Manchester United?

Just a day after his soothing words via a pre-recorded video message to the FA during their 150th celebrations (Olly Murs, why?) about his ambition to one day manage in the top flight were taken as proof that the 42-year-old was bound for England in the summer after the conclusion of his year-long sabbatical in New York, the worst gap year ever was finally over and Guardiola had chosen the unexpected but entirely logical step of Bayern Munich, the current Bundesliga leaders and an established giant of the European game.

The reasons were very simple – the footballing ‘philosophy’ at the club was fairly similar, they are widely respected as one of the best run clubs in the world and they always compete for major honours. They ticked every box. There was no mad, trigger-happy, clueless owner to worry about, with the board and executive positions at the club stocked to the brim with ageing, decorated former Germany stars. Bayern is a club that understands the game and most importantly, they have a tradition and history that Guardiola finds attractive, a quality which the  likes of nouveau rich Manchester City and Chelsea simply couldn’t compete with.

It was City’s recent moves in particular that made it appear as if a concerted effort was being made to prepare the ground for the Spaniard’s arrival after bringing in former Barcelona chums Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano as CEO and Director of Football, and all joking aside, Roberto Mancini must have breathed in a huge sigh of relief at the announcement earlier this month.

In all honesty, Guardiola is so highly sought-after, or least he was, that he could have walked into pretty much any job he so pleased across the entire continent – Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and even Arsenal would surely have jacked in their qualified men at the helm if they had the slightest inclination that he wanted to become their next boss. Every job except the one at Old Trafford.

He may have been repeatedly linked with replacing Ferguson at the helm, but was that ever really a likely move? The 71-year-old commands unparalleled control at his club that perhaps only the increasingly under pressure (from the fans anyway, not the board) Arsene Wenger enjoys at Arsenal. He is likely to have a large say in who eventually replaces him, he will not be ushered out of the back door or upstairs quietly and with Guardiola signing a three-year deal at Bayern, the timing works out reasonably well.

There looks set to be something of a managerial merry-go-round over the course of the next year or so involving Jurgen Klopp, Joachim Low, Roberto Mancini, Rafa Benitez and Jose Mourinho. Where will they all land? That’s anyone’s guess, but Guardiola has removed himself from the equation now and that’s very telling.

Ferguson most certainly wants at least one more triumph in Europe before he leaves, while the three years Guardiola will spend in Germany will make the Scot 74 years of age, surely, even by his staggering standards, coming up on retirement age. The deal on closer inspection also allows a degree of leniency on Guardiola’s part too, given that he was mentally fatigued after coaching the Barcelona B-team for one year and the first team for four.

What was most revealing after the move was made public was when Owen Hargreaves mused about Guardiola’s next step on BBC Radio 5Live: “There aren’t many clubs within European football that have the stability and structure that Bayern Munich has in place.

“People look at the glamour of the Premier League and its global appeal but I think he probably saw the structure in place at the club, the success of the club and quality of the players. And the facilities and the stadiums are better than anywhere in the world, I would guess.

“I think he’s probably looked at all aspects and, in my opinion rightfully so, thought that’s the best destination for him. I think it is a smart move from Guardiola. They are the Manchester United of Germany.”

That final line is what appears to have swung it Guardiola’s way in favour of perennial candidate for the job, Jose Mourinho – his record of youth development and his more attacking, attractive style of play will please the terraces more than the Portuguese manager, while the structure in place isn’t one conducive to the sort of fractious chaos that the Real Madrid manager brings with him, rather a steady, guiding hand to help shepherd an already talented bunch of players.

Predicting moves of this nature is always difficult, fraught with assumptions, and Guardiola’s unexpected move to Germany has thrown a spanner in the works for Chelsea and to a lesser extent Manchester City, but given that all the other likely rivals for the position at Old Trafford will likely be managing somewhere else by 2016, the Spaniard is once again the front-runner to replace Ferguson; a daunting task if ever there was one, but just so long as he is able to replicate a modicum of his success with Barcelona at Bayern, the job looks his to lose.


