Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Pep Guardiola: In the Spotlight

Pep Guardiola: In the Spotlight

Bayern Munich lost the first leg of their Champions League semi final clash to Real Madrid yesterday ( 0-1, at the Bernabeu)...despite dominating possession

A lot of people weren't too pleased with Guardiola's tactics:

Bayern- but a year on they stood accused here of valuing possession football ahead of the penetrative sort. Guardian

"With Pep’s tactics, soon Bayern will be passing the ball backwards from the opposing goal line”. “Possession means nothing when the opponent takes its chances. And we can be happy Real converted only one of their good chances. -Beckenbauer

Guardiola’s obsession with possession has created a weakness in a previously flawless footballing machine. And that’s the concern: in trying to make Bayern multi-faceted, Guardiola appears to be making them more one-dimensional.

"Bayern were, tonight, everything that is wrong with tiki-taka play. Several times they had midfielders who could of run at the Madrid defense but opted to turn around and pass the ball, giving the brilliantly disciplined Real Madrid defense time to regroup

Bring back Jupp!" Bavarianworks

Ironic that Jupp finished/exposed tiki taka last year and yet Bayern bring this now out dated style back! -Bavarianworks

Mario Mandzukic played as a winger at times and Schweinsteiger the striker with either Philipp Lahm or Arjen Robben coming into the hole. Nonetheless, Bayern needed Mandzukic to be in the box and not on the wing.

Introducing Mueller late was also a faux pas

Lahm in the middle instead of at right back was just Guardiola Hubris. You might get away with that against the no-hoppers in the Bundesliga. You'll be found out against a top side like Real. He was, yesterday!

Bayern lacked urgency; this is more down to Guardiola than the team. So explosive under Heynckes, they have lost their cutting edge and go into the second leg a goal down and with no away goal to their name.

If Bayern can't turn it around in the return leg, then this match - where Madrid not only won, but maybe had the better chances and played with more threat (at least in the first half), despite having like 30% of the possession - is going to be one of the major pieces of evidence for anyone arguing Pep made Bayern worse, not better

Pep the tinkerer needs to learn an important lesson: If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it!


People put too much empathise on Bayern’s dominance of the Bundesliga as a sign they were superior to everyone. No disrespect but the only other decent team in Germany is Dortmund a poor man’s Arsenal with less squad depth. The top 3 in La Liga or the Bundesliga would probably have a similar dominance given the lack of quality in the Bundesliga. Leverkusen and Schalke were getting thrashed in the Champions League most weeks, don’t you think this was a major clue to right off their domestic form.

The signs were there. The loss to Man City and the fact Arsenal and Man Utd gave them scares when they are fairly average by elite European standards, which are shown by their low positions in the EPL table. Pardon the pun but I knew Bayern would lose when they face the real deal. If Arsenal and a terrible Man Utd at times showed Bayern can struggle against teams with superior quality than they face in the Bundesliga, it was logical they would struggle against a better quality team. Bayern are out as they clearly won’t be able to handle a fit Ronaldo and Bale on the same pitch. I guess Bayern reap what they sow, because you can build a great team by buying the best players from your rivals, but if you don’t face good enough competition week to week, you get found out when you play the elite boys of Europe who play tough games with stronger oppositions


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