Pep Guardiola – Will he stay or is this the end of a era?
Pep Guardiola, what more can be said about our manager? The man who makes Manchester City tick on & off the pitch. The man who has delivered Manchester City a unparalleled era of success in the Premier League, with some of the greatest football to grace the Premier League.
Guardiola is undoubtedly one of the greatest managers in football history. Pep’s influence on modern day football is seen from the top level through to the lower levels of football all around the world. A testament to the man and how great he is at his craft.
As the World Cup break begins, in my opinion there is one massive elephant in the room over the World Cup break and as the season progresses at Manchester City- will Pep Guardiola sign a extension or will this season be his final season at the Etihad?
It’s a massive factor this season going forward despite it seeming otherwise. There’s no avoiding that fact as the season goes on without a commitment from Pep Guardiola one way or another. The hope being it doesn’t become a distraction on and off the pitch for the players and staff. Not that I think Pep Guardiola would ever allow himself to become a distraction at Manchester City. But the players and staff are only human, and it is human nature to wonder what comes next, even for professional athletes. The longer it goes on without a commitment from Pep one way or the other it could threaten to become a major distraction over the course of the season.
At the time of writing this it does seem according to recent reports that Pep Guardiola will meet with the Manchester City owners over the World Cup break. With a contract extension on the agenda while the players not at the World Cup have a training camp in Abu Dhabi, it would be great for all concerned at the club if we can get a resolution on Guardiola’s future at that meeting, and possibly a announcement one way or the other during the World Cup break.
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I have no doubt Pep signing a extension is the biggest move we can make at the club outside of any future signings. For me, Guardiola shapes the club more then anyone else. He is also a trump card in the transfer market with the quality of players who want to play under him and who he can attract to the Etihad. So while the World Cup is in full swing, my eyes will be keeping a firm lookout for any news from Abu Dhabi and the club.
The hierarchy at the club seems calm and there is no background noise or reports around that indicate Pep is contemplating leaving the club. Which is a positive for all concerned at Manchester City. All the talk from Guardiola is about how Manchester City is the best place for him to manage, and how he has everything he wants and needs to do his job and be successful at Manchester City.
If we can get Guardiola tied down before the end of the World Cup break it would be a massive boost for the second phase of the season for the entire club. It will also shape how we go for the next 2/3 seasons transfer market wise in my opinion. The club is built for Pep to do his job, and do it successfully, with minimal interference from the board or other board pressure outside of getting results. Which has been something Pep Guardiola has always done pre his arrival at Manchester City for Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and over his trophy laden reign at the Etihad.
The question for me if Pep Guardiola does decide to take a break from management and not extend his contract post this season, where does the club turn next as manager? The candidates out there aren’t screaming out to jump into the Manchester City hot seat. There are quality candidates out there but as it stands not anyone jumping to the head of the queue, nor anyone who seems that they could fill his giant shoes at this current time. The time to assess that market isn’t now, that will only come if a decision to call time on his reign at the Etihad comes from Pep Guardiola. So I’ll not go over potential replacements for Guardiola until that time becomes necessary.
Rest assured Sheikh Mansour, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, Txiki Bergistan & Ferran Soriano and co. will have all avenues addressed prior to any conversations with the Guardiola camp taking place, the club doesn’t do things in half measures. Nor would it not have any contingency plans in place incase this is the final season of the Guardiola era at Manchester City. Manchester City is to professional a club and operation for that, our past decade of success and forward planning in that time is a testament to that fact.
The optimist in me tends to think Guardiola will sign at least one more contract extension, possibly bringing his tenure at Manchester City to a decade in charge. My basis for that is what Guardiola has said publicly, and the faith I have in the hierarchy at the club. We can only hope the Guardiola era continues at Manchester City, the club continues to march forward and collect more trophies and play the high quality brand of football that his team’s produce.
It’s definitely something worth keeping a eye out in the media apart from the World Cup during the break. I’m sure at some point over this quiet period some sort of news on Guardiola’s contract may filter out, fingers crossed it’s a Pep Guardiola extension and we can look forward to the rest of the season and beyond with Pep.