Pep Guardiola is considered the finest coach of his generation.
Perhaps the line that bests describes the Catalan’s tactical philosophy is this: “If there isn’t a sequence of fifteen previous passes, a good transition between attack and defence is impossible. Impossible.”
Essays, books and theses have been written to try and understand his tactics, but no one has better summarised Pep’s footballing doctrine in a single sentence.
The point itself is one that has been debated a great deal with the rise of tiki-taka and possession-based football in the past decade, although the Man City manager’s success is the greatest possible riposte to all the sceptics.
When he came to England and his methods were questioned by the Proper Football Men, Guardiola dug in: “I’m sorry, guys. I’m not going to change.”
By that stage Pep had already won 21 trophies in seven years, equivalent to a treble every season. Now that he’s added a Premier League medal to that haul, the doubters have almost all disappeared. Funny that.
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Words by Ste McGovern