April 16th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

Pedro's Point of View: Do Bayern need Guardiola?

Josep Guardiola oversaw a period of domestic and European dominance for Barcelona. (Getty Images).
Josep Guardiola oversaw a period of domestic and European dominance for Barcelona. (Getty Images).

Bayern Munich have clinched the Bundesliga title in record time, reached the semifinals of the European Champions League and the German Cup, and yet they are preparing to say goodbye to manager Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.

Considering how well the Bavarians have done this year, we have to ask, do they really need Pep Guardiola? I say no they don’t.

Whatever way you look at it, Bayern have had an amazing campaign. Domestically, they are on course to set new league records for victories and points.

So far they have won 25 of 29 matches, which means they have a success rate of 86%. Bayern have only conceded 13 goals, meaning their goalkeeper is only beaten once every 2.2 games. By anyone’s standards, those numbers are phenomenal.

Their performances in the Champions League have been just as impressive. Bayern have won seven games, more than any other team, on the way to the final four of the competition. They are second in goals scored and were absolutely irresistible as they demolished Juventus in the quarterfinals.

As good as Bayern’s players are, there is no doubt the manager deserves a lot of the credit for their impressive run of results. Heynckes has rotated the squad magnificently and kept every player motivated throughout the season.

His tactics have worked wonders and he could walk away from the club with an historic treble under his belt.

This leads me to the decision the board made to change managers at the end of the current campaign.

You may have heard they decided to pursue Pep Guardiola in the winter because Heynckes had decided to retire at the end of the season, but there are many sources who say this is not the case.

There may actually have been a miscommunication about what was happening with the veteran manager in June. I have also heard that Heynckes was upset that club directors pursued Pep Guardiola without informing him first.

Whether these rumors are true or not and whatever way you look at it, the question is still a valid one. Do Bayern need Guardiola?

I say they don’t and I’ll justify my position by using a famous phrase from the world of sport: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Right now there is no need for a radical change of course at the club and there was no need to chase Guardiola so aggressively with the team doing so well.

Bayern have made two Champions League finals in the last three years and could play another title game in May.

The project at the club - masterminded by the likes of president Uli Hoeness and CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - is working, and you know what? I think it is working so well that most competent managers could walk into the Allianz Arena and be successful.

The system is in place and right now the manager is just one part of the puzzle. Since so much work has been done by the board to build such a formidable squad, all the coach has to do is pick the right players and the right tactics for the right games.

So, would the arrival of Guardiola actually disrupt the club’s master plan? We all know how successful Pep was in Barcelona, but Bayern will represent his first test outside of the Camp Nou.

Will he be able to adapt to the club’s philosophy, or will the club have to adapt to his? If it’s the latter, there could be some major turbulence in Munich.

Initially, everything will seem exciting, but if Pep wants to revolutionize the squad and the club’s philosophy, there could be some trouble on the horizon.


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soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. kevin

    I agree, even if Bayern Munich does not win the Treble, their season would still be regarded as a success. Who's to say that Pep would make them win the Champions League after all? Let's be honest, possibly losing to Barcelona should not be regarded as a total failure–they are the most successful side of the 21st century thus far.

    Besides, pursuing Pep in the manner in which they did was a bit distasteful if we are to believe that Heynckes was not priorly informed especially midway through a season–a successful season at that matter-of-factly.

    But I guess all the big clubs prefer coaches with a 'name' so this just continues the trend in modern-day European football.

    April 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  2. John Anthony

    Pep Guardiola will arrive to Bayern eager to justify his salary by implanting his tici-taca way of playing soccer. Such a boring way of playing soccer will get him good results on the charts at the expense of losing fans worldwide.

    April 16, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  3. VampireJack

    Looks like Guardiola is going to be inheriting a great side once more, just like he did at Barca, and if they keep winning stuff he'll get all the credit for anothers work. Again.
    Let's not forget that the "great" Barca side was more or less build by Frank Rykjard (sp?) who had recently won the Champions League with them!
    Barcelona are still flying WITHOUT Pep – so makes you wonder if he really was the be all and end all. The most important person at Barca these last few years is a certain Argentinian.....

    Guardiola is about to be found out.

