Citizens, get ready for the Guardiola shake-up

The dust has settled on the Guardiola-City drama. Sportstar looks at what could be the trickle-down effect at Manchester City, once the Spaniard takes charge.

Pep Guardiola will look to transform Manchester City into a European powerhouse just like he did with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.   -  Getty Images

Could Germany's World Cup hero Mario Goetze reunite with Guardiola at City?   -  Getty Images

Yaya Toure, who was sold by Guardiola during his time at Barcelona, looks to be on the horizon of an exit at City.   -  Getty Images

The dust has settled on the Guardiola-City drama. Sportstar looks at what could be the trickle-down effect at Manchester City, once the Spaniard takes charge.

Playing style: The most obvious thing the Spaniard will bring to the table is the famed Tiki-Taka system he employed at Barcelona. During his four years at the Camp Nou, Guardiola created arguably one of the best squads in the history of football, winning 14 titles. Although everyone will remember the depth of talent he had at his disposal, the system was the catalyst for Barcelona’s domination.

This system continued when he took over at Bayern Munich and they have now been transformed into one of the most feared opponents in Europe.

Fear factor: Manchester City, after the Abu Dhabi investment, has gone on to dominate the Premier League, but are still not a force to reckon with in Europe.

In the last five season, City has always finished in the top three, winning two titles. However, the European story couldn’t be more poles apart. The club has never gone past the round of 16.

This season, the Citizens have been below par even though they are only three points behind surprise leaders Leicester City. Despite having one of the deepest squads in the League, City has had to endure big defeats at the hands of Tottenham, Liverpool and Stoke City. The results point to a lethargic midfield, over-run by tenacious opponents, who clinically punished a porous defence each time.

With a squad comprising of Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, you expect the team to be way ahead in the title race, especially with Chelsea and Manchester United downing their tools.

This is something Guardiola will more than just correct. Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry, who played under the Spaniard at Barcelona, feels Manchester City will have a great chance of winning the Champions League under the new manager.

Meanwhile, Bayern is on course for a third consecutive Bundesliga crown under Guardiola, having dropped only five points all season. Its winning margins in the past two seasons were 19 points and 10 points respectively.

Refreshed squad: Guardiola is someone who is known to weed out perceived dead wood. After he was unveiled as Barcelona coach in 2008, he built a squad without Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Deco. With his appointment at City the finger of suspicion will now point towards the volatile Yaya Toure, who incidentally was sold by Guardiola during his time at Barcelona.

Toure will definitely be remembered as a modern great at City, but he looks to be on the horizon of an exit. Despite scoring a beauty at the Emirates, in City’s 2-1 defeat against Arsenal, the powerful midfielder was booed by his own fans for what they thought was a lack of effort. Injury-prone Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas could follow the Ivorian out of the club as well.

Henry feels Pep Guardiola will be the guy who can attract any player in the world who will want to be coached by him. And expect the Spaniard to raid his current club. Mario Goetze’s time at Munich has been hampered by lack of playing time, owing partially to injuries. The 23-year-old German, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, could be the ideal replacement for Toure. Pogba is another obvious alternative.

Robert Lewandowski might have a contract with Bayern until 2019 but he recently said he may not see out his career with the German champions, acknowledging the possibility of an exit. He could be the long-term replacement for the prolific yet injury-hampered Sergio Aguero. Goetze’s chemistry with Lewandowski during their time at Dortmund and Bayern could well play on the Spaniard’s mind.

Guardiola is also known to give youth a chance; just ask Sergio Busquets, Pedro and Bojan Krkic. Barcelona’s 20-year-old forward Munir is someone with a lot of promise. With first team opportunities rare at Barca, City might just be the change he need.

Kelechi Iheanacho, who was rewarded with a place in City’s Champions League squad after his treble showing in the FA Cup, must be licking his lips at the prospect of being mentored by the Spaniard.

While it might be too early to speculate the ins and outs even before he takes charge at the Etihad, it is fairly safe to say Guardiola’s appointment is a giant leap for City in realising its goal to become an European powerhouse.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :