An individual whose name would always come up in the conversation of greatest ever football manager, and one who's made his case to be the best in that argument even further after his historic season with Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has once again written his name in the history books, as Manchester City's win against Inter Milan in the Champions League final made him the first manager ever to win a treble twice. It is a historic feat indeed, and one that might even never be possibly repeated in the history of the game. Pep has gone on to dominate and achieve success wherever he goes, be it Barcelona, Bayern Munich, or Manchester City. In this article we will be looking at Pep's 3 year stint in Germany , when he was the manager of Bayern Munich.
Formation and tactics
Pep has always been known for his brilliant tactical flexibility. He has shown himself to be a master of carving out unique roles for his players. This was very evident in this season as well, as his decision to turn John Stones into a midfielder went on to become a masterstroke that helped the team immensely.
Coming to his stint at Bayern, Guardiola started out with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Bayern, which involved the use of a single-pivot in midfield. Bayern had several world-class midfielders in their squad at the time, who were quite versatile and brilliant. This allowed the coach to try out this complex formation. Pep however later shifted to a 4-2-3-1 set-up towards the end of that season.
Pep's tactical tweaking abilities were vastly seen in Bayern as well, as he went on play with several formations like a 4-2-2-2, 3-5-2, and an outrageous 2-3-5.
Team and transfers
Upon Pep's arrival, Bayern already had a world-class squad full of brilliant players. The club still made 2 major signings that season in the form of Thiago and Mario Götze. Some of the major outgoings were the likes of Mario Gómez, Emre Can, and Luiz Gustavo.
Bayern Munich's squad at the time had Manuel Neuer as goalie, while their defense boasted the likes of several stars like Dante, Rafinha, Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, and club captain Philipp Lahm.
The midfield was packed with stars as well, as Thiago and Götze joined the likes of Javi Martínez, Xherdan Shaqiri, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos, and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Mario Mandžukić and Claudio Pizarro were the 2 main strikers of the team. The seasons that followed saw several changes in the Bayern team. As the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Xabi Alonso, Medhi Benatia, Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, and Joshua Kimmich went on to join the Bavarians.
Players like Toni Kross, Dante, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Mario Mandžukić ended up leaving as well.
Pep's first 2 seasons with Bayern
Life at Germany did not come with a bright start for Pep, as Bayern went on to lose the German Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund 4-2. However, Bayern were able to win the 2013 UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup that year.
Coming to the Bundesliga, Pep Guardiola went on dominate German League football in his first season. Bayern won the league with 7 games remaining in the season, which was the earliest a team became Champions in Bundesliga history. Guardiola also went on to achieve the longest winning streak by a new manager with 28 wins, until FC Augsburg beat them 1-0.
The Champions League saw Bayern reach the semi-finals, as the mighty Real Madrid were waiting for them. Bayern's European dreams went on to be shattered though, as Los Blancos demolished them 5-0 on aggregate. Bayern finished the 2013–14 season by winning the DFB-Pokal 2–0 in extra–time against Dortmund.
Pep's second season began on a bad note again, with a 2-0 German Super Cup lose against Borussia Dortmund. The match was a sign of things to come for the club, as it was arguably Guardiola's worst season with Bayern. The Bavarians were Champions of Germany yet again, but ended up losing the DFB-Pokal. Bayern reached yet another Champions League final again, but lost to Barcelona this time.
The final season
Pep Guardiola's final season with Bayern Munich began with bad luck yet again, as the club went on to lose the German Super Cup agains Wolfsburg. Heartbreak followed in the Champions League as well, with Bayern yet again losing in the semi-finals with Atletico Madrid being the villain this time around. Pep was able to end the season on a high though, as Bayern were crowned Bundesliga Champions again and also won the DFB-Pokal title after winning the final against Dortmund in his last match for the club.
After 3 seasons with the club, Pep Guardiola left the Bavarians at the end of the season. Despite his inability to win the Champions League with Bayern, his stint with the club can still be considered a success.