    April 16, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  4. Bayernfan

    I agree, unless Heynckes voluntarily decided to retire at the end of the season, which i doubt he did , it was a bad idea to sign Guardiola instead of resigning Heynckes. Hopefully Guardiola's arrival won't disrupt Bayern's dominance in the Bundesliga and all other competitions.

    April 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  5. Jack

    Dear (Writer),

    Your information is wrong. You do realize that Bayern's manager is stopping football after this season. That's why Bayern is getting Pep.

    Thought you should know that.

    April 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  6. Hafees

    I think they are probably looking at the long term, a young coach who will have the same kind of run like Ferguson and Wenger, and give the team a huge tradition.

    Its not about winning now alone, it's about the future. I might be wrong!

    April 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  7. Mark Lovell @LovellLowdown

    Pedro is correct. Heynckes had his nose put out of joint by assumptions that he would simply retire at end of season, don his pipe and slippers and slip quietly into life as a pensioner.

    However, 67yo Heynckes has used the massive media fanfare and collective back-slapping surrounding Bayern's appointment of Guardiola as motivation not just for his team but for his own personal legacy.

    There is a bit left in the Heynckes tank and 'Don Jupp' might start his next job as a treble-winner!

    April 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  8. OmoOndo

    Going by what Heynckes has achieved this season, I think hiring Pep is totally unpopular

    April 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  9. Nils2013

    The fact is, their current coach Jupp Heynkes is retirering because he wants to. So they need a new coach. So obviously they tried to hire the best available and suceeded.

    April 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  10. victor

    I absolutely agree with Pedro.
    Pep will probably just end up upsetting the current tempo at the Allianz Arena.
    I wonder, just wonder if his style of play will not conflict with what the guys are currently used to.

    April 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  11. Miguel Angel Violan

    It is wonderful to change when things go great...if the new leader is such a formidable manager as Pep Guardiola. He is younger than Heynkes , adaptative and quite innovative. Read my book ("Guardiola's Method") and you will understand that FCB made a wise decision (no doubt that Heynkes is also a quite good coach, though).

    April 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  12. Mike

    Absolutely agree. The hubris of Bayern's front office will come back to haunt them next year if they achieve anything less than what they're accomplishing this year. They're the best team in Europe now. Guardiola is a fantastic coach, but there are still unknowns. Will his style be adaptable to Germany? Will he be able to communicate as well? I hope that Bayern and another team could work out a deal to release Guardiola from his pre-contract and let him sign elsewhere. My wish: Let Arsenal sign him and move Wenger upstairs to Director of Football. That's the club Pep really wanted, if you believe his agent.

    April 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  13. Kingsley

    Dear Pedro',

    It's not rocket science to write after the event is done for any analyst of any kind. Problem is, i would have considered this a fine piece had this question been asked the first week the news of hiring Guardiola broke.

    This piece has finally given you away as just another sport staff of CNN who has to write every other week to justify his pay.

    I would like to know what will become the fate of sunderland by middle of next season. i know you have insider information we don't, please take a crack at sunderland before the events unfold.

    April 17, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
  14. Brian Moore

    It is just a way of Germany helping Spain to fight unemployment...

    Seriously... I hope Guardiola loose everything because its so unfair for Heynckes's brilliant work

    April 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  15. Tony

    Pep should go to Chelsea to prove a point. He is good and Chelsea can pay him and he should go do the work that side.Tony

    April 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  16. omegafifteen

    Bayern will win the League this year. Too many do not understand how good they are this time.
    Not even the best Barca can make it.
    But Heynckes will be resigning soon so Guardiola is coming at the right moment.

    April 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  17. Miguel Angel Violan

    Tiqui-taca boring? All opinions deserve respect but I am afraid that some points of view seem to show a worrying lack of knowledge on Barça's style.

