Former Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has come out in support of Pep Guardiola following criticism of the Manchester City manager after his team’s 4-0 defeat at Barcelona on Wednesday.
Guardiola was criticised for omitting Sergio Aguero from the starting XI for the Champions League clash, while his tactics were also said to have left City vulnerable at the back.
“You cannot judge him on the last game,” Del Bosque told Cadena Cope. “In recent years, he has always made Bayern Munich Bundesliga champions. He has had a good start in the Premier League.”
Barca, and particularly hat trick hero Lionel Messi, punished City for the mistakes they made on Wednesday.
But Del Bosque said any team would struggle when faced with having to deal with Messi.
“Coaches are worth as much as the players you have,” Del Bosque said. “Whoever has Messi has an advantage. Messi proved that.
“It’s unusual for Messi to play badly. In fact, I’ve never seen Messi play badly. The fact is that all of his teammates seek him and that is for a reason. In that game, Messi made the difference.”
City won their opening 10 games under Guardiola, who replaced Manuel Pellegrini this summer, but have now failed to win in their last four matches.
Del Bosque believes Guardiola is doing well at City, while he feels any criticism of the Catalan is harsh given his achievements in football.
“He has already guided top clubs. He is doing a great job and he is an example of a coach,” Del Bosque said. “You cannot talk about failure after he left Barcelona.
“He has done things differently to other coaches. He has been ahead of his time in many things: to start play from behind and for the full-backs moving inside.”
Del Bosque added that Guardiola does not get the recognition he deserves in Spain because of his political views. A former Spain international, Guardiola favours Catalonia breaking away from Spain.
“Absolutely,” Del Bosque said. “I think it’s due to that. He probably is not liked by some in our country because of it and he also receives a lot of praise by other regions in our country because of that, too. But politics aside, he deserves praise for what he did as a player and what he is doing as a coach in football.”