How Pep Guardiola’s Ruthlessness Has Set Him Apart After Fallout With Cancelo, Ibrahimovic

How Pep Guardiola’s Ruthlessness Has Set Him Apart After Fallout With Cancelo, Ibrahimovic

Martin Moses
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:24 PM
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  • Joao Cancelo's exit from Manchester City after an alleged fallout with Pep Guardiola was unexpected
  • Guardiola has built his managerial career by booting out high-level stars he no longer wants to work with
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Yaya Toure headline the list of the players who fell out with Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has established himself as one of the best football coaches in the world. You know those people who take to something and excel at it without breaking a sweat? Well, that's Guardiola's relationship with coaching.

A lot has been said about his inability to win the Champions League without Lionel Messi and a Xavi-Iniesta midfield. Or how he doesn't build young players and instead overspends on ready-to-go stars.

Pep Gaurdiola, Manchester City, Joao Cancelo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola. Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City.
Source: Getty Images

But one thing you can't argue with is the 9 league titles in the last 14 seasons in three different countries. Neither can you argue with the sextuple feat with Barcelona in 2009.

Guardiola is ruthless

Forget his maverick tactics, his dramatic gestures on the touchline or his witty press conferences, the Spanish tactician has mastered another art that is never quite talked about enough - the art of dispensing of players he doesn't need.

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Joao Cancelo's recent departure caught many fans by surprise. Just three months ago, every pundit sang effusive praises of the Portuguese fullback. Liverpool legend and now famous commentator Jim Beglin has in the past opined that he can easily play as a number 10. His vision, pace, ball control and technical skills set him apart from his peers.

Cancelo's loss of form

But the 28-year-old lost his form somewhere along the way. He was dropped alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal's round of 16 clash against Switzerland. Afterwards, he struggled to break into Gaurdiola's team before his exit. A training ground bust-up has been blamed for their falling out, a claim vehemently denied by the new Bayern Munich player.

The jury is still out on whether Guardiola erred in allowing Cancelo to leave especially after Oleksandr Zinchenko joined Arsenal but in the past, his decisions have been vindicated.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Take for example, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede striker joined Guardiola's side in 2009 looking to steer the team to even greater heights. He however only lasted one season in Spain before being shipped out on loan to AC Milan.

Part of the reason is reportedly Gurdiola's insistence to build his team around Lionel Messi and not Ibrahimovic. Messi had just started to show the world what he was made of and it did not take long for him to fully burst onto the scene and win seven Ballon dórs years later.

The two have never made peace.

Joe Hart

Joe Hart is another classic example. The goalkeeper was immediately replaced when Guardiola took over as Manchester City's boss. Guardiola wanted a different profile for a goalkeeper and the England international wasn't it. Ederson was brought in and handed the number one reins at the Etihad. He might not be the best goalkeeper in the division but in him, Manchester City have another playmaker with his ball distribution.

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure was also dropped by Guardiola to pave way for a young Sergio Busquets to operate in the holding role of Barcelona's midfield. The two then fell out at Manchester City with the Ivorian icon leaving under unhappy terms. Busquests later became the best in his position, modifying the defensive midfielder role.

In essence, Guardiola's treatment of players always seem harsh at face value but the former Bayern Munich head coach always has his bases covered. It doesn't matter how big you are, when it's your time to go, Guardiola will make sure you have gone.

Players who fell out with Guardiola

Sports Brief had earlier reported that it is undeniable that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers of all time.

The Spaniard has one of the most magnificent CVs in the footballing world, winning all that there is to win in club football.

The 52-year-old gaffer has clinched two UEFA Champions Leagues trophies, two La Liga titles, three titles each in the Premier League and Bundesliga, Copa del Rey, Carabao Cups, the list goes on and on.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
Pep Guardiola