Bayern chief Pep Guardiola may fail at Manchester City


FC Bayern manager Pep Guardiola is rumored to be on his way to Manchester City to replace the disappointing Manuel Pellegrini.

Pep Guardiola doesn’t have anything left to prove in the world of football. He’s won at the highest level and has achieved everything imaginable. Still, to his credit, he sees the Premier League as his last unconquered frontier. Reports suggest he will make the move to Manchester City as his last managerial stop. While it’s certainly possible that a move to City will end in great success, no one is acknowledging the possibility that the move might end in failure.

Guardiola is a great manager. Unfortunately, being a great manager isn’t all he will need to be a success at City. The Premier League is a different animal than Guardiola has encountered in Spain or Germany.

The latest Premier League television deal has changed the game in England. Now, instead of just a certain handful of teams having the resources to compete for the title, the truth is that most of the Premier League’s teams have the money to muster an occasional title run.

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In Guardiola’s previous stops, he’s known that he only has to out manage a handful of competing sides. If he moves to the Premier League, he’s going to need to out perform over half the league.

He may very well be capable of doing just that. He’s a tactical genius and he has earned the respect of world-renowned players at each of his stops. High-profile players would likely clamor to play for Pep at City. He’d be armed with his own reputation and Manchester City’s bottomless resources. That would certainly be a formidable combination that could equal great success.

What if Guardiola makes a few transfer mistakes and maybe he encounters a few difficult personalities on the team? He won’t have his usual comfortable resource advantage to paper over any conflicts or mistakes. It will be a new challenge for him to work from a position of relative resources equality. This brings the possibility of failure firmly into play.

Guardiola should be universally applauded for seeking out a new challenge in football. The easiest path for him would be to remain at Bayern and garner multiple more Bundesliga titles. He would likely be able to see out his career in whatever manner he saw fit with little fan or club pressure. Instead, he wants to challenge himself in the world’s most competitive league. He isn’t riding off into the sunset, he’s riding off into a fiery cauldron of competition.

Pep Guardiola may very well move to Manchester City and bring titles and glory galore to the Etihad. It’s not a foregone conclusion though. The Premier League isn’t necessarily the best league in the world, but it does have more parity than any league he’s competed in previously. That will present a challenge to him that will be worth watching and might, just might, end in failure.