What is the transfer value of a manager?

Skills

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It's a difficult thing to evaluate.

A great manager/coach can get a team to punch well above its weight, and will help elevate the value of players beyond their own capabilities. But there's a few issues :

  • Most managers move on with a sacking - a sacking involves paying the manager off to leave his job. Most players move on via transfers - so you actually gain some money for them.
  • Once you decide a player is not good enough for your first team, they may still be valuable as a squad player. What do you do with a manager who's not good enough? Can you force him to manage your reserves? Can we force him to continue as an assistant?
  • If a player wants to leave, you may hold them true to their contract. And you have a few things in your favour - appearance fees, transfer windows, international careers means that a player has to buck up their ideas and still make themselves available to play. Unless your Carlos tevez.
  • You can't hold a manager true to his contract. If your manager wants to leave and publicly states this, you're fecked. Do you go in to the next season hoping the guy gets his ideas right? Will the team continue to respond to a coach who has stated he doesn't want to be there?
So considering all the risks and rewards, what are the top managers worth?
 
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RooneyLegend

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The very best managers are worth more than the very best players, by a distance too. God knows how much Pep would be worth. Look at us since the great man left.

It's actually amazing they get paid less than the best players. Really, let's be honest, us getting away with paying Sir Alex less than a million a week is amazing.
 

kaempen

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The very best managers are worth more than the very best players, by a distance too. God knows how much Pep would be worth. Look at us since the great man left.

It's actually amazing they get paid less than the best players. Really, let's be honest, us getting away with paying Sir Alex less than a million a week is amazing.
There is simply no way that Pep, Sir Alex or other such historic managers are worth more than players like Messi and Ronaldo. The type of impact of a manager is different as well, because managers cannot win titles right away with an insufficient squad, but they can develop and elevate a team over time. If you put Messi in United, United become one of the best teams in the world overnight.
 

Tiber

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The best managers are worth more than any player.

This market has always been massively distorted but in terms of compensation and wages.

Fergie has a fascinating chapter in his about about a time when his relationship with United because extremely strained because he was earning a pittance compared to some of his own players
 

Tiber

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There is simply no way that Pep, Sir Alex or other such historic managers are worth more than players like Messi and Ronaldo. The impact of a manager is different as well, because managers cannot win titles right away with an insufficient squad, but they can develop and elevate a team over time. If you put Messi in United, United become one of the best teams in the world overnight.
I couldn't disagree with you more. If United signed a clone of Messi that would great. But that would mean so much less than if United could clone Fergie.

If you had to choose between the two it has to be the manger every single time - at least while you are talking about the very best managers
 

RooneyLegend

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There is simply no way that Pep, Sir Alex or other such historic managers are worth more than players like Messi and Ronaldo. The impact of a manager is different as well, because managers cannot win titles right away with an insufficient squad, but they can develop and elevate a team over time. If you put Messi in United, United become one of the best teams in the world overnight.
Yeah, the same way Argentina are one of the best sides in the world? Ronaldo left us and we barely missed a beat, Kept winning titles all willy nilly yet when Sir Alex left we became a mess. Ronaldo joined Juve and they've barely improved.

In this era of a tactical transition in football, managers are the most important commodity. Look what Klopp has done at Pool with no genuine superstar there when he got there. Look what his system has done to Salah, you know, the guy barely anyone wanted from Rome.
 

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I couldn't disagree with you more. If United signed a young clone of Messi that would great. But that would mean so much less than if United could clone Fergie.

If you had to choose between the two it has to be the manger every single time. Put Messi in this United team and we are still in a bitter fight with City
Put Ferguson in charge of this United, and they might finish third or fourth. If you put Messi in, it's a comfortable top 3 finish, since he adds 35 goals and 15 assists. Football is still decided by the quality of the squad. What great managers do is that they develop and improve the squad quality. But if they come up against another team with higher overall squad quality, it's a likely loss.
 

Luke1995

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Why no club has ever attempted to buy a manager directly from another ? (probably)
 

roonster09

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Why no club has ever attempted to buy a manager directly from another ? (probably)
They did, Chelsea paid 15 million to sign AVB, Chelsea paid around 7 million to sign Sarri.
 

kaempen

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Yeah, the same way Argentina are one of the best sides in the world? Ronaldo left us and we barely missed a beat, Kept winning titles all willy nilly yet when Sir Alex left we became a mess. Ronaldo joined Juve and they've barely improved.