    April 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  18. luckymichael

    hmm mm,am a barca fan till death,i love barca and pep is good too,because he was my former coach,without former there is known present.pep is good and bayern is good too,they have the strength and experience to work with pep.pep is very free to make his choice on were to go or were to work.pep did not go for bayern,it was bayern management that did ok,pedro is my guy,i love him,he should mind his own business,because his not the only player in barca ,and there are more better players than him.he should be thinking about the match on Tuesday,not saying norsence about pep.because bayern are very ready and set to lift the champion league,the way they are now.but i belive my team barca,pep please don't mind pedro,he still your boy ok.if pedro is so sure of his information,let him prove it,by showing the voice record not saying,i heard it from someone and when.this guestion is for pedro,were you there when the bayern management was making the decision.known explaination.YES OR NO.pedro if you think you good,live barca and go to Chelsea or swan city,let see your ability.you go fail finish.my dear pep, is a free world ok.you have every right to go were you wish to go.pedro, if you have strength against pep,i want you to score against bayern.dont let bayern boy make you useless on that day of the match oooooooooooooooooo,because you talk too much.life goes on things change,better days ahead.pedro is just jealous about pep,blame the management for there decision not pep ok,i love you pep,FCB FOR LIVE.

    April 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  19. wmerino10

    The idea of Pep stepping in at the end of the season is important to Bayern and to football in general. Bayern can only get better and bringing in someone who has won the treble can take Bayern to become as powerful as Barcelona in these last few years.

    Until Bayern wins it all we will not know and it is just speculation. As a Barcelona fan, I am excited to see the direction Bayern will go from here.

    April 18, 2013 at 3:06 am | Reply
  20. Kent R. Sailer

    I realize that this comment is off the subject at hand – but I'm sooooo tired of Alex Ferguson I need to vent. Again Man. U. should have lost this time to West Ham. Instead of acknowledging Van Persie's goal (to tie the game) was off-side and not counted, NOOOOO Mr. Ferguson screams that A. Caroll should have been "red carded" for his challenge on Man. U. goalie. I'm surprised that Ferguson didn't claim that his goalie could have been killed/maimed. Ferguson PLEASE SHUT UP you get soooo many calls in your favor during the season it's ridiculous. Extremely overrated as a coach and even more as a human being. The players (like giggs, ferdinand and the rest over the years) have made you not the other way around.

    April 18, 2013 at 3:12 am | Reply
  21. Seb

    Dear, Pedro,
    This article in my mind is nonesense, and here's why: over the years, Bayern have been edging further and further towards Barcelona's tactics!
    The style of play is relatively similar, retain posession and dictate tempo, so anything Guardiola will bring to Bayrn's playing style won't change the world!
    Furtheremore you seem to forget we're talking about Guardiola here, not Mourhino. Pep isn't the quind of guy to go off on an ego trip like the latter. Therefore he won't try to change the administrative side of the club, because as you say, don't fix what works.

    April 18, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
  22. Chris

    Nice article, this has to be weighed from 2 sides.(1) Did Heynkes really going to resign willingly? if yes then perfect to hire Pep and if no then 100% no to hiring Pep. (2)If Bayern's board went for pep because they want a coach who could stay for a longer time then good to have Pep because Heynkes to me have a few years to give to this beautiful game while Pep is young and could do many more years for them.And if no, then no to Pep.

    In a nut shell i think we have to consider a lot of things before drawing our inferences on the right decision to take or to have taken...personally i feel Heynkes has been fantastic with his tactics, philosophy, team selection/rotation, consistency etc. In fact am flattered with his results so far this season

    April 18, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
  23. Frosted Seagull

    Bayern's upper eschelon have come with a brilliant strategy. The dual strategy being – appoint Pep Guardiola in January 2013, and provide him with $280 million Euro to purchase players.

    These two factors combined are a win-win for Bayern.

    The $280 million Euro from a player's perspective is a blatant – carrot & stick – incentive. Play well and you "should" remain at Bayern. Play badly and your contract will be rescinded and you will be sold. I firmly believe that this is a discrete incentive for any player, but especially Lahm, Ribery, Gomez, Robben, Schweinsteiger,

    Pep allegedly claimed he wanted a challenge with his next role.The challenge will come from the Champions League, especially if Bayern win it this year.If Heynckes wins the treble, Guardiola will have the football world watching him. Heynckes parting gift may be in fact be challenge in the form of a curse.

    Heynckes is an understated champion and let's not forget, he was the last coach to win Real Madrid their Champions League trophy.

    April 18, 2013 at 11:28 am | Reply
  24. strongwalker

    Dear Pedro,

    i think you are wrong on a number of assumptions.

    You write:"I think it [the system] is working so well that most competent managers could walk into the Allianz Arena and be successful."

