We’ve pulled together three Pep Guardiola books that will teach every Manchester City fan all they need to know about their manager. The big journalists of Spanish football Guillem Balague and Graham Hunter whilst Marti Pernrau go behind the scenes at Bayern.
Get to know Pep Guardiola
It was one of football’s worst kept secret – Pep Guardiola was going to be Manchester City’s manager in the summer of 2016. We’ve come a long way from Alan Ball!
Pep is widely considered as the best manager in modern football with records and trophies galore.
Yet how much do you know about the man himself?
The 3 Pep Guardiola books help tell the story about his career, style of play and what goes on inside his mind.
Pep Guardiola: Another way of winning – Author: Guillem Balague
Pep Confidential: Inside Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich – Author: Marti Perarnau
Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World – Author: Graham Hunter
Written by Sky Sports La Liga pundit, Guillem Balague, “Pep Guardiola: Another way of winning” is described on Amazon as the book that “reveals how Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona played the ‘Beautiful Game’ – and won.”
The Good: Anyone who watches Sky Sports will know Guillem Ballague is their go to man on Spanish football. In this book he uses his extensive contact list to give a deep understanding of Pep Guardiola – the man and the coach.
He uses his contacts to delve deep into Pep’s family, the village Pep grew up in and his playing career at Barcelona.
Balague gives a full chapter on Pep’s time in charge of the Barcelona B team, discussing what many City fans will want to know – Pep’s methods and the science behind it, his desire to never stop learning and why Pep was promoted to become the manager of Barcelona.
Pep beat Jose Mourinho to that role and the decision (made partly by City’s now Director of Football Txiki Begiristain) has led to a great rivalry between the two men. Balague gives a full chapter on the relationship between these two contrasting managers.
The Bad: Guillem is a close ally of Pep’s and some believe that the book favours Pep, showing him only in a good light (although with the amount of trophies he won it’s hard to give a bad light!). Whilst Guillem has used his contacts well there is a few that there aren’t enough direct quotes from Pep and his opinions aren’t documented enough.
The format of the book also puts some people off, with the book being in chapters based on subjects rather than in time order. This allows some repetition between chapters – for instance there is a chapter based on Messi and another chapter based on Pep’s time in charge of the B team when Messi was in it. Obviously some of the stories overlap.
The Ugly: For some reason Guillem (or his publishers) got Sir Alex Ferguson to write the intro! Although Guillem does go on to prove some of Old Baconfaces views as incorrect – like he did to Rio Ferdinand when he said Pep inherited a trophy winning team at Barca!
Available to buy from Amazon: Pep Guardiola: Another way of winning is a great starting point for those wanting to learn about Manchester City’s manager and his development into the most sought after football manager in the world! (And he’s now ours! #MCFCOK)
After a yearlong sabbatical from football management (in which time Pep spent a large chunk of the time in New York!), Pep took over at German giants Bayern Munich. During his first year Pep invited journalist Marti Perarnau to write a behind the scenes book of the time.
‘Write about everything you see. Be as critical as you like’ Pep Guardiola to Martí Perarnau, summer 2013 (source Amazon.co.uk)
The Good: True to his word Pep gives Perarnau unique access rarely seen in modern football. The book details match by match, the training sessions, the tactical changes (something City fans are going to have to get used to!) and there are insights from some of Bayern’s major stars.
The book looks behind the scenes at Pep’s constantly changing football philosophy and how he adapts his tactics to the players he has at his disposal. It details Pep’s attention to detail and how he alters his plans to neutralise the opposition.
From pre-season to winning the league the Perarnau captures in incredible detail the season whilst mixing it up with stories from Pep’s year. It reads like City fans are going to have an interesting time!
The Bad: Written as a story the game by game format can put some off with its repetition. After a while the detailed analysis of the training sessions, match day routine and tactics can become repetitive.
After all how many times can you change the way you play?
The writer is obviously close to Pep and despite Pep’s quote “Be as critical as you like”, the writer will have known that after three years there may be chance for another book. Let’s hope there’ a City one!
This book therefore writes Pep in a very good light offering no real critic of his methods. However when you win the league in your first season not much has gone wrong!
The Ugly: Whilst written as a game by game story of the season, it can be a bit technical and repetitive.
Available from Amazon: Pep Confidential: Inside Guardiola’s first season at Bayern Munich is probably best for football geeks who love the tactical side of the game.
Having lived in Barcelona since 2001 Graham Hunter is the only English speaking journalist to have interviewed Pep during his time as Barca coach.
Graham’s book focuses on Barcelona as a whole, although covers the Pep reign in great detail.
The Good: The book charters the development of Barcelona with detailed analysis of Johan Cruyff’s methods, which have formed the basis of Pep Guardiola’s thinking. Whilst the chapter on Barcelona’s famous youth academy discusses how players there are moulded and schooled to become the next Messi or Pique.
These parts of the book will give a great understanding of what is likely to occur at City’s own academy at the CFA.
Equally we see how Pep took over a squad of aging superstars and Graham goes into detail at how Pep got rid of players who were a bad influence on the squad (maybe he didn’t give them birthday cakes!). Whilst getting rid of those who were negative there are also details on how Pep got younger players to implement his strategies on the pitch.
Like the other books Graham portrays Pep as a deep thinker, discussing his relentless pursuit of perfection. In a part of the book most City fans will enjoy Graham discusses key matches such as Barca’s destruction of Man United at Wembley!
There are also small biographies on some of the key players from the era.
The Bad: If you listen to the City podcasts you will know that Graham is not a shrinking violet. His opinions come across strongly and he can be a little biased towards those he favours in the Barca hierarchy.
Some believe that the book is a collection of articles with repetition and filler material to make it into a book. Whilst others believe Graham’s need to keep people onside leads to a lack of critical review. Although this has been said about all the books and it is difficult to be critical of 14 trophies in 4 years!
The Ugly: Obviously this book is about Barcelona so not solely focused on Pep. There are however sections on lots of the key players especially Messi (so if you read this book you won’t have to get another when he signs in the summer!)
Available from Amazon: Barca: the Making of the Greatest Team in the World is good for those who want to see how Pep did things 1st time around and where is methods originate.