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How Did Manchester City Successfully Secure Pep Guardiola As Manager In 2016?

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How Did Manchester City Successfully Secure Pep Guardiola As Manager In 2016?

A number of reasons are put forth when analysing Manchester City’s phenomenal success under current manager, Pep Guardiola.

One school of thought emphasises the Catalan boss’ tactical genius as the difference-maker between his side and their competitors across England.

Another perspective focuses on the Sky Blues’ incredible strength-in-depth, that has allowed the 51 year-old to employ such a defined brand of football over the years without breaking a sweat.

Certain detractors’ lackadaisical assessment disallows them to look beyond the club being a financial powerhouse as the prime reason behind Pep Guardiola’s stellar record in English football.

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However, a facet that often gets overlooked is how Manchester City prepared for the former Bayern Munich coach’s arrival years ago.

Pep Guardiola in Manchester City training.
Pep Guardiola in Manchester City training.

Unlike in the case of other high-profile managerial appointments such as Manchester United and PSG’s hirings of Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino respectively, the structure around Manchester City has been set in place for the former Barcelona tactician to thrive since his arrival in the summer of 2016.

Elaborating on the topic, the club's CEO Ferran Soriano highlighted how the club initiated the transition from former manager Manuel Pellegrini to Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

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Speaking on the Chilean coach, Soriano said, “What he knew was the reality because Manuel (Pellegrini) is an extraordinary person and we like him so much."

"The reality of what happened, and I can tell you, is that first we made a technical assessment that was done by Txiki (Begiristain) that told us we needed a new coach."

"Then we looked at all the available candidates, and our preferred candidate was Pep Guardiola”, he revealed in a recent episode of the Dr. Football Podcast.

Manchester City officials and Pep Guardiola with the Premier League title.
Manchester City officials and Pep Guardiola with the Premier League title.
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Ferran Soriano continued, “So we spoke to Pep (Guardiola) and he said, ‘I want to go to Bayern Munich. This is what I feel I have to do now for different reasons. I’m going to go to Bayern Munich’."

"So, we went to the second on the list who was Manuel Pellegrini. So, Manuel Pellegrini knew that we had spoken to Pep first, and this was natural because both Txiki and I had worked with Pep before."

"Manuel had a three-year contract, the contract expired naturally, and one year before it expired, we told him, ‘Now Pep wants to come. So, he will come’."

Soriano closed, "Then, Manuel was the one who decided, ‘Okay, I’m fine, I don’t have a problem’. It was a very natural transition.”

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Pep Guardiola celebrates another Premier League title
Pep Guardiola celebrates another Premier League title

While the Chilean managed to steer Manchester City to the 2013/14 Premier League title in his debut campaign, followed by second and fourth place finishes domestically, the single-mindedness of individuals like Ferran Soriano to get the best manager in the business is what has led to the club’s era of untouchable dominance.

Pep Guardiola currently has one year remaining on his current Manchester City deal, although there is optimism in various quarters that the Catalan boss will extend beyond next summer.

The recent signing of Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez, and Kalvin Phillips would suggest that there has already been an indication from the coach that the aforementioned eventuality will be the case.

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

Topics: Manchester City, Premier League, Pep Guardiola, Football

Srinivas Sadhanand
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