Pep Guardiola – Genius Or Just A Lucky Man?

Many people think that coach Pep Guardiola is lucky to lead strong teams in his career. However, to have that “luck”, he must be a person with real talent.

On March 1, Man City won the English League Cup after winning 3-1 against Aston Villa in the final. This is the 29th time Pep Guardiola has won the title after 11 years of participating in coaching.

Pep Guardiola spent 625 official matches with 3 clubs Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and Man City. The Spaniard lost an average of 21.5 matches to win a title. He is one of the coaches who need the fewest matches to win a title in football history. Pep is a true genius with the calculations in how to build the game.

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Pep Guardiola - Genius Or Just A Lucky Man?
After his contributions to Man City, Pep deserves praise

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Absolute control

In the summer of 2016, Pep officially left Bayern Munich to take over as the head coach at Man City. At that time, Joe Hart was the captain and goalkeeper of the Etihad Stadium. He was also the main catcher in England’s goal in EURO 2016. In the Premier League, Hart is also one of the top goalkeepers.

However, Pep Guardiola does not want to use Hart because the English goalkeeper does not play well. He prefers absolute ball control and short passes from the home court are the foundation. With Pep, a long ball to the top up the risk of losing the ball. When Pep was leading Barca or Bayern Munich, he had good goalkeepers like Victor Valdes, Jose Pinto and Manuel Neuer.

He then brought in Claudio Bravo and Ederson Moraes, virtuosity goalkeepers. With Ederson, Man City can deploy the ball in a unique way. Pep Guardiola directed the two central defenders deep back to attract the opponent striker. At that time, the two full-backs of Man City surged and waited for the correct pass from Ederson. The Brazilian goalkeeper can also pass a short pass to the central midfielder who has retreated. He always gives quality passes.

Ederson is always confident with the ability to handle his feet. He thinks that he can play well in midfield. He used to create assists from the home side to Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling to score.

In the center of the defense, Pep brought John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, the excellent central midfielders. In particular, the deal with Laporte really worth “money for rice bowl”. Pep Guardiola confirmed the French center-back deserves a price of 57 million pounds.

Most teams attack or counterattack based on the speed of the wingers. In Man City, Laporte plays an important role in speeding the ball forward. The reason given by Pep Guardiola is that Laporte is left-footed. He always observes and pays attention to every detail to build the football of his will effectively.

“It is important that Laporte is left-footed. When he receives the ball from the right-wing, he immediately turns and turns to the left, giving the ball to Leroy Sane. In this position, Laporte will deploy the ball faster than the bridge right-footed player.

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If the ball goes into the middle, he can coordinate with Riyad Mahrez. Laporte helps Man City have 2 faster deployment plans. The important thing is that City must have left-back center-left, ” Pep Guardiola said in October 2018.

Dark art

In addition, Pep Guardiola also calculated the error. A central midfielder who receives a yellow card is safer than the defensive players. When facing Man City, you will face foul situations from the middle of the field that experts call tactical foul.

Fernandinho is ready to make mistakes to prevent the opponent from the middle of the pitch
Fernandinho is ready to make mistakes to prevent the opponent from the middle of the pitch

“David (Silva), Gundo (Ilkay Gundogan), Kevin (De Bruyne), make a mistake. If there is a transition, don’t hesitate to do it. You guys will do it better than Gundo or the defenders.” have to do, “Mikel Arteta, Arsenal coach advised Man City player during his time as an assistant to Pep Guardiola. This was the moment revealed in Amazon’s documentary “All Or Nothing”.

According to Opta, Man City stands 2 and 3 in the percentage of tactical errors in the 2 seasons of 2019/20, 2017/18. Currently, the team leading this stat is Arsenal, the team that just appointed Arteta as the head coach in December 2019.

Gary Neville, a former Man United player, once criticized Pep for applying tactical fouls, but Pep Guardiola has his own reasons. When the team has more control and attacks, they face the risk of more counterattacks. And making tactical mistakes is part of helping them win from stopping goals.

Unlike Neville, the Telegraph appreciated the tactical error from Man City when Fernandinho gave the beautiful phrase: “The pinnacle of dark art”. The Brazilian midfielder plays an extremely important role in the squad that Pep Guardiola built. He is the person with the most tactical fouls in the Man City team.

Pep Guardiola - Genius Or Just A Lucky Man?
Jesus’ performance against Real reflects the effectiveness of Pep’s tactical changes.

In addition, Pep left an impression with tactical changes. Typically in the first leg of the round of 16 Champions League team with Real Madrid, he ranked Kevin de Bruyne the highest kick, next to Bernardo Silva. Meanwhile, Gabriel Jesus played wing. These options are effective for Man City.

They control the game, hold the ball, pass more, shoot almost twice the opponent (16 shots compared to 9). Pep Guardiola‘s departure from Sterling and Aguero to Jesus, who has not performed well this season, paid off with the Brazilian striker’s header.

Man City take a big advantage by creating a distance of one goal before the second leg and having 2 away goals. Pep won the team that won the Champions League record in a rare time using a 4-4-2 scheme.

In the 2019/20 season, Pep Guardiola‘s Man City was far ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League rankings. In the Champions League, it is still too early to assess the championship ability of the Etihad team. If you look only at the distance Pep Guardiola has traveled with Man City, he is really a genius.
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