Bayern Munich icon Lothar Matthaus has taken a swipe at Pep Guardiola after his failure to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona and labelled him as ‘egocentric’ for making too many changes.
The Manchester City boss saw his side dumped out by Lyon in the quarter-finals last season, with the Ligue 1 side running out 3-1 winners, and the Spaniard has still failed to reach the last four since he arrived at the club.
Guardiola also struggled in the competition with Bayern and has received criticism for his decision-making in recent seasons. In City’s defeat against the French outfit he surprised many by opting to play three at the back.
Now Matthaus has accused him of trying too hard to ‘do something special’ and said he must show more consistency in his tactics if he is to end his hoo-doo and win Europe’s grand prize.
‘With Pep Guardiola I have the feeling that he always wants to do something special in big games,’ he told German outlet BILD.
‘Barcelona had a DNA, a system he pulled through. Pep was successful there.
‘With Bayern and City, he tried it over and over again with changes and failed again and again.’
Guardiola reached three semi-finals in a row with Bayern Munich, and suffered an embarrassing 5-0 loss on aggregate to Real Madrid in 2014, and Matthaus said Guardiola’s constant need to tinker was ‘egocentric’ – pointing out his bizarre call to play Robert Lewandowski on the wing.
‘He always wanted to show that he could do even better. I would like to tell him: “Pep, you are a giant trainer – but please keep your system!”
‘I would describe it as egocentric. That’s a harsh word, but it is due to what he did.
‘At Bayern, Robert Lewandowski even had to play left-wing once. That did not work out at all.’
Guardiola is one of a few managers to have won the Champions League twice – both with Barcelona – but has strayed away from the successful set-up he used at the Nou Camp. City’s exit to Lyon was the third year in a row they have fallen in the last eight.
In 2018 they were dumped out by Premier League rivals Liverpool as they lost 5-1 on aggregate before a crushing last gasp loss to Tottenham the following year.