From years of solidity in the dugout, Manchester United have been dumped down into the bear pit that is the managerial merry-go-round since the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson. David Moyes has passed through and now they have Louis van Gaal, and it looks likely that, with the Dutchman by no means a youngster, that another change will occur before too long.
Pep Guardiola is the latest man to be linked with an eventual switch to Old Trafford, with quotes from a book on his first year in German football, Pep Confidential, revealing that the 43-year-old is hooked on the idea of coaching United:
“It was May 4, 2011, and the pair sat together in the stands of Old Trafford watching Sir Alex Ferguson’s team beat Schalke 4-1. Once again Pep had turned to his friend and said: ‘I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.'”
So could Guardiola at United work out? Here are SEVEN positives he could bring to the club…
Although the man himself loathes the term ‘tiki taka’ he is widely seen as one of the managers at the forefront of the return of the short passing, high movement style. Guardiola’s Barcelona were known for their fearsome possession statistics – counts of above 70% were commonplace – with their desire to keep the ball and carve out chances the bedrock of one of the most successful club sides of all time.
He has since taken a similar style to Bayern Munich… winning the Bundesliga at the first attempt.
Since taking over at Bayern, Guardiola has lured sought after stars such as Tiago Alcantara, Xabi Alonso, Juan Bernat and Pepe Reina to the Allianz Arena, despite opposition from other giant clubs. One of Manchester United’s big problems in recent windows has been landing the top names, but with Guardiola in the appeal of life at Old Trafford may increase significantly.
While famed for his attacking approach, Pep keeps things tight at the back, too. During his last three seasons in charge of clubs – he had a one year hiatus – the Spaniard’s sides have conceded 21, 29 and 23 goals, making his rearguard the tightest in the division (first two La Liga, last one Bundesliga) on each occasion.
United’s backline has been anything but solid so far this term, so Guardiola may be the man to provide some organisation.
A hallmark of the former midfield star is his his supreme self-confidence. Guardiola is a suave and sophisticated looking gentleman, with his sharp suits and general demeanour oozing belief. All top teams live off of the characteristics of their boss, and a confident figure like Guardiola would surely ensure that United return to their once dominant best.
Although he may need to avoid another incident like this one…
Are Guardiola’s flies undone? Not that I was looking… pic.twitter.com/1md0OUT0up
— Etihad Stadium (@Etihad_Stadium) September 17, 2014
Let’s let his list of his honours do the talking…
It may be a horrible trend, but agents are indeed a powerful force in the modern game. And in his brother, Pere, Pep has a strong link to the world of player transfers, which is surely a boost when delving into the market.
Pere Guardiola is by no means on the level of counterparts such as Jorge Mendes, but he does boast a decent list of clients – Luis Suarez the standout – including top stars of Spanish and South American descent. Could be useful…
At 63, Louis van Gaal is unlikely to be around for much more than a few years. The United gig is expected to be the iconic Dutchman’s last big job, which could again leave United in limbo – we don’t need to bring up the Sir Alex Ferguson issues.
However, Guardiola is very much at the other end of the age spectrum at 43, meaning that he has at least another 15-20 years managing at the highest level ahead of him, so long as factors such as his health remain positive.