The law of Pep Guardiola
"The challenge is not to get to the top but to stay there."
This saying fits perfectly in the cases of David Moyes and Pep Guardiola, on last year's champions Manchester United and Bayern Munich respectively.
Indeed, about the case of David Moyes, there are already many critics questioning his coaching aspirations and doubt if his status is consistent with that of United, but things are different with Guardiola. Bayern won everything last year, reaching an incredible treble and the Spanish coach is trying to succeed again.
The questions are many in these cases. What should be changed? How big should be the changes? Leave everything the same? The main objective is one: as stated 40 years ago by Brian Clough: "To win with the best style." That's exactly what Guardiola wants to achieve. To maintain the achievements of its predecessor, but with his own "stylish" signature.
Differences between the two teams
The Spaniard coach knows what attacking and attractive football means. Under his own instructions, Barcelona conquered everything and was one of the best teams of all time. The big difference is that Guardiola was born and bred in this team, was the leader and knew the DNA of the club. In Bayern things are not the same. The football style he wants to express seems "foreign" to Bavarians. At first, he had to make his players believe the new play style and then teach them new tactics.
In fact, Bayern played 4-2-3-1 under the guidance of Jupp Heynckes. Guardiola wants to see his team playing with 4-1-4-1. This means that a defensive midfielder who covers spaces and organizing attacks from behind, two creative midfielders, two side midfielders and a striker on top. Also, the teams is characterized by constant pressing and high pressure to win the ball as soon as possible, in order to have the possession.
Pep Guardiola signs autographs for Bayern Munich fans
The first big test of was against Dortmund for the German Super Cup. Bayern lost 4-2 with the Bavarians to not show what the coach wanted. Followed two unconvincing victories for Bundesliga against Gladbach and Frankfurt and later a draw (1-1) versus Freiburg.
At that difficult point for Bayern, came the ultimate support to the new coach. The athletic director Matthias Sammer, said that some of the players of the team are not playing with passion. His words took place and the selfishness of the players brought immediate results. In the last games Bayern was much better. Guardiola found an unexpected "ally" in the effort to impose his own play-style. Philipp Lahm has taken a position in the basic axis of the team, making exceptional appearances. The Spanish coach said that Lahm is the smartest player he ever coached.
The first really convincing appearance of the "new" Bayern was the 4-0 win against Schalke away. Only a few days later, Bayern won away with a score of 1-3 against Manchester City, for Champions League, where most of the time in the game Bayern touched perfection. Looks like Pep Guardiola and his team begin to move forward, despite the last bad result against Leverkusen (1-1), in a match where Bayern had 27(!) chances to score against 5 of Leverkusen and 78% possession...