Pep Guardiola made an exciting Bayern Munich team boring to watch and was lucky he had the players at his disposal to implement his famed possession philosophy at Barcelona, according to Peter Schmeichel.
Manchester City boss Guardiola enjoyed a trophy-laden four-year spell in charge at Camp Nou, winning three LaLiga titles as well as the Copa del Rey and Champions League twice apiece.
The Catalan then continued his success in the Bundesliga with Bayern, winning the league three seasons running between 2014 and 2016, while also lifting the DFB-Pokal twice.
However, Guardiola took over a team that had won a Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League treble under Jupp Heynckes, and Schmeichel feels Bayern’s direct style under the German was more exciting than Guardiola’s methods.
“He was okay at Bayern Munich. I have to say he was okay,” he told Omnisport. “For me, personally, he changed a really good, entertaining team to be become more boring to watch.
“Whereas Bayern before were very direct, they won the treble, had quick players and were exciting to watch, he [Guardiola] made them play more square. He changed the players, but you can’t argue with his results.”
Schmeichel, who made 398 appearances for Manchester United, also believes that Guardiola’s success at Barcelona was in part down to luck given the talent he had at his disposal such as Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
And the former Denmark goalkeeper claims that it will be more difficult to achieve success at City – who travel to face United at Old Trafford this weekend – using similar tactics given the demanding nature of the Premier League.
“With Pep, he comes in with an incredible reputation. What he did with Barcelona was fantastic, his work was fantastic, but he was also very lucky he had the players to bring in the philosophy that he has in football,” he added.
“So whereas [former United manager] Alex Ferguson’s first priority was ‘we have to be able to score goals’ – for most coaches that’s the priority – with Pep it’s possession, I want to have as much possession as possible.
“So the philosophy goes to ‘I want to have so much possession that at some point we’ll score a goal from that, the goals will come from possession’ and that’s his philosophy.
“That’s what we’ll see at Manchester City or he’s going to introduce that. He was very lucky he had the players at Barcelona but he was clever in what he did.
“The Premier League is a completely different animal to any other in the world. It just goes on and on and on, you feel it never stops, even in March you have 12 games to go, you think will this ever stop?”
Peter Schmeichel was speaking on behalf of Nabufit. Available on Google Play and the App Store.
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