As Pep Guardiola’s year of swanning around New York in nice jumpers is getting ever closer to coming to an end, the rumour mill will be working overtime linking him to every big profile job going.If and that’s a big if, we are to believe a “FIFA agent”, Guardiola has apparently agreed a preliminary contract to take over as Man City boss next summer.
However the agent in questions, Franisco Gallardo hasn’t been a FIFA agent since 2001 and was the same chap who claimed that John Terry is off to Valencia.So if you’re sadly naïve enough to believe everything you read in the press, ahem, what would life be like at City for Guardiola?
Firstly, I don’t think his style would fit effectively with City’s current squad. I can’t see James Milner or Gareth Barry shadowing Xavi and Iniesta’s role. Both Pique and Mascherano, who become Barca’s first choice centre-back pairing are both ball playing defenders and typically started many of their team’s attacks. Compare that with Kompany and Lescott, who are obviously very good defenders but don’t share the same passing skills as Barca pair.
Also, the Messi factor is always going to be there. I’m not saying Pep isn’t a good coach, because he is but no one can doubt that Lionel Messi was a huge reason for Pep’s success at Barca. If you don’t believe me then look at the facts, Messi score 211 goals in all competitions while Guardiola was in charge. The only time Messi scored fewer goals than another Barca player was when Samuel Eto’o netted 30 the 08/09 season.
One misconception people have of Guaridola is that he loves bringing players through the youth system. Obviously Pep has brought through stars like Thiago, Roberto, Pedro, Busquets and so on he’s also spent big on David Villa, Sanchez, Alves,Mascherano,Fabregas, Dmytro Chygrynskiy.
Pep will certainly be comfortable with money in his pocket but for him to spend and bring in more players I think he would have to streamline the overflowing squad and get rid of dead wood like Roque Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure.
Barcelona was never Peps team, he inherited the good work of Frank Rijkaard and improved on it. The style of the team never really changed, ‘Tiki-Taka’ was already installed by Cruyff and Van Gaal both of which Pep played under.
Pep may also struggle with the egos of the City Players. Take the example of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a man who cost Barca £40m plus Eto’o couldn’t be managed by Guardiola.
In Zlatan’s book, “I am Zlatan” the Swedish striker said: “The dressing room was way too quiet,’ he said. ‘Messi, Xavi and Iniesta always obeyed without protest. They were like schoolboys. I am not like that. I couldn’t be myself.”
Although Tevez, Aguero, Toure and Nasri are just a few of the massive egos in the City squad and with Tevez already making himself a nuisance in last years Champions League, could Pep lose the dressing room too easily?
I do have my doubts over Guardiola handling those massive egos. At Barca’ he was already a legend before becoming the boss and had previously coached many of the players he promoted to the first team. If he joins City he’ll have a squad of well over 25 players and only has Yaya Toure who knows him as a coach.
Mancini has increasingly frustrated the City hierarchy with his teams poor performances in Europe, taking on three victories in his 11 games in charge in Europe. Compare that with Guardiola’s impressive 33 wins in 51 games, there is no doubt Pep knows how to win in Europe.
With the jobs are PSG, Chelsea, AC Milan and Man United possibly being free at the end of the season Pep has many options to choose from. Where ever he goes he’ll have a tough project to conquer I wouldn’t put my money on him going to City just yet. Who knows if Ferguson will still be there at the end of the season and who knows, maybe just maybe Abramovich might be able to convince Pep to take over at Chelsea…