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Is Guardiola’s Honeymoon Over Already In Munich?

pep-bayernBayern Munich have lost one pre-season match this summer, and have beaten both Manchester City and Barcelona.

But you would think they had yet to win a game under Pep Guardiola with the amount of criticism the former Barcelona manager has received.

Guardilola has tested several different systems out, from playing with only one holding midfielder to playing with a false No. 9 as he tries to see what sort of squad he has.

And change does not often go over well, especially when you are the defending German and European champions.

“I’ve never had a coach who changes so much,” Claudio Pizarro said, while Arjen Robben said it was important not to make “football more complicated than it is”

Following Bayern’s 2-1 victory over Manchester City last week Guardiola felt the need to praise his players’ willingness to adapt to his new system.

“Systems are like numbers in the telephone book,” he said. “They are not the most important thing. I am surprised how much the players are ready to learn and how much they have translated what I want onto the pitch. That the players want to learn from me makes me as happy as can be.”

Guardiola also went on to explain that improving players as footballers, not winning titles, was not the most important thing.

“It’s not the titles that give the coach prestige,” he said. “Titles are nice, but at the end of the day it is about the players telling you at one point: ‘coach, you have really improved me, I have learned a lot.’ That makes a coach happy.”

If a coach cannot try out new partnerships or formations during preseason when can he? And Guardiola can look at the changes he can tinkered with and see what worked and what didn’t. Playing with only one holding midfielder doesn’t appear to work, especially if Thiago is the one playing there. Guardiola will have not failed to notice that with one only central midfielder that opponents carved open his defence too often. That when he plays Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger together in the middle, Bayern look stronger all over the field.