Ranking the Top 5 Pep Guardiola Proteges in Charge of Big Clubs Next Season

Ranking the Top 5 Pep Guardiola Proteges in Charge of Big Clubs Next Season

Isaac Darko
June 1, 2024 at 10:48 PM

Great managers often produce disciples who carry on their legacy.

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For example, Johan Cruyff followed in the footsteps of Rinus Michels, and Pep Guardiola, often regarded as the finest mind in modern football, emerged from Cruyff's influence.

Some even argue that Guardiola might be the greatest coach of all time, with his impact resonating far beyond the clubs he has led to success.

Next season, the 53-year-old Guardiola will face challenges from a new wave of coaches inspired by his methods. Many of Guardiola’s former players and coaching staff are now in positions to compete with their old mentor.

Sports Brief looks at five of Guardiola’s protégés who will be in charge of top clubs next season:

Mikel Arteta – Arsenal

From idol to rival, Mikel Arteta began his coaching career on Guardiola’s backroom staff at Manchester City, spending three seasons learning from his compatriot. Arsenal took a chance on their former captain, and Arteta has since transformed the Gunners into serious contenders in the Premier League.

Last season, Arsenal scored the most goals and had the best defensive record, narrowly missing out on the title by just two points. The challenge for next season is to end their two-decade wait for the Premier League title.

Erik ten Hag – Manchester United

Erik ten Hag began his career at Go Ahead Eagles before managing Bayern Munich II while Guardiola was leading Bayern’s first team to three consecutive Bundesliga titles.

At Manchester United, Ten Hag has won trophies in each of his first two seasons despite criticism of their league performance in 2023-24.

His FA Cup success was particularly notable as it was achieved by defeating Guardiola’s Manchester City at Wembley.

Xabi Alonso – Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso is one of the hottest coaching properties after leading Bayer Leverkusen to their first-ever Bundesliga title in the 2023-24 season, remaining unbeaten.

He added the DFB-Pokal to complete a domestic double, rejecting offers from Bayern Munich and Liverpool to stay with Leverkusen.

With a coaching style influenced by Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, and Guardiola, Alonso is seen as a potential future manager for Real Madrid.

Enzo Maresca – Chelsea

Enzo Maresca, who had two spells working with Guardiola at Manchester City, first with the Elite Development Squad and then as a first-team assistant, is now taking charge of Chelsea.

After leading Leicester City to the Championship title and an immediate return to the Premier League, Maresca was appointed as Chelsea's head coach. His task will be to transform an expensive, yet inexperienced squad into a team capable of competing for major trophies.

Vincent Kompany – Bayern Munich

Vincent Kompany became a Manchester City legend during his 11-year tenure, winning two league titles and a domestic treble under Guardiola. After an impressive managerial debut at Anderlecht and leading Burnley to Premier League promotion, Kompany has now been appointed as head coach of Bayern Munich.

Despite a tumultuous managerial search, Bayern opted for Kompany, who will now bring his experience from the Championship to the Champions League.

These five coaches, all influenced by Guardiola, will be key figures to watch in the upcoming season as they strive to make their mark on the football world.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)