Guardiola era not all failure

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Credit: Flickr

Tuesday nights away goals defeat to Atletico Madrid saw Bayern exit the Champions League and with it any chance of Guardiola signing off with European football’s biggest prize.

It was a tough defeat to take, Diego Simeone’s men play a frustrating tactic and went through with just 30% possession while Bayern missed a penalty and went close to a winner on many occasions.

They were indeed, so close to a Champions League final but it was not to be. Instead Pep Guardiola’s era as manager of the German giants comes to a close labelled a failure in not emulating the results of his predecessor.

 

Realistically when Guardiola made the move to the Basque country it was almost guaranteed his reign would end with disappointment with Bayern having the perfect season the year prior.

Jupp Heynckes won the treble, the quadruple if you take into account the German Super Cup in what was a magnificent season and one that went down as probably the club’s greatest ever season.

It was Heynckes third spell in charge of Munich having taking over in 2011 from Louis Van Gaal who could only manage a third place finish in his final season at the Allianz Arena.

In Heynckes first season in charge he finished second in the league to Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund, lost in the German cup final to the same team and of course lost out to a Drogba Chelsea in their own back yard in the Champions League final.

Then came the famous season, winning everything and leaving Guardiola the impossible task of trying to better his new side or at least emulating their successes.

The treble winning campaign was obviously no fluke but they were fortunate enough to face a Barcelona side that were far from their best in the semi-final as they won 7-0 on aggregate and face a team they had the psychological edge over in the final, Dortmund.

Guardiola took over with a completely different style of play and implementing it was no straightforward task.

Despite losing the German Super Cup Bayern did win the European Super Cup, followed at the end of the season by the German Cup and the Bundesliga with a record seven games to go. Beating the record set by Heynckes team the year before.

Unfortunately for Guardiola his side were humbled in the Champions League semi-final by eventual winners Madrid losing out 5-0 on aggregate. Unlike the season before Spanish teams were back on top and it was to be an all Spanish and in fact an all Madrid final.

The next season was another straightforward title win as Dortmund struggled and Guardiola stood nine points clear of second placed Wolfsburg for two titles in two years with the Spaniard at the helm.

A 5-3 aggregate defeat to Barcelona, eventual winners like the year before ended the European adventures at the semi-final yet again and there was to be no domestic cup win in 2015 either.

This season was slightly closer in the Bundesliga, with two games remaining Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund are five points behind and still in with a chance mathematically but in all likelihood Guardiola will make it three titles in a row for himself and four for the club.

Indeed, four titles in a row has never been done before since the Bundesliga’s formation in 1963 and is a testament to the consistency Guardiola has brought to Munich.

 

Failing to emulate Jupp Heynckes was always a high possibility when Guardiola took over but having continued to dominate domestically is it really fair to label his reign a failure just because he couldn’t win the Champions League?

Also there is every chance Atletico will win the competition and it will be three years losing to the eventual winners.

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