There is already a before and after for Guardiola in the technical direction, I tell a Colombian colleague. -So much so…? Isn’t it much…? -, He answers me. -And Ancelotti…?-He adds.
Ancelotti is an excellent group manager, Klopp, Tuchel, Simeone, Xavi, Scaloni are also good. And so many others. The issue is not about titles, that Guardiola has twice as many as almost everyone, it is about being revolutionary.
(Yerry Mina: the great goal he scored and that can save Everton from relegation)
(Shakira and Piqué: lawyer responds to the appearance of her children in the video of ‘Acrostic’)
Rinus Michels, for many experts, including France Football, The Times and other publications, is the best coach in history. And he was never world champion or champions. She didn’t need it, he left a legacy that changed the way of understanding the game, of practicing it.
He improved it. Until him, football was positional, the old-fashioned way, the full-back played on the full-back, 9 out of 9, no one left his zone, he scored little and everything was more or less as it had been invented eighty years before.
From Michels a series of unknown concepts were born such as continuous dynamics, constant rotation, everyone playing everything, pressure, possession of the ball, overtaking to leave the opponent out of play. And, in the process of trying, the rivals conceded four and five goals. It was called “total football”. This sport changed forever from the Amsterdam.
It is true, when he arrived at Ajax, Michels met a very good 18-year-old boy named Cruyff, and with Piet Keizer and Win Suurbier, but the others were NN. Ajax was a semi-amateur team and with Michels it began its transformation.
Ajax would come to dominate europe and holland would emerge as a world power. It never occurred to anyone to say «sure… with the millions from Ajax even my grandmother wins», or «with Cruyff I win too», or «why not with Getafe…» In the table of winning coaches, Michels He marches in the third platoon, he is not even among the top twenty, on the other hand, when enunciating himself to the geniuses of the game, he will always fight for first place.
Forty years before Rinus there was another innovator, the English Herbert Chapmann, known as The father of tactics, creator of the so-called WM, as it had four lines: 3-2-2-3 and that formed the two letters. Before Chapman, the so-called “classic system” or 2-3-5 prevailed. Chapman surprised and the Arsenal, his team, won five consecutive leagues in England. Then, as always happens, others adopted his formula and others dared to try new ones.
To the 32 titles that he has accumulated as a coach, Guardiola can add three more in the next twenty days: the Premier, the English Cup and the Champions League. However, they will add nothing to the sage dimension of him.
The sensational victory of his Manchester City over Real Madrid 4-0 in the semifinal of Europe, dazzling, overwhelming, once again put the strategist (the word is never so fair) from Catalonia.
The superiority was such that Madrid looked like a Lilliputian team covered by the shadow of a giant. We never allow you to attempt a serious reaction. He erased Vinicius, Benzema, Modric, the possible game-generating valves. He destroyed it with that velvety game of infinite passes and touches
It was 4-0 because Courtois and Providencia are Madridistas. It was for 6 or 7, but still the result does not reflect the ball, the festival of football, the excellence of the game, the feast for the eyes that was Manchester City. He overwhelmed Madrid with pure touch, with pure quality. It was a symphony orchestra suppressed notes of the highest quality ever seen.
Only comparable to the Barcelona of Guardiola himself from 2008 to 2012. After 15 minutes, the Ciudadano team had given 124 passes against 14 for Real Madrid. And possession was 79 percent to 21 percent. Wherever the ball went there was always someone from City to capture it and play it neatly, accurately and with sense. Always an uncovered partner and in a good location to continue progressing in the maneuver. It was so overwhelming that it was stupefying.
For the record, none of City’s five goals in the double confrontation were the work of Erling Haaland. It was not necessary, they all reached goal position and could score. The way City plays, goals are not sought, they are found. And I found four. El Chiringuito, the newspapers Brand and AS, the SER Chain, the entire Madrid industry modified installing the idea that Guardiola’s is «the little football», that is, football with meaningless little passes, without verticality, ingenious football, which is boring, but Pep’s teams are the most winners and scorers that there is a record. And what if they have fun…! A silk football that drives rivals crazy and enchants neutral audiences.
«The unbalancing factor is Pep, his method, his idea, indecipherable for rival technicians.»
«Of course, with all those stars, how can he not win…?» Detracts from multitudes of Guardiola’s cons. We ask: Is Stones a star…? Akanji is a star…? Are Walker, Ruben Dias, Gundogan, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Foden, Julián Álvarez stars…? No one spoke of them before they arrived in the city. We can give the label of galactics to From Bruyne and Haaland, OK, the rest are good or very good footballers who were within the reach of any of the powerful clubs in Europe.
Madrid’s last offer for Mbappé was 220 million euros. That’s having money…! He did not sign him because Kylian preferred to continue at PSG. While Madrid insisted on him against PSG, City took Haaland for 60. With those 220, Madrid bought four Haalands, they simply did not know how to see it, City did. Guardiola paid 50 million for Bernardo Silva, Tchouameni cost him 80 Florentine Perez. Who is the richer of the two…?
Millions aside: if the same twenty-two played on Wednesday, but we changed the coaches, how would the game end…? Possibly Madrid won 4-0. The unbalancing factor is Pep, his method, his idea, indecipherable for rival coaches. No one has ever exerted so much influence on the game, especially in modern times, where we have always heard that «everything is already invented». But he keeps inventing.
Position for position, Madrid surpasses City in quality, City crushes it in a team game. Of course, Pep needs good interpreters to make his idea come true, this is football, not table football, they are not dolls managed from outside. Everyone needs good material to be successful. But, be careful, this season City signed for 150 million and sold for 186. It happens that there is a good eye. If Guardiola broke with City tomorrow and announced that he wants a 100 million euro annual contract, there would be a queue of clubs bidding to hire him. From England only, six or seven. The phenomenon is him.
«Why don’t you do the same with Almería…?», they ask on Twitter, that source of wisdom. With the same endowment that Almería has today, I would optimize it, in three months its performance would improve significantly and with a couple of reinforcements it would begin to fight for European cup positions. Reaching the Champions League final is a personal revenge for the extraordinary Catalan director and, at the same time, reaching the pinnacle for the City project, which since it was taken over by the Emirati investment fund has been a stairway to excellence. They took a club below the middle table and with eleven relegations and increased it by a universal mark.
Legions hope that someday Guardiola will come out, even if he is second, to let off steam: “Did you see…? I told you, it’s a log» But don’t get excited…
(Nairo Quintana: in Europe, they are hard on him, they hit him with the bucket and bless him)
FOR THE TIME