Great things comes to those who wait… a while

14 trophies out of a possible 19 in 4 years is a very impressive record. Consistently playing the greatest football on the planet is also very impressive. Playing the English Champions off the park in not one, but two Champions League finals is a feat not to be sniffed out. Going to the Santiago Bernabeu and beating a Real Madrid that consisted of Ronaldo, Ozil, Alonso, Pepe and Casillas among others 5-0 is an achievement that probably couldn’t be replicated by any other side in the world.

Developing a small, lightweight prodigy into arguably (I don’t agree with this but many do) the greatest player in history is also a feat of coaching that could not be reproduced by the majority of other managers. However, despite all these incredible achievements Pep Guardiola cannot be classed as a great manager. And it may take another 3 years, at least, before we can rethink this evaluation.

I’m not going to disagree with the fact that Pep Guardiola is a fantastically good manager, because he is, but before he can be mentioned in the same breath as Ferguson, or even World Cup winners such as Marcello Lippi or Luiz Felipe Scolari he needs to prove himself at another club. He can’t really claim to have single-handedly driven Barcelona to titles as he was managing a team who had played together since they were school kids and whose quality meant that there would have been outrage if they wouldn’t have swept all before them, especially in the domestic Spanish competitions.

At no point in his reign in Cataluña did he show spectacular tactical nous, although it has to be said that he never really needed to. His transfer record was, to put it bluntly, atrocious. To pay Inter Milan £40million and Samuel Eto’o shows, I believe, a lack of understanding of his player’s worth. What about Dmytro Chygrynskiy, remember him? Barcelona paid Shakhtar Donetsk 25million Euros for the privilege of this big Ukrainian centre back yet after only one season in the north of Spain the towering defender was on his way back to Ukraine due to not being able to fit Barcelona’s style of play. That was just another example of Guardiola’s inability to spot the right player in the transfer market. There’s more as well, the same can be said of Alexander Hleb, Martin Caceres and Keirrison. None of these players are what you would call world class now yet Guardiola still spent a total of 110million Euros on these five players. Now, to me, that is more than a mistake, its frankly poor management.

Then, there’s his decision to manage Bayern. Honestly, it was an easy decision. During his tenure in charge, even if Pep goes on to win the Bundesliga every year along with the German cup he still will not be classed as great. Simply, in July he will inherit what I believe is the best squad in Europe, and will still have money to spend on improving it. Bayern have arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, the best full back in the world, the best box-to-box midfielder in the world and possibly the best pair of wingers in the world, not to mention the huge amount of depth they possess which meant that Jupp Heynckes could afford to leave Arjen Robben, Mario Gomez and Luis Gustavo on the bench in their recent champions league game at the Emirates.

The argument that Pep still has to make them gel is void seeing as they seem to have done that already, comfortably top of the Bundesliga and cruising into the Champions league quarter final suggests this team are already on the same wave length. Thus, whatever he does in Germany it should be remembered that the team playing (and probably winning) under him is not his, but an inherited one (Unless he decides to disband the squad and rebuild which is unlikely for the reasons listed above).

So, how can he become great? Well, for me it is fairly simple. Win the Barclays premier league consistently using a team that he has built himself. You can call me bias but I’m in no doubt that England’s top division is the most competitive in Europe. Until Pep Guardiola does what Arsene Wenger did with Arsenal, Fergie did with United or dare I say it, Mourinho did with Chelsea he can never be classed as a truly great manager.

Do I think he will become great? Only time will tell, but unfortunately for all football fans, it’s going to be at least another 3years until this pretender becomes a master.