If there’s a thin line between genius and lunacy, Pep Guardiola’s the perfect example of that.
What we see when he lays a team out and puts his gameplan into action is a man obsessed with perfection – a level of tactical engagement that most could never comprehend.
For this reason and the results that followed his blueprint, he should be awarded the top managerial gong. The thing with perfection is that it’s impossible in a game where external forces have a say on proceedings – referees, injuries, etc.
However, if you aim for the moon, you sometimes land among the stars. In this case, if you aim to win every game, you still win the league title at a canter.
Kyle Walker’s a centre half now. Fernandinho’s somehow a spring chicken again. Kevin De Bruyne’s the best midfielder in the world and Fabian Delph is resembling a footballer again, at left-back of all places!
These things don’t make any sense, but they’ve all come to pass. Nicolas Otamendi was afraid of the bloody football two years ago, for Christ sake.
He’s either a magician or some sort of Mister Miyagi-type sensei that can convince anyone of their self-worth.
They’re chasing all sorts of records. The most points, the most goals – they’ve not even lost the possession battle once all season.
But as far as a competition goes, think about this – how could the man whose achieved the most points in a Premier League campaign not win Manager of the Year? Simply put, he couldn’t.
Guardiola’s not your average geezer. The man has somehow made Stone Island fashionable again – bringing it back into prominence and giving it life.
No longer will we associate the bloody compass with 16-year-olds with a can of Carlsberg hopping up and down on the one spot, asking someone to hit them, before running away.
His sessions are so detailed that they make footballers want to learn about the game they play.
It’s effectively making someone want to do their job to the best of their ability through knowledge. Like every manager, Pep is paranoid. Of course, he is.
However, the balance between manager and coach is so often spoken about. Yet, Pep redefined the disparity.
The point of being a manager is to control the emotions of human beings, while being a coach is about having a tactical awareness of both your side and the sides you compete with, as well as understanding how to make your side perform in-game via training ground routines.
While Guardiola’s success commands respect, it may be the only leverage he had in a dressing room. But, he doesn’t need it anymore either.
When players see the results, they get from his teachings. They listen to whatever he has to say, even if he’s unconvincing, even if he’s inconsistent in his messages and even if he’s not always on the ball with man management.
In an era of men losing dressing rooms, Guardiola gains more and more respect as the results land, week in, week out.
He has completely taken the Premier League by storm. He’s done it his way – the way of genius lunacy – and has everyone wanting to play for him. Bravo, sir!