Glenn Hoddle on Bayern new boys Pep Guardiola and Thiago Alcantara
Glenn Hoddle says Pep Guardiola has been brave in getting Bayern Munich playing 'the Barcelona way'.
Last Updated: 25/07/13 11:17am
Bayern completed the Treble last term under Jupp Heynckes' stewardship - collecting the Champions League crown as well as the Bundesliga title and German Cup - with Croatia star Mario Mandzukic regularly playing as an orthodox centre-forward.
However, the Bavarians' new boss Guardiola chose not to select an out-and-out frontman for the team's 2-0 win over his old club Barcelona in a pre-season friendly at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.
Hoddle was intrigued to see Guardiola's charges play "the Barcelona way" and hopes the change helps the Germans, who begin their Bundesliga campaign against Borussia Monchengladbach on August 9, continue to prosper.
But the former England coach wonders whether the ex-Camp Nou chief, who led his hometown club to 14 major trophies between 2009-2012, will be able to make that philosophy work with beefier players than he had at his disposal in Catalonia.
Hoddle said: "I was interested to see this new Guardiola-Bayern Munich era and in the first half [against Barcelona] they played with this fresh idea of no centre-forward and it worked really well with their midfield players breaking.
"They are also not building up the way they used to build up; they are going outside of the 18-yard box, the centre-backs are going deep and they are forcing the goalkeeper to play the Barcelona way.
"It is just really interesting to see Guardiola stamp that style with the power and size of player he has got now as opposed to the nippy players he had at Barcelona.
"It is bold but let's hope he can do it.
"He obviously feels that they have worked hard enough on the training pitch and in the matches they have played to take [that philosophy] on, though they will obviously be tested a lot more when they play against bigger and stronger teams."
Thiago Alcantara lined-up in Bayern's midfield after sealing a €25million move from Barcelona this summer, but Hoddle was not overly impressed by the 22-year-old's display and feels the Spanish side could have made the correct call to part with him.
"I am still not convinced by Thiago," Hoddle said of a player who was reportedly on the radar of new Manchester United boss David Moyes.
"He looked very good at Under-21 level and when he was at Barcelona he was prepared to give Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi the ball and say: 'Here you go'.
"But I'm not yet sure he is going to take the responsibility on his own shoulders at this level and hit everyone in the eye.
"He gave the ball away a hell of a lot against Barcelona, while I'm still not convinced that he is a goal-scoring machine from midfield or a holding player; he is a nice, neat player but I would like to see more from him.
"Barcelona don't make big mistakes, so have they made the right decision to let him go?"