07 Aug Can Pep Guardiola be taught from Zinedine Zidane to finish Champions League wait?
There aren’t too many events when Pep Guardiola seems to be throughout at his opponent within the technical space and casts an envious look, however when Manchester Metropolis face Actual Madrid within the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Friday, he would possibly simply try this with Zinedine Zidane.
Right here you may have two managers who’re outlined by the Champions League. Guardiola received it twice by the point he was 40, in 2009 and 2011 with arguably the very best team in historical past at Barcelona, and Zidane bagged three European titles in a row in his first spell as Actual coach, between 2016 and 2018.
So why would Guardiola need to be in Zidane’s sneakers, contemplating his personal Champions League document is on a par with iconic managers to have received it twice, corresponding to Sir Alex Ferguson, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Arrigo Sacchi and Jose Mourinho? It’s as a result of successful the Champions League once more, for a 3rd time, has grow to be an itch that Guardiola has been unable to scratch.
Zidane, against this, appeared to win three within the blink of an eye fixed, and he would possibly but grow to be the primary coach to win 4 with this Actual team, who grew to become La Liga champions this season for the primary time since 2017. First, in fact, Actual must overturn the 2-1 first-leg deficit on the Etihad and progress to the quarterfinals at Metropolis’s expense.
Guardiola had appeared sure to win a number of European Cups and rewrite the historical past books since doing it twice at Barcelona. As a substitute, it has been 9 years since he final led a team to the Champions League title. He may need walked away from Barca in 2012, drained by the calls for of managing one of many world’s largest golf equipment, however three years in command of Bayern Munich and now 4 at Metropolis haven’t even introduced a last look. There have been three semifinal eliminations with Bayern, however with Metropolis, Guardiola has been unable even to succeed in the ultimate 4, with two quarterfinal exits and a round-of-16 defeat by Monaco in 2016-17 the sum total of his moderately unimpressive document on the Etihad.
Frank Leboeuf explains the the reason why to not rely Actual Madrid out of their UCL tie with Man Metropolis simply but.
Contemplating he was employed by Metropolis proprietor Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan in 2016 to win the Champions League, Guardiola has fallen brief on the most important stage. This could be the very best probability he should finish his private look ahead to a 3rd European Cup, similtaneously delivering Metropolis’s first.
Though Actual Madrid ended their home marketing campaign with 10 wins and a draw following the restart in Spain, they journey to Metropolis with out suspended captain Sergio Ramos and needing to attain at the least twice to have any hope of progressing to the ultimate eight in Lisbon subsequent week. Metropolis have their very own issues, with defensive frailties their largest concern, however Guardiola’s team go into the tie as robust favourites.
Their Champions League downfall over the previous three seasons has been, partially, all the way down to Guardiola’s behavior of overthinking his techniques and selection within the knockout rounds. In opposition to Monaco, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Metropolis have been eradicated as a result of Guardiola allowed himself to be outsmarted by his reverse quantity every time. His team misplaced the primary leg at Liverpool and Spurs, and did not discover a means again within the return fixture on the Etihad and have been dumped out by an attacking Monaco aspect that confirmed no concern.
There have been related shortcomings with Bayern, whose three semifinal exits below Guardiola towards Actual, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have been additionally a results of rival coaches successful the tactical battle. Actual Madrid thrashed Bayern 4-Zero on the Allianz Enviornment, misplaced 3-Zero to Barca on the Camp Nou and have been knocked out by Atleti on away targets.
This time round, the jeopardy of two-leg knockout ties and the hazard of conceding away targets — or the stress of getting to beat damaging first-leg defeats — has been faraway from the quarterfinal stage onward, with straight knockout ties all the best way to the ultimate on this yr’s competitors, remodelled because of a shortened format attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. If the event goes to type, Metropolis nonetheless face a troublesome path to glory, with a possible quarterfinal towards Juventus earlier than a conflict with Bayern within the semi and maybe both Atletico or Paris Saint-Germain ready within the last on Aug. 23.
Metropolis’s document in one-off cup ties below Guardiola is massively spectacular, successful the previous three Carabao Cup finals and, till their FA Cup semifinal defeat towards Arsenal at Wembley final month, he had not misplaced a one-legged cup tie in any competitors since February 2018. In Europe, Guardiola must preserve it easy and keep away from the temptation to complicate his personal team’s strategy in the event that they make it by to the quarterfinals. By doing so, he can be mimicking Zidane, who at all times relied on selecting his greatest XI of their greatest positions when successful these back-to-back Champions Leagues crowns.
Zidane’s three-time European champions proved that simplicity will be devastating in case you have the proper gamers. Metropolis definitely have these, however time will inform whether or not Guardiola is ready to be like Zidane so he can win like Zidane.