On January 16th, the football world was stunned to learn that after a whole summer of speculation, the legendary Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola would join the Bavarian side FC Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013.
A few years ago, such a move would have been considered impossible. A coach as wildly successful as Pep Guardiola making a move to Germany, even to the most successful club in Germany, would have been almost unthinkable.
But as it stands, Guardiola will not be making the move to England that many had hoped for. So how will the former Barcelona man fare in Germany?
In this article, we will explore the reasons that the Catalan manager made the best choice in going to Die Bayern, and why he will succeed with the Bavarian Giants.
Bayern Have a Similar Style To Barca
Everyone is familiar with Barcelona’s now famous style of football, tiki-taka. The possession based, free-flowing, attacking game is both pleasing to the eye and gets pleasing results for fans.
So when Guardiola tries to get Bayern to play a possession style game, how will they fare? In all likelihood, the Bavarians will excel.
Bayern Munich already average 63.7% possession per game, second only to the Catalan giants. The transition to possession based football won’t be much of a transition for Bayern, because they already play something similar.
Of course, Bayern Munich do not play like Barcelona. They play a much more physical game, and the way that they press opposing teams is very different from Barcelona’s.
Guardiola is a smart man, and a smart manager. It’s likely that he won’t attempt to make Bayern Munich into the same team as Barcelona. Fans of Die Roten can expect a more fluid, passing game, similar to that under former manager Louis Van Gaal.
Bayern Munich’s Youth Academy
Everyone knows about Barcelona’s incredible youth academy La Masia which has produced the talents of Xavi Hernandez, Carles Puyol, Andres Iniesta, and of course four time Balon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
Many fans will be asking themselves how Pep Guardiola will manage without the famed academy.
Luckily for Guardiola, he won’t have to look far. Bayern Munich has arguably the second best youth academy in the world at their disposal.
Talents like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philip Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos, Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Mats Hummels have recently come through the Bavarians youth ranks and have proven themselves not only on the domestic scale, but on the international one time and time again.
With prospects like Emre Can, who has been highly touted by Bayern management for some time now coming onto the first team, Pep Guardiola will have plenty of youth players to work with.
A lot has been made of Pep Guardiola’s failings in the transfer market, particularly the Zlatan Ibrahimovic debacle which not only was a poor transfer for Barcelona but also cost the club a substantial amount of money.
However, recent evidence shows that Joan Laporta may have had more to do with the transfers than Pep Guardiola did, which might explain some of the major blunders made by the Catalan club while he was in charge.
Pep Guardiola will have not have the same problem with Bayern Munich Sporting Director, Matthias Sammer.
Sammer has a special knowledge not only of Bayern’s youth academy, but of most of Germany’s youth systems. One of his previous jobs was working for the DFB as technical director with a special focus on youth teams ages eleven to eighteen, and he worked specifically to incorporate the latest developments in sports science into the training the young players received.
In other words, Matthias is the perfect man to work with Guardiola. His knowledge of Germany’s youth systems will not only be invaluable to Guardiola when managing Bayern, but also when looking into brining in young talent to the Bavarian club.
Assuming the two can get along, they will be able to turn Bayern Munich build Bayern Munich into a team set for long term success.
Only Time Will Tell
Of course, nothing is set in stone. Guardiola had incredible success with FC Barcelona and is one of the most exciting coaches in the world, but nothing guarantee’s that he will be a success with Bayern Munich.
However, Pep Guardiola has everything he needs at his disposal to turn Bayern Munich into a trophy winning machine.
Whatever happens, it is certainly going to be worth watching.