Bayern Munich’s emphatic victory over Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday evening shows why the Gunners must go for Pep Guardiola when Arsene Wenger eventually steps down.
The Bundesliga champions were in scintillating form at the Allianz Arena, with Thomas Muller scoring twice and further goals from Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and David Alaba all but ending the Gunners’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
Though they were beaten by the Premier League outfit two weeks ago there was to be no repeat this time around, with Guardiola’s men showing why many believe them to be favourites to win the trophy for the first time since 2013.
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Losing at the Emirates Stadium a fortnight ago thrust Guardiola into the spotlight amid rumours he may be ready to end his time in Bavaria to chance his arm in England.
However his side played with typical panache and perfection, obliterating an Arsenal team fuelled by a recent upsurge in domestic fortunes in a win that consolidates their position at the top of Group F.
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Muller and Lewandowski were at their clinical best, the former particularly eye-catching, with a sensational overhead kick from Olivier Giroud the only blotch on an otherwise flawless evening.
Ever since his arrival onto the managerial scene with Barcelona in 2008, Guardiola has been compared to Wenger but betters the Frenchman with his record in Europe’s top-tier competition.
He won the tournament in his maiden season at the Nou Camp, along with the league title and Copa Del Ray, and then lifted the trophy again two years later with Lionel Messi inspiring them to victory over Manchester United at Wembley.
Contrastingly, despite being at the club since 1996 Wenger is still yet to win the trophy that defines all great managers. Also, despite Guardiola being on the scene for less than a decade, the Spaniard has already amassed more league titles than his opposite number.
When the day comes when Wenger opts to retire it will force the Arsenal hierarchy into making a huge decision over who will succeed him.
And Guardiola, unlike David Moyes at Manchester United, would have no qualms succeeding one of the greatest managers this country has ever seen.
He’s a serial winner, always eager to add more accolades to his name and medals to his collection. When Wenger goes, the club must make sure Guardiola comes in.
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