November 24, 2017

Why Pep Guardiola Is Leaving Bayern Munich

So the long-awaited decision has arrived and it’s been revealed that Bayern Munich trainer Pep Guardiola will in fact be leaving the Allianz Arena at the end of the season after three successful years at the helm.  He will be replaced next summer by Carlo Ancelloti, 56, who has won UEFA Champions League titles with AC Milan and Real Madrid along with domestic titles in Italy, France and England.

Guardiola has a stellar squad, superb working conditions, amazing fans, the finances to bring in further world-class additions and the full backing of the club’s board. So just why is the Catalan coach leaving Bavaria after three years? Here we bring you some of the potential reasons for his disappointing decision to end his tenure with the Bundesliga Rekordmeister

My Work Here Is Done

After three successful seasons at the Allianz Arena it could well be that Guardiola has achieved all he is going to in Bavaria. Should he achieve the desired goal of bringing the Champions League to the club, it would leave nothing for him to strive for next season. Defending the Bundesliga crown would just not quite be enough for arguably one of the world’s best club coaches. If the Champions League once again eludes him with Bayern, he would be unable to escape from the triple failure of not bringing the trophy back to Germany (especially if there is a similar semi-final debacle as in the previous two seasons).

The Three Year Itch

At Barcelona Pep was in charge for four seasons, and in hindsight it was perhaps one season too many. He admitted as much citing tiredness as a reason for leaving and claiming “four years at a club like Barcelona is like an eternity”. After three league titles and two Champions Leagues, the Spanish giants finished second in La Liga in his final season in 2011/12 and were knocked out at the semi-final stage of the Champions League. Could it be that more than three seasons at Bayern could also lead to him losing his edge?

What’s Up Doc?

Things on the pitch may have gone swimmingly for Guardiola at Bayern, but behind the scenes there have been a few bumps in the road especially with regards to his fractious relationship with the club’s backroom medical staff.

After nearly forty years at the club, chief doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt quit Bayern in April after numerous clashes with the coach. His treatment of Thiago Alcantara was criticised by Guardiola and his refusal to attend training sessions also didn’t go down well with the Catalan. He finally threw in the towel after claiming he had been blamed for Bayern’s 3-1 Champions League defeat at FC Porto last season. To some the incident was a sign that Guardiola was a control-freak diva unable or unwilling to cede authority to anyone else.

This season has seen renewed criticism of the club’s medical staff with Dr Volker Braun being blamed for Franck Ribery’s injury following his return from a long-spell on the sidelines. As it stands the club are experiencing an awful time with injuries (mainly muscle injuries) and the medical staff feel the finger being pointed in their direction.

The Hoeneß Factor

The power sharing at the Allianz Arena is about to have another chief Indian join the tribe with the imminent return of Uli Hoeneß to a role at the club. At Barcelona, Pep was the clear ‘Nummer Eins’, but at Bayern the power is diluted amongst the hierarchy including Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Matthias Sammer. Adding Hoeneß to the mix would only further dilute Guardiola’s power.

The Manchester Factor

The fact that Manchester City have Ferran Soriano as Chief Executive Officer and Txiki Begiristan as Director of Football will act as a huge pull factor to the City of Manchester stadium. Well known and close to Guardiola from his time at Barcelona, there is already a key working relationship ready and waiting for him in Manchester. Guardiola has always stressed that the Premier League appeals to him and after success in both Spain and Germany, the logical step is for him to try his luck in England.

It will not be City alone, who will do all they can to get Guardiola. Manchester United and Chelsea are also heavily rumoured to be ready to offer whatever it takes to bring the 44-year-old to their touchline.

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.