By Dave Smith
PEP Guardiola is one of the most exalted managers in European football but the success he has enjoyed with Barcelona and subsequently with Bayern Munich doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to weave his magic in the English Premier League.
Fourteen trophies in Spain and two Bundesliga titles in Germany might look good on the CV, deservedly so, but if Guardiola comes to England he will have an even bigger point to prove. Whichever club he joins.
Guardiola has already announced that he will leave Bayern at the end of the season and hinted that England will be his next port of call. Chelsea? Manchester City? Manchester United? It’s anybody’s guess.
But wherever he goes he will face the biggest test of his managerial career to date. That’s the view of Zapsportz.com columnist and team leader Glenn Hoddle, as reported by the Press Association.
Despite his earlier successes, the 44-year-old Guardiola has been warned by former England and Tottenham manager Hoddle that the Premier League will be a tougher challenge than La Liga and the Bundesliga.
Hoddle, who was speaking at a Serafino 4th EDGE football boot event, said: “I would really like him to come and test himself whoever he goes to – whether it is at United, City or Chelsea.
“He will have everything to prove in this country because it is different here. If you go to Bournemouth – it is not like Barcelona going to Getafe or a team down the bottom where they are scared stiff of you.
“There are three teams in La Liga. The rest are technically good teams but they all play the same way. In this country you have to earn every single point you get.”
“Barcelona is a test because it is a massive club. It is so powerful in Spain and they are a very special team. Bayern Munich are the same.
“But this league – particularly like it is this year – is a test for any manager and it will be his biggest test.”
Hoddle, a big supporter of the most revolutionary boot since the Adidas Predator, also spoke about the future of current Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal after the Red Devils crashed out of the Champions League and lost at home to Norwich at the weekend – their sixth game without a win.
“Van Gaal has got a big job to do to turn it around,” Hoddle added, and as quoted on sundayworld.com. “I could see problems there at the beginning of the season. The fixtures were kind and they didn’t have too much of a test. They were winning scruffy. And when they got a test – and they got tested at Arsenal – they lost.
“Teams are actually looking forward to going to Old Traffford and that never used to be the case. It isn’t the place that it once was and there is a lot of work to be done.”