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Action movie filmed at Upton Park

The Toe Poke

Guardiola tipped for success at Bayern

Pep Guardiola has been backed to succeed at Bayern Munich by a number of his former colleagues and team-mates in the week that he begins work at the European champions.

• Pep learns Bayern debut fate
• Pep hires ex-Barca staff

The German media has gone into overdrive as it awaits Guardiola's arrival, with several interviews and lengthy features about the former Barcelona coach appearing in Monday's newspapers.

The Spaniard, who will be presented to the media on Monday, has been hailed as the Bundesliga's biggest signing of the summer, while the Treble-winners' expectations for next season have reached new heights.

"It's about turning a memorable year into an era," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm told Bild. "Our best years are yet to come as strange as it might sound after a treble-winning year."

Michael Reiziger, a former team-mate of Guardiola's at Barcelona, however, feels there may be a few difficulties for the new coach at first.

"Everybody knows that his tactical skills are excellent. But harmony within the team is also very important to him. He has instincts. The big question is: In Barcelona he knew everything - how fast will he get access to a different club like Bayern and on top of that in a foreign language? It's a risk," Reiziger told

"When it comes to football I have no doubts, but he will have to find his way to deal with the mentality. In Barcelona he could feel every political tendency inside the team or the club. Bayern is just as big and complex as Barcelona but it's all new and uncharted territory to him."

Reiziger, though, is sure that Guardiola will ultimately be able to adjust to life at Bayern.

"Pep will hit the right notes," he said. "He is intelligent and he can make it there."

Juan Manuel Lillo, the coach that Guardiola calls his biggest influence besides Johan Cruyff, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "He is lucky enough to join a club, where the players have the quality to stand way above the ideas a coach could have. We're talking about a Champions League winner, who has dominated all the matches.

"Bayern did not only attack the opposing players but they also made sure that they arrived in a bad shape, once they reached their penalty area. Bayern have already achieved the things that are characteristic for the position-play Guardiola stands for."

In Zeit, Ronald Reng, the renowned author of 'Dream Keeper', cites a meeting between Catalan chef Ferran Adria, inventor of molecular cuisine and founder of the erstwhile world-famous restaurant elBulli, and Guardiola.

Adria told Guardiola that he "should write a book about his methods, because a lot of people could learn from [him]". The coach replied: "Are you kidding me? All I do is watch a video of the opponent and focus my team's tactic on the weak point of this team."

Reng concludes that Guardiola does not see himself as an innovator but only as someone insatiably curious about football.

The author also spoke to Joan Laporta, the former Barcelona president, who installed Guardiola as coach. Laporta explained why Guardiola chose Bayern over offers from other top clubs.

"The Germans are a benchmark for us Catalans and we admire the Bavarians even a bit more than the Germans. They are also very proud of their own identity," he said, before referring to the Bavarians as "Latino-Germans".


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