 

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  • bob hoskins
    1 year ago

    You’re a joke

    Reply
    • James McManus
      1 year ago

      Oh go and play with Roger Rabbit you faceless, nameless troll.

      Reply
      • CiTyBlUe
        1 year ago

        lol he’s right, you really are a joke. Why on earth would a top manager like Pep go to a club who are in more debt than any other club on the planet, lets face facts here it’s not getting any better and the only reason they got RVP was because they feared him going to Manchester City, the real club of Manchester. Btw Roger Rabbit was a cartoon character you tool, hes not real.

        Reply
        • James McManus
          1 year ago

          Firstly, don’t say ‘lol’, you’re not 14, at least I assume you’re not.

          Secondly, judging by your other comment below, you seem to think that I am a Manchester United fan, which I most certainly am not. The logic that the only reason anyone would write a vaguely positive article about a certain club because they happen to also support them is flawed in the extreme and very childish.

          “lets face facts here it’s not getting any better and the only reason they got RVP was because they feared him going to Manchester City, the real club of Manchester.”

          By that token, you’ve implied that Manchester United are the bigger club because van Persie chose them as soon as they came in for him over City. Which is, you know, what actually happened, bigger club or not. What an absolute tribal, irrational mess of an argument yours is.

          “Btw Roger Rabbit was a cartoon character you tool, hes not real.”

          Honestly, tell me you’re not being serious here? For the sake of your sanity, I sincerely hope not.

          Reply
        • raj
          1 year ago

          city the real club of manchester, really!!! la la land more likely. do you reside there?

          Reply
  • youreacock
    1 year ago

    Ahh, now it all makes sense. He decided to manage Bayern because he wants mangae united. Of course, how could we all have been so stupid.

    Reply
  • DomOA
    1 year ago

    Amazes me how people are disrespecting Bayern and acting as if he’s just gone there to kill time before the United job is available. Bayern are a huge club with bigger revenues than United, more European Cup/Champions League wins, and more domestic league title wins… not some tinpot club. Pep will have gone there to try and build a long-term legacy, Bayern also have a hugely superior academy to United… who in the last years have United produced that compare to Muller, Kroos, Hummels, Alaba, and others?

    Reply
    • James McManus
      1 year ago

      Far from disrespecting Bayern:

      “the footballing ‘philosophy’ at the club was fairly similar, they are widely respected as one of the best run clubs in the world and they always compete for major honours. They ticked every box.”

      Or

      “an established giant of the European game.”

      It was unexpected move but a logical one. They are an incredibly well set up club that provides Guardiola with a sound platform for success.

      Woth regards to the academy point, that must have been one of the major things that attracted Guardiola so much in the first place, but the likes of Welbeck, Cleverley and Evans, while not quite on the same level on the continental stage, have certainly proved themselves domestically this past year or so.

      Reply
      • CiTyBlUe
        1 year ago

        Don’t take it the wrong way DomOA, its just a dumb glory hunting rag united fan blabbing off as usual.

        Reply
      • DomOA
        1 year ago

        “but the likes of Welbeck, Cleverley and Evans, while not quite on the same level on the continental stage, have certainly proved themselves domestically this past year or so.”

        Sorry but they are not even close to the quality produced by Bayern. Players like Muller and Kroos are in a whole different world than Cleverley and Welbeck who are both fine players but not the sort you can hold up as examples of a great academy (unlike Scholes, Giggs, etc. in the past, United have never really been able to reproduce that quality).

        If Pep has gone to Bayern it will be with the intention of staying there a long time, that’s what he wants, to build a new legacy. Maybe he will manage United in future, but in 2016? I doubt it, try maybe 2020 or something.

        Reply
    • raj
      1 year ago

      reserve team at united should hold their own against muller and company

      Reply
      • DomOA
        1 year ago

        “reserve team at united should hold their own against muller and company” LOL, OK. Bayern’s second team has players like Emre who are better than everyone in the MUFC academy.

        Reply
  • Delbert Wilkins
    1 year ago

    In your face author. United scum.

    Reply
  • billybob
    1 year ago

    Dream on you pathetic brainwashed cockney

    Reply

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