In this era of a tactical transition in football, managers are the most important commodity. Look what Klopp has done at Pool with no genuine superstar there when he got there. Look what his system has done to Salah, you know, the guy barely anyone wanted from Rome.
It's about overall squad quality. Messi can't make Argentina win against stacked world class teams, when Argentina play a defence and midfield from the Argentinian league. I am disputing that these managers are more important than players like Messi and Ronaldo, not normal world class players. 2019 will be the first time since 2013 that neither Ronaldo nor Messi win the CL. Pep hasn't won it since he was coaching Messi, and Ferguson only won it twice in his career. These two players have over twice the number of CL titles of those two managers.
 

Luke1995

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They did, Chelsea paid 15 million to sign AVB, Chelsea paid around 7 million to sign Sarri.
Interesting, was not aware of that! Chelsea does change their managers quite a bit, not sure if somebody has lasted four full seasons under Abramovich
 

Ondrej

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Put Ferguson in charge of this United, and they might finish third or fourth. If you put Messi in, it's a comfortable top 3 finish, since he adds 35 goals and 15 assists. Football is still decided by the quality of the squad. What great managers do is that they develop and improve the squad quality. But if they come up against another team with higher overall squad quality, it's a likely loss.
Messi wouldn't do that much with our current players around him. On the other hand look at the last team SAF won the league with, I wouldn't be surprised if we were challenging if he was in charge.
 

RooneyLegend

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It's about overall squad quality. Messi can't make Argentina win against stacked world class teams, when Argentina play a defence and midfield from the Argentinian league. I am disputing that these managers are more important than players like Messi and Ronaldo, not normal world class players. 2019 will be the first time since 2013 that neither Ronaldo nor Messi win the CL. Pep hasn't won it since he was coaching Messi, and Ferguson only won it twice in his career. These two players have over twice the number of CL titles of those two managers.
They've won 1 int tournament amongst each other out of God knows how many. Which country that competes in the copa regularly has more quality than Argentina? this is an era where they've had Aguero, Higuain, Ever Banega, Otamendi, Di Maria, Romero and Mascherano. He plays and can't win it against sides like Chile and Uruguay.

If you think that group of players without Messi but with Pep would not have made a better team then there's little I can say to you.
 

kaempen

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They've won 1 int tournament amongst each other out of God knows how many. Which country that competes in the copa regularly has more quality than Argentina? this is an era where they've had Aguero, Higuain, Ever Banega, Otamendi, Di Maria, Romero and Mascherano. He plays and can't win it against sides like Chile and Uruguay.

If you think that group of players without Messi but with Pep would not have made a better team then there's little I can say to you.
Why are you listing mediocre players like Banega and Romero? They reached a World Cup final with Messi, which doesn't happen often for them. It's a much bigger achievement than a Copa America or Euro win. They were also much more stacked in 2002 and 2006, but failed. Uruguay have the most Copa America wins of all time and have basically had a golden generation, so I'm not sure why you're bringing them up. Chile have been great too in recent years, but it's definitely a failure that Argentina didn't beat them. With Pep but without Messi, I don't think they would ever have gone further than a World Cup quarter-final. Let's mention Ronaldo as well. He won the Euros. Would Portugal have won something if we took him out and put in Pep as the manager?
 

RooneyLegend

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Why are you listing mediocre players like Banega and Romero? They reached a World Cup final with Messi, which doesn't happen often for them. It's a much bigger achievement than a Copa America or Euro win. They were also much more stacked in 2002 and 2006, but failed. Uruguay have the most Copa America wins of all time and have basically had a golden generation, so I'm not sure why you're bringing them up. Chile have been great too in recent years, but it's definitely a failure that Argentina didn't beat them. With Pep but without Messi, I don't think they would ever have gone further than a World Cup quarter-final. Let's mention Ronaldo as well. He won the Euros. Would Portugal have won something if we took him out and put in Pep as the manager?
Come on mate, Croatia just reached the world cup final. These isn't an era of truly great international teams. Banega and Romero are far from mediocre players. No Uruguay squad has been better than Argentina's in eons. You thinking Pep with that squad excluding Messi wouldn't get past Van Gaals Holland and a young Belgian side led by a senator is crazy.

