Louis van Gaal: Pep Guardiola Couldn’t Win ‘At Highest Level’ with City, Bayern | Bleacher Report
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Guardiola managed Bayern from 2013 to 2016 and recorded three consecutive semi-final exits in the competition. Van Gaal told France Football (h/t AS) the City boss and Ajax manager Erik ten Hag suffered in Europe because they didn’t adapt to their opponents:
“It’s a consequence of being too worried about the way you play and not enough about your opponent. You have to respect your rival. Guardiola and Ten Hag have a lot of quality compared to their rivals, but this doesn’t apply in the Champions League.”
Ajax encountered Spurs in the semis and were knocked out after Lucas Moura scored a crucial 3-2 winner in the sixth minute of second-leg injury time. Ten Hag’s side would have advanced as 3-2 aggregate winners before the Brazilian’s last-gasp strike, making it more difficult to criticise the coach or any one individual.
Guardiola has a successful record in finals as a manager and has only lost once in his career after reaching that stage, per Sky Sports Statto:
Sky Sports Statto @SkySportsStatto
Guardiola’s cup final record as a manager
2009 Spanish Cup ☑
2009 CL ☑
2009 Club World Cup ☑
2011 Spanish Cup ❌
2011 CL ☑
2011 Club World Cup ☑
2012 Spanish Cup ☑
2013 Club World Cup ☑
2014 German Cup ☑
2016 German Cup ☑
2018 EFL Cup ☑
2019 EFL Cup ☑
2019 FA Cup ☑ https://t.co/DFVXPWISIf
The 48-year-old managed Barcelona to Champions League titles in 2009 and 2011, accounting for two of the 14 trophies he won while at the Camp Nou helm.
Despite his failure to crack Europe since leaving Barca in 2012, Guardiola has won a combined five domestic league titles with City (2017-18) and Bayern (2013-16).
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It’s somewhat ironic that City’s last two Champions League quarter-final exits have each come against English opponents—Tottenham (2019) and Liverpool (2018)—while they fell to AS Monaco in the last 16 in 2017.
Guardiola will again bear huge expectations entering the 2019-20 campaign. As for improving on last season’s silverware haul, he said in April that winning a quadruple was next to impossible, per Omnisport:
Manchester City‘s quadruple dream remains alive.
🏆🏆🏆🏆 Pep Guardiola thinks it’s “almost impossible” for any team to win all four trophies. #mcfc https://t.co/1HTiwO8POq
City face Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday and travel to Wembley Stadium hoping to win their first piece of silverware against the current kings of Europe.