If you chose to believe Sandro Rosell, Pep Guardiola could walk into the Barca offices at any point to renew his contract. But why hasn’t the architect of the sextuple done so yet?
Usually football managers jump at the chance to sign a prolonged contract extension as it gives them more leverage when dealing with the club hierarchy. After all, getting rid of a manager who is on a protracted contract can be an expensive undertaking. In the last 12 months alone, Rafa Benitez, more or less, instigated his premature departure twice. It’s a safe assumption that he intended to cause a stir with the Liverpool board in order to join Inter Milan.
Unfortunately for Benitez, he forgot that Massimo Moratti has an indefinitely better standing with the Inter faithful than then-Liverpool owners Gillett and Hicks. Although Rafa Benitez little rant has ultimately cost him his job, he still received a golden handshake.
But Guardiola’s case is different, he holds all the aces. There aren’t too many managers who would fit the Barca profile or philosophy. Excuse me if I’m overstretching my powers as an Editor here, but I’d argue that only Arsene Wenger seems to share certain attributes associated with the Barca philosophy. And the chances of Wenger coaching a club other than Arsenal are remote at best. Reinstalling Frank Rijkaard could be an option too but he is just too nice to control a dressing room full of superstars.
Even if Pep Guardiola is a relative newcomer to the managerial scene, he is already hot commodity and a much sought-after manager, perhaps second only to Jose Mourinho. Therefore it’s not surprising that Guardiola has been touted as a potential replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson, should the wily Scot call it a day in the near future. Pep Guardiola on his part doesn’t seem to be averse to the idea of managing an English club.
Due to Manchester United’s massive financial burden (which is even greater than Barca’s), Liverpool’s mediocre squad, and Tottenham’s satisfaction with Harry Redknapp’s work, Manchester City seem to be the most likely destination IF Guardiola choses to leave Catalunya. Roberto Mancini’s job is anything but safe.
For all the huge investments Sheik Mansour has made so far, he has received very little in terms of football aesthetic. With Guardiola, the Citzens would be guaranteed a football spectacle. Of course, Manchester City doesn’t possess a football factory like La Masia but they have one of the finest academies within the shores of the U.K. It’s been almost three years since the Mansour-backed takeover but the Citizens are still very much a work in progress.
In Manchester, Pep Guardiola could implement his ideas from the ground up. And if memory serves me correct only two men in football enjoy almost unrestricted power of their respective clubs, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger.
Hopefully my assertions and theories are wrong as I am counting on Pep Guardiola to continue for a very long time. Culés around the world will be relieved when, not if, Pep choses to sign a contract extension.
¡Visca el Barça!