16 December 2012

Pep Guardiola by Guillem Balague

  • From ball boy to club captain (of Cryuff's Dream Team no less) to coach extraordinaire, this book is almost all about PG the manager (and for me, not enough about PG the player); 14 titles in 4 years.
  • In my dreams : SAF leads Man Utd to win the EPL and CL titles in May 2013, retires. Pep Guardiola takes over and builds the next Man Utd Dream Team.
  • My rating : 4.5/5
  • PG : "From failure you learn ten times more. Victory gives you ten minutes of peace, but then it makes you stupid. In victory, you have to realize what is not going right." And so it is for trading. The past 4 months since I got stopped out for the year in Aug has been a most enlightening experimental trading period for me. Hopefully the lessons learnt will stand me in good stead for next year. If all goes well, I will blog about them around this time next year.


Taichiseal said...

Champions League Final at Wembley 2011 vs Man Utd ..

"Javier Mascherano cannot help being a fan of Pep, of the delivery and timing of his speeches, of the quality of the message: ‘I’ve heard more than one player say: “Son of a bitch, he’s nailed it!” That speech at Wembley was one that made the greatest impression on me. While he was talking, it wasn’t as if he was referring to a game that we were about to take part in, it was as if we were actually playing it right there. He was up and down, side to side in front of the board, gesticulating; and if you shut your eyes and listened to him, you were already out there in the middle of the action. Everything that he said would happen, happened as he said it would. During the match I was thinking; I’ve seen this already, I’ve already heard all about it – because Pep has already told me about it ...’ There was one more moment of inspiration. A few words that would send Mascherano, for one, out on to the pitch with a tear in his eye. Just after the players had warmed up, minutes before the match was about to kick off, completely unplanned, Pep decided to appeal to the players’ human instincts. As the referee was trying to usher them out and into the tunnel leading on to the pitch, Pep quickly grabbed hold of them and gathering them around said, with pure determination in his voice: ‘Listen, lads, we’re going to do this for Abidal! He has made it here and is with us, we cannot let him down.’"

Taichiseal said...

Champions League Final in Rome 2009 vs Man Utd.

"Perhaps Barcelona, as Sir Alex is suggesting, didn’t need more motivation than winning, than doing the best for their manager, than making sure they didn’t disappoint Puyol or Xavi. But Pep felt that the occasion called for something out of the ordinary to help set the tone. His plan got under way a couple of weeks before the final with a text message to Santi Padró, a TV producer for the Catalan channel TV3: ‘Hola, Santi. We have to meet. You have to help me win the Champions League.’ When Santi came up with the goods a few days later, Pep watched the end result on his laptop and the film the producer had put together brought a tear to his eye. Santi knew straight away that he’d achieved exactly what Pep had asked him to do. Pep then called for Estiarte to come running, telling him he had to watch this DVD. His friend’s reaction was equally resounding: ‘Where and when will you show it to them?’ ‘Just before the game,’ replied Pep. To which his friend could only add, ‘Wow!’ The players were surprised when their warm-up session at the Olympic stadium was brought to an end by the physical trainer a little sooner than they expected. But they were still in the zone. There was emotion, tension, in the air as they headed down the tunnel that took them to the dressing room. Nervous, anxious. Occasionally, one player shouts, claps a team-mate on the back, all to break the tension. Hearts racing. The clatter of studs on the floor. Toc toc toc toc toc toc toc. At that moment, footballers don’t want to be disturbed; they want only to focus on their routine, to be left alone to get on with their last-minute preparations and superstitions. At Barcelona, Víctor Valdés is always the first to get back to the changing room after the pre-match warm-up. In Rome, he got to the dressing room, only to find it locked. He banged on the door, but was not allowed in. One of Pep’s assistants came out and blocked his way, telling him he’d have to wait. Valdés was flabbergasted. Xavi was next. Xavi: What’s going on? Víctor Valdés: He isn’t letting us in! Xavi : Why!? Víctor Valdés: I’ve been told to wait. The rest of the group arrived, and they were finally let in after being made to hang around in the corridor a few minutes longer. Pep made himself heard above the chatter: ‘Lads, I want you to watch this. Enjoy it. This is the teamwork that has taken us to Rome!’ The lights in the dressing room went off as a big screen illuminated the room and the theme from the movie Gladiator filled the space with sound. Guardiola’s friend Santi had produced a rousing seven-minute video montage that merged images from the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator with footage of the entire Barcelona squad, all set to the film’s epic soundtrack. You can see it for yourself online. Every single footballer, even those who played a more peripheral role in the season, is honoured in the film – two sub goalkeepers, Hleb, Milito, and it had been tricky finding footage of the injured defender from that campaign. It featured everyone. Except Pep Guardiola – the coach had stipulated that under no circumstances did he want to be eulogised in the footage. It was all about his players. When the film finished there was silence in the room. Nobody moved, firstly because of the surprise, then the emotion. Players were shyly looking at each other. Tears were shed. Milito cried, he was missing the final. Unthinking, unconsciously, players had put their arms around teammates’ shoulders. It was a moment, an intense, special moment. Unforgettable, emotive. But was it the right thing to do? ‘I don’t know if it was because of the feelings the video brought up or what, but our first minutes of the final were pretty awful,’ Iniesta says now. Even Pep Guardiola admits that he might have moved the players a touch too much."

Taichiseal said...

Link to the Gladiator video .. this is the best quality one I found ..