Lest we forget, Portugal won the final without Ronaldo which shows you that these teams aren't flat out incompetent. Give that squad Klopp and see how good their team gets.
 

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Transfer value of a manager... I'd say from a financial point of view it's the value of their contract

A player has to be registered to play for his club manager does not

If a player refuses to play for club X because he wants to go to club y there has to be a deal struck to facilitate the transfer of his registration... The transfer fee

If a manager wants to quit he can just walk out to go to club y... Club X then could pursue him for losses under his contract ... Typically limited to the value of the contract... Hence if club y are prepared to pay out the remaining value of the contract the manager is basically off the hook for any liability
 

JPRouve

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Transfer value of a manager... I'd say from a financial point of view it's the value of their contract

A player has to be registered to play for his club manager does not

If a player refuses to play for club X because he wants to go to club y there has to be a deal struck to facilitate the transfer of his registration... The transfer fee

If a manager wants to quit he can just walk out to go to club y... Club X then could pursue him for losses under his contract ... Typically limited to the value of the contract... Hence if club y are prepared to pay out the remaining value of the contract the manager is basically off the hook for any liability
That's a key point. And then there is the small issue that at the exception of maybe a handful of managers the rest are pretty much in the same range in terms of quality or expected impact, they are not scarce and therefore not valuable.
 

Johan07

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Transfer value of a manager... I'd say from a financial point of view it's the value of their contract

A player has to be registered to play for his club manager does not

If a player refuses to play for club X because he wants to go to club y there has to be a deal struck to facilitate the transfer of his registration... The transfer fee

If a manager wants to quit he can just walk out to go to club y... Club X then could pursue him for losses under his contract ... Typically limited to the value of the contract... Hence if club y are prepared to pay out the remaining value of the contract the manager is basically off the hook for any liability
Exactly, you cant put a "transfer value" on a manager. A manager is employed and his employment is governed by his contract and applicable labour law. And no, a manager cannot be a contractor according to applicable EU case law.
As a lawyer I find it interesting that in the UK so much seems to be tied to the value of the contract.
That makes sense if its the club/employer that terminates the contract without cause.
Not so much if the manager walks away though. Because then as you said it will be a question of liability for breach of contract. What is that liability though and how do you prove an amount?
Its not the remaining contract value, because that is not payable if the employee walks. Therefore not a cost, Costs for recruitment of a new manager maybe? And other direct costs like that. Wont be that much.
Also in some jurisdictions in Europe like Scandinavia for example, the liability for an employee that walks away from a contract is limited to maybe 2-3 months of salary (if costs are proven), which is nothing. I found it strange when it was reported that United paid Molde (was it 7m?) which does not really make sense from a Scandinalvian labour law perspective. Might have been a good faith gesture.
And thats mandatory law which would render any clause in the managers contract about penalty (which is what it is) for and amount that big as the contract value would be null and void.
Seems to be allowed in the UK though, because that is the only way I see it working.
 
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Treble

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There is simply no way that Pep, Sir Alex or other such historic managers are worth more than players like Messi and Ronaldo. The type of impact of a manager is different as well, because managers cannot win titles right away with an insufficient squad, but they can develop and elevate a team over time. If you put Messi in United, United become one of the best teams in the world overnight.
Very much doubt it. Barcelona are supposed to have better players than United even without Messi and they suffered several drubbings in the CL the last few years: from Juve, PSG, Roma and Liverpool.

If you moved Messi and Valverde to City and Guardiola and Sterling to Barceliona, I reckon that Barcelona would be the better team.
 

