Could Pep be a worthy successor to either Wenger or Fergie?

guardiolaAlex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are the longest serving managers in the English game and are as settled as could be but that’s not enough to stop the media from constantly speculating about their departures. Since Ferguson’s declaration that he would retire back in 2000 the media have consistently bandied around names to take over from Ferguson despite his decision to stay on. And as for Wenger, despite the fact that he’s clearly settled at Arsenal since he’s been there so long there is constantly some part of the media claiming that he will leave the club either due to results or because he supposedly wants to manage Real Madrid – even though he’s clearly happier at Arsenal. Whilst this media speculation isn’t necessarily going to happen, it is sometimes interesting to imagine how such an appointment would do and whether the appointees would be a patch on the legendary managers of the English game.

Jose Mourinho is always the name linked with the big clubs, particularly United, and he’s naturally a possibility – he is one of the top rated managers in the world after all, but these clubs could do better than to bring in the former manager of rivals Chelsea who will forever have links to the Blues. Instead if a replacement must be found for one of the two managers then either would do remarkably well if they managed to convince Josep Guardiola to leave Barcelona to join them.

There’s no doubting that Guardiola’s loyalties lie with Barca after a successful playing career there and having become manager after leading the reserves. Guardiola’s already highly rated due to his extremely successful debut season with the club and the fact that he’s earned six trophies in one year for the club, which is unprecedented at the top level of professional football. During his playing career Guardiola finally left Barca though as he wanted to experience other clubs and there’s no reason why Guardiola the manager won’t have those same urges that Guardiola the player had.

There’s no way he’ll leave Barca now, he’s only been in charge a year and a half. But Arsenal and United are nowhere near losing Wenger or Ferguson so that wouldn’t be a problem for them. If either departure coincided with Guardiola being willing to leave the hotseat at the Nou Camp then he must go down as the first choice for either team.

Guardiola stands for no nonsense and removes troublemaking players from the equation which is crucial for squad morale for such a big club as either Arsenal or United. And then there’s the way he gets his team to play – Guardiola very much subscribes to the age-old Barca way of flowing attacking football quite akin to Arsenal’s playing style and like the dominant United side of the 90’s.

Added to that is his habit of shrewd signings – he doesn’t splash out often but when he does it’s to get a player who makes a real difference to his team and none of his signings have really flopped. Guardiola understands tactics and football extremely well given his career in the sport and does not feel the pressure that being in charge of a big club gives out.

Much like Wenger, Guardiola is a gentleman of the game and any team would be proud to have him in charge of their squad. Yes Mourinho’s feisty style appeals to fans but a more sensible manager like Guardiola is surely a much better option to be in charge of such a big club. Guardiola’s young, he’s hungry for success, he’s passionate, and yet he’s as calm as anything – he’s got everything needed to be a top manager.

This is all speculation for the future though – Ferguson is timeless and doesn’t look to be anywhere near retiring whilst Wenger’s departure, though seemingly wanted by the press, is highly unlikely to happen any time soon and these giants of the English game are likely to remain. But as I mentioned before, should their departure coincide with Guardiola’s being willing to leave Barca then surely his appointment would be a no-brainer? I don’t think anyone would be a better appointment.

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