Pep Guardiola has wasted little time in shaking things up at Manchester City, with his decision to drop stalwarts Joe Hart and Yaya Toure clearly demonstrating the new manager’s ruthlessness.
The England goalkeeper was replaced by Willy Caballero for City’s Premier League opener against Sunderland and remained on the bench in Tuesday night’s Champions League qualifier with Steaua Bucharest, putting his future in question.
Toure, meanwhile, has been told he hasn’t yet reached the standards of fitness Guardiola demands of his players and won’t be returning to the side until he does.
But Guardiola’s bold calls on selection are nothing new. At each of his clubs, he has been unafraid to shake up the established order, demonstrating that no single player is bigger than the team.
We take a look back at some of Guardiola’s other big decisions over the years.
The Brazilian was a Barcelona legend and his goals and assists had thrilled the Nou Camp crowd for the best part of five years.
Under Guardiola’s predecessor, Frank Rijkaard, Ronaldinho had been the first name on the teamsheet, helping them to two league titles and the 2006 Champions League, but there was definitely a feeling around the club that he was past his prime.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta felt Ronaldinho needed a new challenge and Guardiola was in no mood to offer him a reprieve. All good things must come to an end, it would seem, and after turning down nouveau riche Manchester City, Ronaldinho joined Milan.
The Brazilian later admitted that he regretted leaving Barca, especially since he enjoyed playing alongside a flourishing Lionel Messi.
Deco had been a regular in Rijkaard’s midfield for four seasons, standing out with his passing and work rate as Barcelona started to establish themselves at the top of European football once again.
But Guardiola clearly believed that the Portuguese was blocking the path of some of Barcelona’s academy hopefuls and one of his first acts in charge was to inform Deco he was free to leave.
He was signed by Chelsea for £8m in late June 2008 – representing Luiz Felipe Scolari’s first signing as manager – as Guardiola cleared the decks to rebuild Barcelona in his own image.
The striker had arrived at Barcelona in 2004 and scored bagfuls of goals but he’d struggled with injuries in the season prior to Guardiola’s appointment. Nonetheless, the Cameroon star had scored 16 league goals in 18 outings.
This wasn’t enough to impress Guardiola, however, and the new manager wanted to offload Eto’o in the summer of 2008. There was plenty of interest but a concrete deal never materialised and eventually Guardiola, pleasantly surprised by his application in pre-season, kept him on.
Indeed, under Guardiola’s tutelage, Eto’o had a wonderful season, scoring 36 goals in 52 appearances across all competitions, setting a few personal milestones and helping them win the Treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League.
He even scored the opening goal in the Champions League final against Manchester United. But it wasn’t enough – Barcelona wanted Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eto’o was off to Inter Milan as a part-exchange.
The experienced Italian defender had been a regular fixture for two seasons at Barcelona having moved from Juventus, but Guardiola didn’t fancy having him in his side.
Duly deemed surplus to requirements, Zambrotta went back to Milan for the twilight of his career.
Toure had been in this situation before. He played two seasons for Guardiola at Barcelona, helping them to success both at home and in Europe.
But Guardiola decided that his time at the Nou Camp had come to an end and told him he was free to leave the club in June 2010.
He joined City for £24m and, as we all know, enjoyed a fresh lease of life in the Premier League.
Guardiola arrived at Bayern Munich in 2013 and had Bastian Schweinsteiger in his team for the first two seasons there. His final appearance, on May 23, 2015, was his 500th for the club.
Guardiola made the decision that Schweinsteiger, who had been associated with Bayern for 17 years and won pretty much everything, no longer formed a part of his plans and told him he could find a new club.
Schweinsteiger was reunited with one of his former managers, Louis van Gaal, at Manchester United and it’s fair to say, 12 months on, his fortunes haven’t much improved.