Pep Guardiola Missing Champions League ‘cherry On The Cake’ At Bayern Munich, Says Uli Koehler
Pep Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich with his reputation in tact but it will be remembered for missing the “cherry on the cake” after failing to win the Champions League, according to Sky Sports Munich reporter Uli Koehler.
Bayern were knocked out in the last four of the competition by Atletico Madrid on away goals, despite a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
It means Guardiola will leave to join Manchester City this summer having lost three semi-finals to Spanish opposition during his time in Bavaria after defeats to Real Madrid and Barcelona previously.
The Catalan coach said he was not concerned with his track record after the defeat to Atletico, and Koehler hailed Guardiola as “incredible”, but said it would be remembered that he came up short in Europe.
“I was talking in the last couple of hours to the fans and, okay, there is still disappointment here but Pep Guardiola has done great work here,” Koehler told Sky Sports News HQ. “As a manager he developed the team to a really top, top level.
“Pep Guardiola is an incredible manager but maybe sometimes the players were confused about all his decisions. Sometimes, maybe, he makes it too complicated, the easy game is not his game. One game he changed the tactics four times but at the end he won.
“He put Bayern, game-wise, at the really top level and, after the three years he has spent here, at a financial level, Bayern are also top and his reputation is incredible.
“He will be remembered as a top manager but, at the end, it will also be remembered that the manager is missing the cherry on the cake, it is not here.”
Koehler said the overriding feeling in Munich was one of disappointment given their dominance in the tie, which had made for a vast improvement on the nature of the exits of the last two years.
“You can feel it here at the training ground; it is not only the players and it is not only the bosses, it is also the supporters who came out here to watch the training and you feel it,” he said.
“The disappointment is very big because it was so painful to lose and Bayern were the much better team and this was the change to the other two failures in the last two years when they didn’t advance to the final.
“Bayern didn’t play so good then, but last night they had one of the best games of the season. The only thing Bayern didn’t get was the third goal and they deserved it and so that is why it is very painful. They didn’t have the luck you need to advance to a final.”
Xabi Alonso scored in the first half in Munich to level the tie before Thomas Muller saw a penalty saved. The World Cup winner was left out of the first leg in the Spanish capital and Koehler thinks this is a sign of Guardiola’s thinking before games.
“Pep Guardiola is a guy who thinks too much. He changes his mind, I’m sure, three days in a row thinking about the right tactics, what to do, what not to do and to leave him out in the first leg against Atletico Madrid was, for sure, not a good idea,” he said.
“But on the other hand you lose 1-0 in an away game to Atletico then you still have a chance, this can happen in a semi-final of the Champions League. So there is still a chance you can turn it around and Bayern had their chance last night.
“Pep Guardiola will not be happy about it and it will be rated from the fans as not the best decision. Bayern now have to look forward, they still have a cup final against Borussia Dortmund, which will be really tough.
“I think Muller showed last night he cannot do everything. He didn’t score the penalty, it would have been 2-0. It didn’t happen and it was a great, exciting game but the disappointment here at Bayern Munich’s ground is huge.”