    This has been proven wrong a number of times. Yes, the basis is there for the big success, but many coaches have left munich in the past in flames. Only a coach who can moderate the very, very delicate forces in the management and the team will succeed (and lets not forget the very influential media).

    Also, i think Bayern was forced to go for Pep.

    Pep is the man for the job at Bayern. His history of developing young talent, his youth, his successes, that fits perfectly. Bayern wouldn't function with an Egocentric like Mourinho or a revolutionary like van Gaal.
    If you can get a coach of that caliber who is so good a fit, you go for it. Heynckes hadn't yet declared he would add another year but in the contrary, had made it well known he considered ending his career.
    In fact, he came to Bayern out of retirement. Extend Heynckes' contract another year and then what? Pep would have signed elsewhere by then.
    Heynckes, as successful as he is, is not the man to build an era. He is 68 now. But that is what Bayern want to do now. And for that, Pep might be the ideal man.

    April 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  25. Celo

    Bayern doesn't need Pep. He's only going to claim the glory of someone else's hardwork.

    April 19, 2013 at 5:18 am | Reply
  26. Sean Morgan Auatine

    I think this is not the best time for Bayern to go in for Josep Guardiola, because the present coach has not put in a bad record in the team, the matter of signing Josep Guardiola should be kept aside till the end of the 2012/2013 football season
    its good since as the team management as made the 280 million Euro to purchase players. so incase he do not performs well next season, he had him self to blaim. had it been he took bayer at the end of this season. he recieves another man's praises. let him labour for what he had been paid to do

    April 19, 2013 at 8:56 am | Reply
  27. agazibar

    Quoting PP: "Everywhere I look, everyone I talk to, has Bayern Munich as the favorites in an upcoming high-profile European Champions League quarterfinal clash with Juventus.

    I honestly can’t believe it. In my book, the Italian giants will not only knock the Bavarians out of the tournament, but they could go on to lift the trophy at Wembley in May"

    This is what PP wrote on March 26th. So much for his assessments!

    April 19, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  28. kobyherring@rocketmail.com

    no they do need him, look what he did with BARCA, please learn your football

    April 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  29. emesse

    Bayern need Pep because they won't win Champions this year either, they won't even make the final. And then join the ranks of Madrid as another team searching for the antidote to Barcelona's ongoing success. They need him for next year and for the future.

    April 20, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
  30. Djeniko

    The only reason I see here for hiring Pep is to develop their youth academy. Maybe, just maybe, Mr. H is retiring indeed. Who is older: Mr. H or Sir Alex F? So why retiring now?

    April 20, 2013 at 3:47 am | Reply
  31. Destiny Davis

    In a contemporary Management, innovation and changes are inevitable.

    By and large, bringing in Josep Guardiola is a step in the right direction irrespective of the short term effects.

    April 21, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  32. Laura

    El buen trabajo de Heynckes no ha sido solo en esta temporada, la pasada se llegó a la final de la Bundesliga y la liga de campeones!!
    El bayern ha mejorado notablemente y nos ha mostrado que cuenta con un excelente rendimiento.

    April 22, 2013 at 1:26 am | Reply
  33. benjamin

    pep ll be the manager but he i ll be working under pressure keep bayern in form.any lose for bayern fans ll shout to jupp.pep best wish.
    just my opinion

    April 22, 2013 at 6:53 am | Reply
  34. Lyford

    To be honest i dont agree hiring Guardiola was the best decision given their fine form,my hope is as others have put it the current coach decided to quit at the end of the season.
    Pep is one of the best managers and i would loved to see him at Stamford bridge,but he made his decision,but joining Bayern might not get him the value of tactics in his football bag.
    Just wishing him well though.

    April 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  35. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Winning the treble is no easy task. Jupp Heynckes is doing a great job and has brought his wards on the threshold of a triple. Well done !

    April 24, 2013 at 7:51 am | Reply

    The bavarians don't need pep Guardiola as they are already doing well in the domestic league and the UEFA champions league.what if they start experiencing a tough season after the entry of the spaniard.

    April 25, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  37. Sammi Owoseni

    I think Bayern know what they're doing, though, every Clubs want to associate themselves with successful manager but they have one in Heynckes, he has toughen these players physically and mentally for the betterment of the game and club future. But on the business side, i think it's cool

    April 25, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Reply

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