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Reportedly the most coveted coach in the world, Pep Guardiola enjoyed a successful career as a player at Barcelona and then went on to have a very successful career as their manager.

He surprised a lot of people by choosing to leave the club at the height of their success, citing the need to prove to himself that he could achieve the same levels elsewhere.

He then surprised even more people by opting to go to Germany to become the new manager of Bayern Munich. What was particularly surprising about this move was that he was following a manager who had just won the treble of Bundesliga title, German Cup and Champion’s League. Jupp Heynckes was going to be almost impossible to follow and so it turned out. Pep was successful but, at the time of writing, hadn’t been able to win the Champion’s League and neither, therefore, the treble.

It was no great surprise when he announced that he would be leaving Bayern Munich as he wanted to manage in the English Premier League. I think he found managing Bayern relatively easy and it appeared that they had even less competition in the Bundesliga than Barcelona had in La Liga during his time there. It did not turn out to be the challenge he expected and must have been quite boring, even for him, to know that, barring miracles being bestowed upon other clubs, Bayern Munich would have the league wrapped up by around Christmas.

He is favourite for the Manchester City job because of his friends in high places already in situ. It would be a managerial system he is used to as it is based on the Barcelona model. He would have a bottomless pit as far as money is concerned and some world class players to work with.

At this moment in time though, he cannot be ruled out of the United job. He has already apologised for announcing his general plans early and causing a little unrest at some of Englands top clubs. He has even gone as far as to say he is prepared to take a year off to wait for the right job. This of course does not help the rumourmongers as both Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini have a year left on their contracts after this one.

If van Gaal resigns at the end of this season, which is a possibility and would certainly see Ed Woodward save face, then there may be a slight chance of recruiting Guardiola. I think he is drawn to United because of the size of the club and the history that comes with it. He is also quite friendly with Sir Alex Ferguson and at United, he would be across town from City and his pals there, so they could still get together occasionally.

The down side would be that if he has been watching how amateurishly Woodward has performed in the the transfer windows, he may feel that this is not a man with whom he can work.

It is certainly a long shot as City hold the better cards and the prospect of working with Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano again must be appealing. Not to mention, of course, the chance to manage a club with genuine prospects of winning the Premier League and the Champion’s League on a regular basis.

The other two possibilities are Arsenal and Chelsea although I can’t see either of these clubs being as attractive to Guardiola as either of the Manchester clubs.

Chelsea seem to be imploding at present, although maybe Hiddink has steadied the ship of late. They don’t, however, appear to be showing any interest in Guardiola, preferring to look elsewhere for A replacement for their Dutch boss. I also don’t see Pep as the type to go into a club whereby his first task is to sort out the problem players and get rid of them. He would not see this as part of the role of the coach. So I think that Chelsea can safely be ruled out as his next destination.

Arsenal is a trickier one. They certainly aspire to the type of football loved by Guardiola, particularly at Barcelona and latterly at Bayern. They are based in London which wouldn’t initially be a problem as he wouldn’t know any better. The two stumbling blocks to his appointment at the Emirates would be Arsene Wenger and Manchester.

Wenger seems to want to stick around, as manager, forever. Even if he were to win the treble this season he would decide to stay on to try and do it again. If he doesn’t win anything he will stay on until he does. It’s known as catch 22. The club will never fire him so to get Guardiola they would probably have to talk Wenger into a Director of Football role which would actually work in Guardiola’s favour. The fact is, it won’t happen, so it isn’t really worth considering.

Manchester, in this instance, can offer Guardiola much more than London can and for the reasons outlined above I expect him to be managing one of the two clubs by the start of next season.

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Comments
  1. RedMe says:

    I believe that if Pep wants a challenge, he could very well take the Manchester United job. That would be a challenge to try and fill SAF’s boots, get us back to where we belong and keep us on the top. I don’t see the City job and working with people who he’s worked with in the past fitting with what he wants.

    Liked by 1 person

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