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Exactly, you cant put a "transfer value" on a manager. A manager is employed and his employment is governed by his contract and applicable labour law. And no, a manager cannot be a contractor according to applicable EU case law.
As a lawyer I find it interesting that in the UK so much seems to be tied to the value of the contract.
That makes sense if its the club/employer that terminates the contract without cause.
Not so much if the manager walks away though. Because then as you said it will be a question of liability for breach of contract. What is that liability though and how do you prove an amount?
Its not the remaining contract value, because that is not payable if the employee walks. Therefore not a cost, Costs for recruitment of a new manager maybe? And other direct costs like that. Wont be that much.
Also in some jurisdictions in Europe like Scandinavia for example, the liability for an employee that walks away from a contract is limited to maybe 2-3 months of salary (if costs are proven), which is nothing. I found it strange when it was reported that United paid Molde (was it 7m?) which does not really make sense from a Scandinalvian labour law perspective. Might have been a good faith gesture.
And thats mandatory law which would render any clause in the managers contract about penalty (which is what it is) for and amount that big as the contract value null and void. Seems to be allowed in the UK though, because that is the only way I see it working.
In France the value of the compensation will, if necessary, be determined by the labour court(Prud'hommes). It's not really linked to the value of your contract but the potential damage caused by the unjustified or unlawful resignation.
 

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Very much doubt it. Barcelona are supposed to have better players than United even without Messi and they suffered several drubbings in the CL the last few years: from Juve, PSG, Roma and Liverpool.

If you moved Messi and Valverde to City and Guardiola and Sterling to Barceliona, I reckon that Barcelona would be the better team.
The first paragraph makes sense but the second one doesn’t. Messi is comfortably better than Sterling. City with Messi would be ridiculous with any decent manager. Barcelona without Messi recently lost 0-2 to Celta Vigo and were played off the park. Losing him would be a catastrophic blow.

What people don’t understand is that great managers lay the foundations of great teams, in large part by signing and developing the right players. You can’t just stick Pep or Klopp into any side and expect a major imrovement until they’ve had time to implement their philosophy. Just look at their first year at City and Liverpool.

Pep laid such a great foundation at Barca that mediocre managers could just cruise on it for years. Only now are the wheels finally starting to come off.
 

Rafaeldagold

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A very good manager becomes more important the further down the league you go as getting that extra 5% out of players can mean a great deal & with inferior players good coaching can mean a massive difference.

At the very top it’s not as important as having a much more talented squad than everyone else will help you win games in-spite of any coaching failures but it still helps of course.
 

Treble

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The first paragraph makes sense but the second one doesn’t. Messi is comfortably better than Sterling. City with Messi would be ridiculous with any decent manager. Barcelona without Messi recently lost 0-2 to Celta Vigo and were played off the park. Losing him would be a catastrophic blow.

What people don’t understand is that great managers lay the foundations of great teams, in large part by signing and developing the right players. You can’t just stick Pep or Klopp into any side and expect a major imrovement until they’ve had time to implement their philosophy. Just look at their first year at City and Liverpool.

Pep laid such a great foundation at Barca that mediocre managers could just cruise on it for years. Only now are the wheels finally starting to come off.
Your objection makes sense on the presumption that City have better players than Barca anyway and if you add Messi instead of Sterling, City will be better than Barca even with someone like Valverde as their manager. But City as a whole and their players look so good because of Guardiola. They do not have the better players - only Laporte (ahead of Umtiti?, questionable), KDB and Sterling (ahead of Coutinho/Dembele - only because of Guardiola's influence) would be firm starters at Barca. Current Barca would be a much better team with Guardiola. The influence that Guardiola has on City is much bigger than Valverde's on Barcelona -- to the extent that if you swap Valverde/Messi for Guardiola/Sterling, Barca would still be the better team despite City having Messi.
 

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Your objection makes sense on the presumption that City have better players than Barca anyway and if you add Messi instead of Sterling, City will be better than Barca even with someone like Valverde as their manager. But City as a whole and their players look so good because of Guardiola. They do not have the better players - only Laporte (ahead of Umtiti?, questionable), KDB and Sterling (ahead of Coutinho/Dembele - only because of Guardiola's influence) would be firm starters at Barca. Current Barca would be a much better team with Guardiola. The influence that Guardiola has on City is much bigger than Valverde's on Barcelona -- to the extent that if you swap Valverde/Messi for Guardiola/Sterling, Barca would still be the better team despite City having Messi.
City’s squad not being that good is a rather unusual opinion. I think you are in the minority thinking that Barca minus Messi has a better squad than City minus Sterling. City doesn’t have a 10/10 player but few clubs do nowadays. Having lots of 8/10 and 9/10 is usually better.

