Pep Guardiola’s inability to lead FC Bayern München to Champions League glory this season has resulted in the inevitable assertions that the Spanish tactician is unable to deliver at the highest level.
The 45-year-old has enjoyed a trophy-laden run as manager of first Barcelona and then Bayern, with 19 pieces of silverware added to the trophy cabinet under his watch. However, only two of those are Champions League titles.
Guardiola last tasted success on Europe’s biggest stage with Barca in the 2010/11 season. He has since endured a number of near misses. These have resulted in growing assertions that Guardiola is not able to get the most out of his teams, and that it was the Bayern boss’ failure to adapt his tactics that resulted in a fourth consecutive semi-final exit.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 3, 2016
However, to suggest that his record is poor is off the mark; the notion that any one team can walk away with the Champions League title in any year is absurd, and when Guardiola’s sides have fallen short it has always been to the eventual champions.
2008/09: Guardiola’s Barcelona win the Champions League
2009/10: Inter win the Champions League after eliminating Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semis
2010/11: Guardiola’s Barcelona win the Champions League
2011/12: Chelsea win the Champions League after eliminating Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semis
2013/14: Real Madrid win the Champions League after eliminating Guardiola’s Bayern in the semis.
2014/15: Barcelona win the Champions League after eliminating Guardiola’s Bayern in the semis.
2015/16: Atletico Madrid to win after eliminating Guardiola’s Bayern in the semis?
A glance at the records of the likes of Barcelona post-Guardiola, Real Madrid, the Manchester clubs or any European big gun shows that Guardiola’s record is not one to be dismissed.
Yes, the Spaniard did take over a strong Bayern side the year after they won the Champions League, but expecting repeated Champions League victories is not realistic. It was the smallest of margins that saw Bayern beaten by Atletico, and the notion that as a result Guardiola has failed is unfair.