Will Guardiola’s next challenge lie at Liverpool? Spain? City? Spurs? Inter? … England??!! Of course not.
After bidding an emotional farewell to his beloved Barcelona, Pep Guardiola claims all that’s on his mind is a year free of media frenzies and the incessant pressure that comes with being manager of the biggest club on the planet. But this man is no mug, in fact he’s planned his career almost to perfection thus far and must be thinking past the golf courses and sangria.
After his hiatus from the game Guardiola will move to a club that he’s thought about and studied throughout his time away. Whilst he’ll be quickly burdened by expectations of instant success, the club who employ him will themselves have to represent everything Guardiola has aspired towards during his meteoric rise to the top.
So who’s big enough to catch the eye of the worlds most sought after manager? My bet is he’ll end up on these shores.
The only club that try to accomplish anything near the philosophies implemented by Barca. Spearheaded by Arsene Wenger, The Gunners have managed to distance themselves expertly from the primitive stereotypes forever attached to English football. In 2004 the North Londoners rewrote the history books after going through an entire season unbeaten whilst playing the beautiful game in its purest form.
Recently however, whilst the club have retained their style they’ve lost their edge badly, typified by the acceptance that Champions League qualification equals success. Guardiola would dispell that mindset immediately having enjoyed more glory than anybody in recent times, whilst he’d continue and perhaps enhance upon the legacy left by Arsene Wenger. Would be a surprising but logical choice.
Another club with a legendary figure still at the helm, you’d fancy Pep might be one of the only people on the planet who could come close to filling Sir Alex’s shoes. But this link may depend on the availability of Jose Mourinho at the time of Fergie’s eventual retirement, with the Portuguese man known to be interested in taking on the challenge waiting at Old Trafford. Guardiola would himself be a short term solution for United, if you consider the fact he’s leaving an almost perfect situation after only four years. But he’d look to create history in his brief tenure where ever he goes.
The Champions League finalists complete a run down of the three most successful teams in England throughout modern times. At the moment they seem like the obvious choice considering their man at the helm still holds the title of ‘interim’ boss. But this summer perhaps represents their best chance of snaring the two times Champions League winner, which seems unlikely to happen considering Guardiola’s reluctance to jump into a job so soon and the unforeseen success of Roberto Di Matteo.
Guardiola would perhaps see Chelsea as the most challenging proposition out there, with the club having built their success on an efficient and effective model rather than an expressive and expansive one.
And yet it could be the move which would allow the Spaniard the best opportunity to prove his abilities. If he were to somehow master the art of appeasing Abramovich’s unquenchable thirst for glory whilst introducing total football to Stamford Bridge, then that really would be something to behold.
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