can contest for some of the finest talents of the game across the world. With injury-prone Aguero, Guardiola will have in mind at least one more world class striker to bring along to Etihad. Lewandowski is a very viable option and serves as a perfect replacement for Aguero if need be.
It may be too early to predict what Messi would be thinking at this point, but a move from Barcelona to City is not unlikely, not only because of Guardiola but Messi would have a chance to play alongside his compatriots, Zabaleta, Otamendi and Sergio Aguero.
Samir Nasri can be a useful asset for Pep because of his good ball control and ball retention rate. Nasri, 28, has been linked with a move away from Etihad, with Roberto Mancini already making an unofficial enquiry. However, Nasri might just change his mind to stick to Sky Blues and spend one more year under Pep before finalising his prospects.
Style Of Play
Guardiola’s style, the tika-tika with ball control and possession, requires a lot of skill, preparation and the ability to act out the script on the pitch with precision. It isn’t that City lack anything regarding quality, but following precise instructions from the manager and carrying them out in the field requires players with a high level of competence.
In his tenures at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Pep has moulded his craft to perfection. His managerial prowess is an extension of the system that was mastered by Johan Cruyff while managing Barcelona; not to mention Guardiola played for Barcelona under Cruyff’s era.
Premier League is fast, and there are a few clubs which play the kind of football Pep brings to the training pitch. Luckily, Manchester City is one of them. It won’t be too hard to adapt to Pep’s style, considering their quality. If City succeeds with Pep, which is very probable, all other Premier League clubs will consider overhauling their perception towards tika-taka and might eventually try it out.
After losing to Leicester City unconvincingly, the Citizens have proved that they are ready to let go of Manuel Pelligrini, which is not surprising. Pelligrini is in his third season and most big club managers lose their grip on the players by this time, Jose and Rodgers being the recent examples.
With Pep’s arrival, the expectations will be enormous. Players will get a different understanding of the gameplay, and the management will be expecting favourable outcomes considering the amount of money they will be willing to spend on Pep’s suggestion. Manchester City fans have been complaining for a few years now that the club does not get as much attention as some of the other Champions League playing giants. But with the arrival of the world’s most wanted manager, these trends are destined to change.
Change Of Positions
When it comes to player roles, No manager is harder to predict than Pep. At Bayern, the Spaniard has switched player positions more often than any other manager, who would deem such rotations as senseless or unnecessary. But he knows his tactics would work just because he makes them work.
For example, Thomas Muller has played as a striker, an attacking midfielder, second striker and a winger. Even Lahm and Douglas Costa have moved from fullback to attacking wings and the other way around, quite often. It would be interesting to see how current City squad, which may not have as much quality as Bayern do, would go through these subtle changes.