Five things Manchester City can expect from Pep Guardiola if he joins
With varying reports that Pep Guardiola is set to take over as Manchester City manager at the end of the season, Coral take a look at what fans could expect from the Champions League winning boss.
A player or two to follow him
When he joined Bayern Munich, he took Thiago Alcantara with him from former club Barcelona. With this in mind, there could be a high possibility that a similar move could occur here, if Guardiola sees fit.
However, Guardiola may have a harder task prising a player from the Bundesliga giants, with Bayern rarely letting their best players leave. Handily, he would link up with Etihad sporting directors Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, who were at Barcelona with him, so are likely to trust him in the transfer window.
Guardiola is a student of the game, who is forever evolving his systems to beat his next opponent. At Bayern, he has played with a back three, a conventional back four, with and without wingers, and a false number nine.
However, first, he will the need the kind of personnel that he feels can adapt effortlessly. This could well mean he would need to spend money in the transfer window.
Potential positional switches
Guardiola’s willingness and cunning to convert firstly Javier Mascherano from a defensive midfielder to a centre back at Barcelona, and then Philipp Lahm from a full back to a midfield anchorman due to his composure on the ball in Munich were strategic masterstrokes.
It might be hard to imagine any of City’s current players adapting to new positions, though it could happen. Guardiola is insightful when it comes to noticing a player’s characteristics and traits, and he may unearth a diamond.
While he may not recruit heavily, the players he does bring in are likely to be of the Sergio Aguero standard. Who he would bid for is another matter, though he knows La Liga inside out, and by now the Bundesliga as well, so will likely know which kind of player would suit the Premier League.
Someone like Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid, or Julian Draxler at Schalke offer the kind of versatility Guardiola craves in a player.
A different brand of football
Each team Guardiola has managed have played with a sense of urgency, and this is one trait that is likely to be implemented at City.
However, he didn’t attempt to copy the ‘tiki taka’ footballing philosophy that he had at Barcelona when he moved to Bayern. Instead he tweaked his model so that it became slightly more direct, and utilised the pace of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery.
The one characteristic that stays the same though, is the work ethic. At both Barcelona and Bayern, he insisted upon his players winning the ball back within 10 seconds of losing it, with a series of pressing tactics. This is likely to happen again if he becomes City boss.