Pep Guardiola ended months of speculation yesterday by agreeing to join Bayern Munich from next season.
doing so he delivered a huge blow to the aspirations of many teams,
including some of the biggest clubs in England who had harboured dreams
of having him as their manager.
So another epic footballing saga comes to a conclusion. Or does it?
Munich has been seen by some observers to be an ‘easy’ option and they
could have a point. Munich are one of the major forces in European
Football. They are well run from top to bottom, can boast a passionate
and loyal board and an excellent youth setup. They are expected to
challenge and win the Bundesliga every year as well as appear in the
latter stages of the Champions League.
They can call upon
the services of some quality players with the likes of Arjen Robben,
Mario Gomez, Philipp Lahm and Xherdan Shaqiri and have the financial
backing and pulling power to attract further world class players.
are expected to appear in the latter stages of the Champions League as
well as challenge and win the Bundesliga every year. And they only
really have Borussia Dortmund as a genuine national challenger.
So Guardiola goes there with a level of expectation that is on paper a lot less than England for example.
will also suit him from a personal point of view. Despite the cynics who say anyone could have succeeded the fact is he did a stellar job
at Barcelona. But after that and a year away from the game he knew he
would be under a lot of pressure to replicate his success, wherever he
went. Bayern offers the perfect atmosphere to keep his reputation
It has been seen as a snub to England and the
Premier League but this is a bit harsh. Guardiola is still young. He
celebrates his 42nd birthday tomorrow and even with a 3 year contract
behind him would only be 45 when that comes to an end. Had he taken a
job in England he would be the 4th youngest of current premier league
So there’s plenty of time for him to try his hand
in England if he so desires. If Bayern is classed as a ‘soft’ and
‘easy’ option then so be it but it also seems to be the most sensible
available to him at this time.
But another question this all raises is where does it leave those teams in England?
and Arsenal were both said to be interested in his signature as were
the two Manchester clubs. Now that this avenue has been closed to them
who do they turn to now, if indeed they want to make a change.
seemed to be in the pole position of the English teams. Roberto Di
Matteo’s sacking and the seemingly universal disapproval of Chelsea fans
to Rafa Benitez meant that a summer move for Guardiola made sense. But
perhaps the ruthlessness of Roman Abramovich was too much pressure.
is now left with an option of keeping Benitez and run the risk of
further alienating Chelsea fans or looking elsewhere for what would be
the 7th manager in just 5 years.
Arsenal were apparently
mulling over ending Arsene Wenger’s 16 year tenure at the club. A
stuttering league campaign and rumblings of discontent over the current
playing staff and recent transfer policy may have caused Arsenal
shareholders to cast glances elsewhere. But perhaps therein lies
the problem. Again boardroom arguments and power struggles may not have
made the Emirates a palatable option for Pep.
Arsenal therefore will probably hold onto Wenger, unless the fans really turn against him.
both cases though a lot depends on each club’s finishing position in
both the League and the Champions League. Failure to secure a berth for
next season’s premier European competition could see either manager
Manchester City are in a similar boat. Roberto
Mancini probably earned himself a stay of execution by winning the
Championship. But his failure to lead his team to the knockout stages of
this years competition could count against him. The loyalty of the
clubs Arabian owners have yet to be tested fully.
Alex Ferguson seems to be showing no sign of retiring but there will be
moves behind the scenes to plan for his eventual departure. Had
Guardiola been a potential option then I’m sure it would have been
looked at thoroughly and the Scot's retirement rushed forwards.
So decisions will need to be made
over the next few months in the boardrooms of these clubs by the very
people who possibly were the reason for Guardiola choosing Munich. The
potential managerial merry-go-round that was predicted by many to be
scheduled for the summer has not been cancelled but it has been
postponed for a little while.
It could still well happen.
Jose Mourinhio at the present time looks to be leaving Real Madrid and
has made no secret of his desire to return to England. And with Carlo
Ancelotti’s position at Paris St.Germain not exactly safe there may
still be movement among Europe’s big clubs.
As for Pep
Guardiola he will move to Munich, safe in the knowledge that he has
probably made the right decision, and safe from the turmoil and
questions that still exist elsewhere.