Who even is the biggest star in Barca after Messi? Rakitic? Declining. Suarez? Declining. Dembele? Disappointment. Coutinho? Underwhelming.

I agree that the manager is the most important person in the long term, but mostly due to how he shapes the team and not with an instant tactical impact. I think Pep at a national team would be a huge disappointment since he can’t really implement his style with a haphazard mismatch of players that he only gets to coach occasionally.

If I could have Pep or Messi at United for 1 season, I would pick Messi easily. If I could have them for 10 years, I would choose Pep. He can build a dynasty of success in a way a single player can’t.
 
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Treble

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City’s squad not being that good is a rather unusual opinion. I think you are in the minority thinking that Barca minus Messi has a better squad than City minus Sterling. City doesn’t have a 10/10 player but few clubs do nowadays. Having lots of 8/10 and 9/10 is usually better.

Who even is the biggest star in Barca after Messi? Rakitic? Declining. Suarez? Declining. Dembele? Disappointment. Coutinho? Underwhelming.

I agree that the manager is the most important person in the long term, but mostly due to how he shapes the team and not with an instant tactical impact. If I could have Pep or Messi for 1 season, I would pick Messi easily. If I could have them for 10 years, I would choose Pep. He can build a dynasty of success in a way a single player can’t.
Fair enough. It's difficult to compare the impacts of players and managers, especially in hypothetical scenarios. But I think that Guardiola would have a bigger impact on almost any team than Messi. For instance, take Argentina. Think they'd be better off with Guardiola than with Messi whose influence for them isn't that big anyway.
 

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Points gained in a season multiplied by one million minus 30 million.
 

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Fair enough. It's difficult to compare the impacts of players and managers, especially in hypothetical scenarios. But I think that Guardiola would have a bigger impact on almost any team than Messi. For instance, take Argentina. Think they'd be better off with Guardiola than with Messi whose influence for them isn't that big anyway.
International managers are for the most part subpar managers but in that case, Argentina badly lack quality in certain positions for example fullbacks and CMs, the options are really poor and Guardiola wouldn't change that because he can't purchase players and he won't have time to develop anyone since players aren't available during a large part of the season.

If we stick to Barcelona, and you swap Bernardo Silva and Guardiola with Messi and Valverde, Barcelona are most likely the winners because Guardiola will improve the team as a whole and Bernardo Silva while being a big downgrade is still a top player. Valverde is the determining factor, he doesn't compare to Guardiola and won't bring much to City.

In the end it entirely depends on what you have and who is your current manager. A top manager can be worth nothing as much as he can be worth everything.
 

Treble

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International managers are for the most part subpar managers but in that case, Argentina badly lack quality in certain positions for example fullbacks and CMs, the options are really poor and Guardiola wouldn't change that because he can't purchase players and he won't have time to develop anyone since players aren't available during a large part of the season.

If we stick to Barcelona, and you swap Bernardo Silva and Guardiola with Messi and Valverde, Barcelona are most likely the winners because Guardiola will improve the team as a whole and Bernardo Silva while being a big downgrade is still a top player. Valverde is the determining factor, he doesn't compare to Guardiola and won't bring much to City.

In the end it entirely depends on what you have and who is your current manager. A top manager can be worth nothing as much as he can be worth everything.
I agree with the other points you make, but, for all their deficiences, Argentina have much more talent in their squad than Iceland, and are definetely not worse than Croatia players wise. It's not like Croatia have superb defenders. Yet Croatia beat them 3:0 and Iceland was a struggle. Guardiola would make them much better than this.
 

JPRouve

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I agree with the other points you make, but, for all their deficiences, Argentina have much more talent in their squad than Iceland, and are definetely not worse than Croatia players wise. It's not like Croatia have superb defenders. Yet Croatia beat them 3:0 and Iceland was a struggle. Guardiola would make them much better than this.
Overall Argentina have had better results than Croatia and Iceland though, Croatia is also a lot more balanced in terms of their pool of players. The issue with Argentina is that they have great players but they are in the same positions and can't play together. If you follow the logic that you are as weak as your weakest link then it's easy to see why Argentina are incredibly inconsistent.

