Barcelona football club. The Catalan dragons. Arguably the template for modern day football blending pace skill and ultimately hundreds and hundreds of passes.
The brain behind this art was Pep Guardiola who in his first major job in football won pretty much everything there is to win domestically. He was also in charge during the rise and rise of the most talented footballer to ever play the game Lionel Messi.
He was a product of the Barcelona production line which has seen many people go from player to coach to manager which is a positive move as a style of play and ethos can be engrained and weaved throughout the ranks. In 2012 he stepped down to allow the next in line Tito Vilanova to continue the legacy. However, things have changed.
Since leaving it seems Barcelona have been found out and clubs have now worked out how to break them down and have most recently been demolished by German outfit Bayern Munich, who ironically have appointed Pep Guardiola to take charge at the start of next season.
Bayern have come back from the slump they had a few years back to become a feared and powerful force in European football once more. Meanwhile his former employers are looking tired, old, arrogant and at times out of their depth.
So does this mean Guardiola is that much of an inspirational manager that they are struggling without him or does he just have the sharpest eye for timing.
Working for Barcelona he was appointed just as Spanish football was rising to a peak. The quality of teams was at an all time high, the national team were looking more and more likely to win a World Cup for the first time and the latest crop of young Spanish footballers was looking promising. However rivals Real Madrid’s quality is dropping, the national team after dominating world football for 6 years have started to struggle in matches and Barcelona’s well known defensive frailties are being exposed.
Has he worked things out perfectly then? Spotted the future downfall of his club so jumped ship early, then spotted the rise of German football and the power Bayern are creating then jumped on board?
The man’s potentially a timing genius.