Yesterday's match against Villarreal marked the end of the International break and a return to the football that we all care about. The 1-0 victory should make wining La Liga again this season an almost certainty.
I never look forward to international breaks. It always leaves me worried about key players not returning in one piece. Luckily no one was seriously maimed while playing for their countries, just a couple of bruised egos .
With the lack of “real football” during the lull comes a lack of real football news. Interestingly enough, a bit of news caught my eye just before club football picked up again. I’m not talking about Real Madrid’s supposed refusal to play Shakira’s music at the Bernabeu or the 50 millionth installment of the “Cesc Saga.”
Pep Guardiola dropped a bombshell on all of us when he said that he may not stay at Barcelona much longer. But if you think about it, his announcing that shouldn’t come as that much of a shock.
I can remember as far back as when the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts were announced there were murmurs that Gaurdiola would be hired to manage the Qatari national team. When he opted to only extend his contract to 2012 it raised more than a few eyebrows.
Today a new statement by Guardiola came out reassuring fans that his plan is not to leave the club “immediately.” But it does appear that he is readying himself for an exit.
His past comments have made it clear that he does not intend on staying at Barca long term, and his insistence on signing only one year contracts proves that.
The question that arises is, why? Why would he leave a club that he’s been so successful managing? He has won everything that there is to be wan making history in the process. Could that be the reason? He may be looking for a new challenge. Many have slighted his achievements at Barcelona making claims that, “Any manager would be successful with that group of players.”
Pep is still a young manager and still has his entire career ahead of him. As much as he loves Barcelona he shows no intention of being it’s Sir Alex or Arsene Wenger by finishing his career there.
Where would he go when he leaves? Many have thrown around the idea of Pep replacing one of the EPLs most senior managers as both are looking at retirement in the relatively near future. In my slightly biased opinion, I think he would be a great fit and is the best candidate to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal when he retires. Simply because of how similar the clubs’ philosophies are. There he could hone in his transfer skills.
Taking over Manchester United would be a different animal entirely and would be a greater challenge as Manchester United don’t play in a similar style to Peps team. He would have to come in and make significant changes.
The rumor about him taking on the Qatari national team could very well be true. That would be a huge undertaking for Pep. Pep has gotten used to managing the best players in the world. No offense to Qatar, but the gulf in talent there is a considerable one. But if it’s a challenge Pep will be leaving Barca for that surely would be a tempting prospect for Pep, not to mention the rumored 20 million euros a year Qatar offered.
Surely the club will survive, but he means a lot to the fans as well as the players. What do you guys think of Pep leaving Barca?
P.S. I’ve only written one Barca related piece before check it out if you’re interested here.