You are seemingly making that judgement based on one competition where Argentina played against the eventual winner in the round of 16 while Croatia were playing Denmark. If you extend it, it was the first time that Croatia went past group stage since 1998 while Argentina have been in the quarter finals or the final in 2014.
 

Josep Dowling

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The best managers are worth more than any player.

This market has always been massively distorted but in terms of compensation and wages.

Fergie has a fascinating chapter in his about about a time when his relationship with United because extremely strained because he was earning a pittance compared to some of his own players
I don’t think this is correct. He found out George Graham was earning much more than him when he was at Arsenal so he went back to the board asking for more money.

I think he made a point in that chapter that the people at the top should earn the most money, and rightly so. That’s why I think we have a massive issue these days and player power because players earn more than their superiors. There is no other form of work where this would happen.
 

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I don’t think this is correct. He found out George Graham was earning much more than him when he was at Arsenal so he went back to the board asking for more money.

I think he made a point in that chapter that the people at the top should earn the most money, and rightly so. That’s why I think we have a massive issue these days and player power because players earn more than their superiors. There is no other form of work where this would happen.
This is wrong. In engineering for example, it's not that unusual for some specialist engineers to earn more than their managers. It's about the value they add to a business. A specialist is far more difficult to replace than the guy supervising him.

And by the way, the reason that star players earn more than their managers is because it's their images the club plasters around everywhere. When the kits come out, it'll be Paul Pogbas face that's at the front every billboard and marketing campaign. That's why they get more money.
 

kaempen

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Come on mate, Croatia just reached the world cup final. These isn't an era of truly great international teams. Banega and Romero are far from mediocre players. No Uruguay squad has been better than Argentina's in eons. You thinking Pep with that squad excluding Messi wouldn't get past Van Gaals Holland and a young Belgian side led by a senator is crazy.

Lest we forget, Portugal won the final without Ronaldo which shows you that these teams aren't flat out incompetent. Give that squad Klopp and see how good their team gets.
I disagree with everything you just said. Banega and Romero are very mediocre. This is a great international era, but a historic draw in the World Cup made Croatia reach the final. They weren't the second best team in the tournament. Uruguay were easily better than Argentina on paper in 2018, and as a team on numerous occasions before that. Pep wouldn't do anything with that Argentina, especially since it's a national team and he can't work with them on a day-to-day basis. What you said about Ronaldo is ridiculous. Luxembourg drew against France in a single game. Any professional team can threaten the best when the stars align for them. Portugal are a good team, but would never have won that tournament without Ronaldo's presence.
 

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If you put Messi at City swapped him with Sterling, and put him next to Sane Aguero both Silvas, and an actual mobile dm in Fernandinho to sweep up, there’s little chance Barca with the same players they have now plus Sterling and Guardiola would be better. I could imagine Coutinho would be world class, as would Sterling and Dembele might look Sane-like, but at the same time Barcelona would still have Busquest at DM, they would still have a current lesser striker than Aguero in Suarez, and still not have a cm anywhere comparable to De Bruyne. Big parts of their team are declining, a Guardiola side with a half good Busquets at the base would not be sufficient enough in comparison to someone like Fernandinho, who despite all City’s technical prowess still remains arguably their most important player for his tactical and physical side.

As crazy as it sounds surrounded by the sheer creative talent of the Silvas and De Bruyne Messi would probably be the slightest bit better to which is already unimaginable, a slightly better Messi is game over for everybody.
 

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Fair enough. It's difficult to compare the impacts of players and managers, especially in hypothetical scenarios. But I think that Guardiola would have a bigger impact on almost any team than Messi. For instance, take Argentina. Think they'd be better off with Guardiola than with Messi whose influence for them isn't that big anyway.
Doubt it, Guardiola would really struggle with limited options and players available for coaching/drilling every few months. It would be a fecking disaster actually, lesser but more pragmatic sides would turn them over regularly.
 

