Josep Guardiola was unveiled as the new manager of Bayern Munch before a packed press conference today.
“It is a gift to be here,” explained Pep, whose contract runs until summer 2016. “I am happy that Bayern even thought of bringing me here. I was convinced to [come] by the players available and the club’s history.”
Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added:
“It is a great fillip to bring the world’s most successful coach to Bayern. It is a wonderful thing not only for Bayern, but for the whole of German football.”
Speaking about his decision to accept Bayern’s offer, Guardiola said:
“I’m ready. It’s a new challenge for me. My time at Barcelona was wonderful but I needed a new challenge and Bayern have given me that possibility. They have given me this chance and I’m ready to give my all. I’m convinced that all the Bayern fans will continue to come with pride. I hope that it is a period in which everyone feels pride at watching their team.
Given the historic success Bayern enjoyed last term, the prevailing question in the German press has been: what is Guardiola supposed to improve?
““I have to be able to deal with that reality: said Guardiola.
“It’s a great club and, as a coach, I am under a lot of pressure. I’m aware of that and I accept this huge challenge. Sometimes you take over a team that has dropped its level. When I started at Barcelona B the team had just been relegated.
“In my first year in charge of the first team, Barça had just finished 18 points adrift in La Liga. Four titles, three plus the Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund.
“That doesn’t matter. When you arrive as coach of Bayern Munich, you know what’s waiting for you. You have to play well at all times and you have the obligation to win.””
Guardiola, who has not yet spoken to Heynckes but intends to do so, acknowledged the 68-year-old raised the bar last season.
“I have to accept the comparisons with my predecessor and live with them. You always have pressure at big clubs.
“I am a little nervous. Please give me a bit of time to take things step by step. I will try to continue the high level achieved by my predecessor, Jupp Heynckes. Every coach has his opinion of the team and the kind of football he likes. I still need more time to get to know the Bundesliga perfectly, although I watched it quite a lot in my year in New York.”
It will be fascinating to see how Guardiola handles his time at Bayern. His success at Barca was partly because he had been brought up in the Barcelona system, and he relied heavily on players like Puyol, Messi and Xavi who had the same experience.
That will not be the case at Bayern, where Guardiola is the outsider. How will he handle that and what changes will he make to Bayern’s style of play?