The last 4 years for Barcelona have undoubtedly been the best in their history. They have won an astounding 13 cups, scored 615 goals, a win % of around 73. They won every single trophy they competed for in the 2008-2009 season (Pep’s first season in charge of Barca). Their team chemistry has been somewhat magical, beyond a dream team. The spine of Barca has played absolutely remarkable football which simply could not be matched. A huge factor for this has been a squad with jaw hanging talent, gifts and experience to compliment it all. Messi, Xavi, Ibrahimovic, Puyol, Iniesta, Pique, David Villa etc. The wealth of gifted individuals has simply been fascinating. And to top it all a manager who could manage that pool and also on occasion get to the special one. The El-Classico encounters over the past 4 years have largely tipped in the favor of Barcelona including one sided wins such as the 5-0 drubbing in 2010 (please correct me if I am wrong about the year) against a Mourinho steered Madrid.
Pep himself was part of a Barca dream team in his playing days under Cryuff. However that dream team and the one he has managed… have simply been on different levels altogether. I have often discussed the state of Barca with my friends and the era of players that they are enjoying at the moment and all we have come conclude is that it is simply inexplicable for a club to have had so much talent and such amazing chemistry to have achieved what they have. They have simply played at a level no one can come close to. It like an inexplicable vortex in the time space continuum which blessed Barca with a wealth pool that they have had.
So I have talked about how great Barca have been and there is no doubt that this is because of the players they have had or rather the era of players they have had (which I repeat is inexplicable). Then why was it a pleasure by Pep. A headless squad can do nothing well unless the brains running the outfit are good. I am not saying that every achievement in the last 4 years has been entirely to Pep’s credit but he needed to be a damn good manager to have steered a squad overflowing with talent. He managed them damn well. He had his weaknesses and low points as well. But come on.. to have managed a team with those stats in the last 4 years is amazing. He has delivered an era for Barca which can never be forgotten. It is etched in the history books for football fans in general. He has after all steered the ship which delivered 13 titles in the last 4 years to the Nou Camp faithful making him the most successful manager in Barca’s history.
I have been a Gunner for the last 13 years and will continue to be one (despite my objections to the current state of affairs). However I have simply had to write this out of respect for all the sublime, mesmerizing, amazing and fantastic football that Pep’s Barcelona have delivered in the last 4 years. have had to watch in pain as Arsenal were twice simply outclassed by Barcelona in the Champions League. But they were simply not a match. Not even in the same league.
So long Pep, it has been a pleasure and an honor watching your team’s style and philosophy of football.