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If you put Messi at City swapped him with Sterling, and put him next to Sane Aguero both Silvas, and an actual mobile dm in Fernandinho to sweep up, there’s little chance Barca with the same players they have now plus Sterling and Guardiola would be better. I could imagine Coutinho would be world class, as would Sterling and Dembele might look Sane-like, but at the same time Barcelona would still have Busquest at DM, they would still have a current lesser striker than Aguero in Suarez, and still not have a cm anywhere comparable to De Bruyne. Big parts of their team are declining, a Guardiola side with a half good Busquets at the base would not be sufficient enough in comparison to someone like Fernandinho, who despite all City’s technical prowess still remains arguably their most important player for his tactical and physical side.

As crazy as it sounds surrounded by the sheer creative talent of the Silvas and De Bruyne Messi would probably be the slightest bit better to which is already unimaginable, a slightly better Messi is game over for everybody.
I do agree City have a better squad once you remove Messi/Sterling, no brainer in my opinion.

Still funny that you dismiss 30yo Busquets as an OAP in decline when Fernandinho is 34. He's been phenomenal for them, granted, but it's a bit weird you choose that particular comparison to slate Barca as declining and City to be on an upward trajectory.
 

GatoLoco

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Yeah, the same way Argentina are one of the best sides in the world? Ronaldo left us and we barely missed a beat, Kept winning titles all willy nilly yet when Sir Alex left we became a mess. Ronaldo joined Juve and they've barely improved.

In this era of a tactical transition in football, managers are the most important commodity. Look what Klopp has done at Pool with no genuine superstar there when he got there. Look what his system has done to Salah, you know, the guy barely anyone wanted from Rome.
Klopp is the exception rather than the rule, and if I'm not mistaken he signed the most expensive CB and the most expensive GK ever. So it's not like he's been training a bunch of nobodies either.

Ronaldo has won 5 Champions League trophies. Klopp has 1, which he won in a season with most European powerhouses declining.

What's the debate anyway? A team with exceptional players with a good manager vs a team with good players and an exceptional manager? I will always choose the former.
 

Treble

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Doubt it, Guardiola would really struggle with limited options and players available for coaching/drilling every few months. It would be a fecking disaster actually, lesser but more pragmatic sides would turn them over regularly.
Guardiola needed 2 months to turn a struggling Barca team into a winning machine. You are selling him short if you believe that he wouldn't be an instant improvement on someone like Sampaoli. City's defenders in 16/17 were mostly crap but they won the first 10 games of his stint there and in terms of xG were by far the best team that season. Luck and Bravo were against them though and stopped them from competing for the title. According to the understat xG model, City should have won 85 pts in 16/17 and Liverpool 84 pts 18/19. Shows that they were much better than perceived and the leap next season to 100 pts shouldn't have been completely surprising. A decent keeper in 16/17 and City would have challenged for the title with the likes of Zabaleta, Sagna, Clichy in the fullback positions and Kolarov and Stones as CBs.
 

antohan

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Guardiola needed 2 months to turn a struggling Barca team into a winning machine. You are selling him short if you believe that he wouldn't be an instant improvement on someone like Sampaoli. City's defenders in 16/17 were mostly crap but they won the first 10 games of his stint there and in terms of xG were by far the best team that season. Luck and Bravo were against them though and stopped them from competing for the title. According to the understat xG model, City should have won 85 pts in 16/17 and Liverpool 84 pts 18/19. Shows that they were much better than perceived and the leap next season to 100 pts shouldn't have been completely surprising. A decent keeper in 16/17 and City would have challenged for the title with the likes of Zabaleta, Sagna, Clichy in the fullback positions and Kolarov and Stones as CBs.
National team managers don't get two months, they get two weeks at best (pre- Summer tourno) and usually just the one week with a ragged assortment of players from different clubs playing different systems and getting games or benched for reasons outside your control. Injuries and dips in form hit you randomly too.

You really need a long term view to build solid foundations and not be dependent on one or two superstars. That applies to anyone, but Guardiola would find that particularly problematic (as did Sampaoli indeed). Stick someone like Simeone in there and they would be instantly more consistent and resilient (ergo, succesful) than with either of those two.

Long term Guardiola would have a higher ceiling, but would likely go mad/bored way before. He would go mental waiting for each international break.