New Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is undoubtedly a born winner highlighted by his track record and subsequent clean sweep of trophies with former clubs Barcelona and Bayern Munich, which was why the Citizens brought him in as the missing piece in their football jigsaw however it is his managerial identity in the course of winning that has made him the best manager in the eyes of many football followers and he’s never one to shirk ruthlessness to achieve his aim.
At the age of 37, Guardiola was thrusted into senior management at Barcelona, widely regarded as one of the toughest jobs in world football, and immediately began orchestrating Barcelona’s route back to the top of European football and need we say he was ruthless along the way as untouchables like Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o Fils were enveloped in the radical change employed by him. The exit of former Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldinho was surprising to many at that time as he was the poster boy of the then Barcelona team. Ronaldinho according to Spanish playmaker Xavi, “changed our history”, while vice-president Ferran Soriano described him as the “face of the project” and the praises were echoedby Brazil’s 1970 World Cup striker Tostao, who said: Ronaldinho has the dribbling skills of Rivelino, the vision of Gerson, the irreverence of Garrincha, the speed of Jairzinho, the technique of Zico and the creativity of Romario.” Influential Portuguese playmaker Deco and first-choice striker Samuel Eto’o didn’t survive alongside Ronaldinho despite the fact that the latter played for one season under Spanish tactician Guardiola, who stayed true to his words on his first day in charge. He said: “These three are not in my mind for the future. In fact, we will be going onwards without them. It’s time for a restart.”
Fast forward to the present day Pep Guardiola is still his old self and has already swung into action at his new Manchester City declaring players like Samir Nasri, Eliaquim Mangala, Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart and Yaya Toure surplus to requirement. Joe Hart and Yaya Toure leap out from the aforementioned names however Yaya Toure and Pep Guardiola have a well-documented history from their time at Spanish side Barcelona leaving Joe Hart, who joined City from Shrewsbury as a 19-year old a decade ago and happens to be the English heart of an English club with just a few Englishmen in the starting XI from last season, as the poster boy of Guardiola’s ruthlessness. Speaking on Hart’s situation at the club some days back, Guardiola said: “I said to him in the first moment – if he stays he is going to improve.”
“I explain what we want from our goalkeepers. With a goalkeeper the first thing I am looking for is to make saves. That is the most important thing. But, after, he has to play with the ball. He has to help us to create a good build-up, that’s why I am here.
“In the future, of course, he can do that. But at the moment Willy was with us all pre-season, two, three more weeks than Joe and because I saw many things in those games I decided to play with him. But it doesn’t mean that Joe is not going to play.” he further added.
It is clear Pep Guardiola don’t fancy Joe Hart as the man to conduct his team on the way he wants his new side to play from the rearguard prompting the arrival of Chilean goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to replace England’s first choice goalkeeper at last month’s Euro 2016as the new No.1 goalkeeper at the Etihad Stadium. Despite recent high profile errors for England at Euro 2016 against Wales and Iceland as well as during Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Norwich City last season, Joe Hart remains a very good goalkeeper like he showed on Wednesday night during the UEFA Champions League (UCL) Playoff clash against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest at the Etihad Stadium and will be a great addition to any club he joins before the end of the current transfer window amidst links with English Premier League (EPL) side Everton, Europa League winners Sevilla, German side Borussia Dortmund, Sunderland and most recently Torino.