The news of the renewal of the contract of Pep Guardiola until 2023 testifies the willingness of Manchester City to continue a story commenced in the summer of 2016, after the former Barcelona coach was announced as successor of Manuel Pellegrini on February 1st of the same year.
We announced it few days ago, it was in the air and it happened. Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have extended their relationship until 2023. However, considering the amount of money Guardiola is paid every year, is it a good investment for the Citizen?
If we evaluate the results of Pep Guardiola in England, we notice a respectable series of successes. 2 consecutive English Premier League titles in 2017-2018 and in 2018-2019; 3 consecutive English Football League (EFL) Cups from 2018 to 2020, 1 FA Cup in 2018-2019, and 2 Community Shield wins in 2018 and in 2019. Well-done, Pep… but something is missing, isn’t it?
Yes, because Guardiola imposed his supremacy, as happened with Bayern Munich in Germany, only within the borders of the United Kingdom. No European competitions have been won by Pep Guardiola since the Barcelona era when he has the incredible luck of deploying players like Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and other players who do not really need a coach… In addition, it must be noted that once Jurgen Klopp implemented his revolution at Liverpool, Man City had little chance of lifting important domestic trophies.
In any event, let’s continue to pile up numbers and data. Pep Guardiola is the manager with the highest percentage of wins in the recent seasons of EPL. Here’s the numbers: Guardiola 73%, Conte 67%, Klopp 65%, Ferguson 65%, Mancini 62%, Mourinho 61%, Ancelotti 58%, Wenger 57%, Pellegrini 53% and Pochettino 52%. And, once again, we are talking about domestic competitions. If we have a look out how Man City performed outside the United Kingdom, results are not up to the standard.
Manchester City never managed to reach the semifinals of the Champions’ League in the 4 years with Guardiola losing 3 times in the quarters finals (against Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon) and once in the first round against Monaco. Unfortunately, in Munich Pep Guardiola did not have better results. However, several critics have highlighted how Barcelona did not stop winning after Guardiola’s departure and how Bayern commenced to win after Guardiola era. In addition, it must be noted that the famous “tiki-taka” and that masterpiece of midfielders at Barcelona has been set up by Frank Rijkaard.
The untold truth is that Guardiola was only in the right place at the right time. Another aspect that definitely need to be taken into consideration is the amount of money he loves to spend for top-notch players. In the last 5 seasons, Man City has spent in excess of 940 million euros to bring top players to the City of Manchester Stadium. Even worse if we calculate that the market transfer balance between players bought and players sold is minus 627 million euros. We talk another day about the financial fair play and the dodgy emails… So, there is no excuse in this sense. Guardiola has always had the best at his disposal. Whenever he did not have the best, it was his fault at picking up the wrong players.
So, is Guardiola worth all that money? Frankly, no. Is Guardiola the best coach around? No. Definitely in the top 10 but definitely not in the top 3. However, do not get me wrong. Nobody is stating that Guardiola is not a great manager, but to make him the most paid coach in the world is definitely a serious miscalculation. Particularly, when he does not have Messi, Iniesta and Xavi to make him win!