Until this point in his career, Pep Guardiola has won 9 titles with Manchester City. As for the club itself, Manchester City was founded in 1880, and after 143 years of existence, they have won a total of 23 titles. This means that the number of titles Guardiola has brought is more than one-third of the total titles in the club’s history.
It is too easy to attribute bitterness to Pep Guardiola, and it is too simplistic to deny the achievements of the Spanish strategist. However, according to statistics from the CIES Football Observatory, it is Manchester United who leads the top 5 European leagues in terms of transfer expenditure, having spent €1.59 billion to strengthen their squad, while Manchester City, often referred to as the “noisy neighbors,” ranks behind.
Klopp vs Guardiola or Mourinho vs Guardiola? It’s no doubt that Guardiola is currently the best manager in Premier League. If we talk about oil wealth or the support of leaders, PSG is even more formidable. Specifically, PSG has the backing of Qatari and French political elites. The clearest evidence is that French President Emmanuel Macron called Kylian Mbappe to prevent the French forward from moving to Real Madrid in the summer of 2022. Only a president’s call can achieve such an action with Real Madrid.
Furthermore, the two most expensive transfer deals in the world also belong to PSG (the loan of Mbappe with a subsequent purchase, and the cash payment for Neymar’s redemption). Mbappe is also the most expensive football player in the world currently. And they have mastered the art of turning UEFA’s financial fair play regulations into a farce. In contrast, Manchester City has faced legal challenges and lawsuits due to financial fair play regulations.
All of the above is to say that it’s not just money, not just oil wealth, and certainly not just the backing of new owners that have made Manchester City a dominant force, a Manchester City that is on the verge of achieving a historic “treble” as it stands now.
One key difference for Manchester City compared to the aforementioned comparisons is their manager: Pep Guardiola. Pep is the one whom Sir Alex Ferguson wanted to succeed the most when he retired in 2013. Pep is the manager that PSG’s owners desire the most to build their French team. Pep possesses qualities that both Manchester United and PSG lack, as we often refer to as the core values of a business.
Pep has a clear philosophy, a well-defined style, and this style is always in vogue. Pep is also a master in transfers, as he chooses individuals who fit his system rather than following trends or media support. Any player under his guidance is elevated.
This partly explains the quiet soft power that The Citizens possess compared to other teams: if a superstar is being contested, they tend to seek out Pep Guardiola for his guidance. Ultimately, Pep is a great strategist who always strives for perfection to win. This pushes the Sky Blues beyond their limits. However, Pep Guardiola need to win both the Champions League and Premier League to show that he is one of the best managers in England.
The people of Manchester will always remember the day when sporting director Txiki Begiristain went all around Manchester to find a house for Pep. Because the manager wanted to live in a particular house, only then did he agree to sign the contract.
No amount of money can buy Pep’s philosophy, can it?
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