Pep Guardiola Named Next Manchester City Manager: Latest Details and Reaction

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2016

Bayern's head coach Pep Guardiola gestures during a press conference ahead of the Champions League Group F soccer match between Dinamo Zagreb and Bayern Munich, in Zagreb, Croatia, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Darko Bandic/Associated Press

Manchester City have announced Bayern Munich and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola will be taking over as manager for the 2016-17 campaign.

ESPN FC passed along confirmation:


BREAKING: Manchester City confirm Pep Guardiola to be named as manager in the summer on a three-year deal.

Goal.com tweeted an official statement:

Goal UK @GoalUK

Manchester City statement https://t.co/rh35MM89v7

Jonathan Smith of ESPN FC reported City believe they beat out Manchester United and Chelsea, which were both vying for Guardiola's services.

Smith, citing sources, reported "both clubs showed interest in trying to land the 45-year-old, but he instead opted for the Etihad."

Smith also reported that the club informed current manager Manuel Pellegrini about the decision to hire Guardiola last week. Smith noted "there is no acrimony over the decision, with Pellegrini now free to look for other jobs for next season."

Former England international Gary Lineker wasn't exactly shocked:

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

Breaking news. Manchester City confirm the worst kept secret in football: Pep Guardiola will be their coach next season.

Copa90 couldn't help but notice the timing of the announcement:

Guardiola rose to prominence with Barcelona, where he took the role as manager in 2008 and immediately guided the team to his first of three La Liga titles. Under his watch, the side also won two UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey trophies.

The Spaniard quickly became known for his free-flowing, attacking philosophy built around possession and quick passing, and he had the perfect forward for his system in Lionel Messi. Frequently using the Argentina international as a false nine, movement in the attacking third became a staple of his Barcelona teams.

He took that same philosophy with him to Germany when he became coach of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in 2013 after a brief sabbatical. With Bayern, he won the Bundesliga title in his first two seasons at the helm.

Alexander Hassenstein/Associated Press

In Germany, Guardiola wasn't afraid to immediately shake up his squad as he searched for the perfect players to use in his system. The likes of Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger left the club during his tenure, and he brought in Thiago Alcantara, Arturo Vidal, Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Xabi Alonso.

Similar transfer moves can be expected at his next club. Guardiola likes to work with players he knows will fit his philosophy, and he's never been afraid to say goodbye to veterans he doesn't believe will make his squad better.

Bleacher Report's Dean Jones and Sam Tighe looked at some possible steps he might take:

Another big aspect of his philosophy is his willingness to trust youth. With Barcelona, he was backed by the famed La Masia academy and made full use of the wealth of talent that was ready to make an impact for the senior side.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (2ndL) hugs his Head coach Josep Guardiola of FC Barcelona after scoring his team's third goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on May 5, 2012 in Barcelona,
David Ramos/Getty Images

The trend continued in Munich, perhaps best illustrated by the arrival of Kingsley Coman on loan. The Frenchman barely featured for Juventus during the 2014-15 campaign but found a regular spot in Guardiola's starting lineup a year later.

Guardiola has a superb track record of finding immediate success, but it's worth noting he twice inherited squads that were bursting with talent. At Barcelona, he got to work with Messi, the top young talent in world football at the time, and Bayern were already a dominant Bundesliga force in 2013, coming off a treble-winning season.

The Citizens field a ton of quality of their own with the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva, and with Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Kelechi Iheanacho, they boast a ton of young talent. But there are some defensive question marks, and ageing pieces like midfielder Yaya Toure will have to be replaced.

Expect the club to use its financial muscle during the summer transfer window and bring in some world-class talent, with an emphasis on players Guardiola knows he can trust. His possession-based system isn't easy to master, and it wouldn't hurt adding one or two veterans familiar with the philosophy.

City will provide the Spaniard with a new challenge, and based on his track record, silverware should follow quickly.


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