New Yawk. These streets will make you feel brand new.
The man responsible for installing Pep Guardiola as Barcelona coach is Man City’s recently hired football director. That would be Aitor ‘Txiki’ Begiristain, who in the same capacity at Barca took a huge gamble in 2008 by promoting the then unknown Guardiola, the coach of their B team, as Frank Rijkaard’s successor. The rest is as they state history. The other connection is City’s CEO, Ferran Soriano, who was Barca’s CFO during Guardiola’s tenure.
Everyone credits Guardiola with Barca’s incandescent rise to the top of world football but as Barca’s football director Begiristain left an indelible mark on the style and substance of its game. He is now turning his attention to City incorporating those exact characteristics which of course comes to fruition should Guardiola join the club. City’s owners have left the footballing aspects to the experts and have been relatively low key in their demands placed on Roberto Mancini. However, they are probably looking towards Europe and success there which is proving to be Mancini’s Achilles heel yet again with their underwhelming performances despite the millions spent.
With all the focus on City’s unparalleled money, it is simple to overlook the fact that City also have a first rate youth academy. While not exactly a La Masia like wellspring, the academy has an unparalleled reputation in England having produced more professionals than any other Premiership side including a number of internationals. Youth development is obviously dear to Guardiola’s heart as he handed Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Jeffren, and Thiago Alcantara their Barcelona debuts after nurturing their careers in the B side.
Guardiola seems to be closer to a decision as he expressed a strong interest coaching in the Premiership after his New York sabbatical is over. He is London attending the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations and his remarks dated his nemesis Jose Mourinho’s by 24 hours. The Real Madrid manager is also in town for the same celebration and has also been linked strongly with a return to the Premiership but it is more likely a Chelsea reconciliation despite Roman Abramovich furiously wriggling his hips at Guardiola.
The Blues really do not cut the mustard when it comes to nurturing players and then there are these vanity side projects that Abramovich regularly embarks on which has brought the likes of Andrey Shevchenko and Fernando Torres and along with it claimed a few coaching scalps. A bit too much crassness for the elegantly understated Guardiola. On the other end, Mourinho has waxed nostalgic at his Chelsea tenure, a marked contrast to the often exasperated tone adopted at Real where he has rubbed the Bernabeu faithful in all sorts of wrong ways. His high wattage, confrontational style fits well with the sharp elbowed Chelsea ethos. In a quid pro quo, Real could get the services of Rafa Benitez after fulfilling his interim role, a move that has been hinted at by the former Liverpoll manager.
Guardiola has been linked with United but that gathers traction only if Sir Alex has a change of heart or decides his health is more important which from all his utterances seems highly unlikely. A clearly said preference for coaching in the Premiership would mean PSG and Bayern Munich are out of the running. The dark horse is Arsenal. Which would require a molecular level dissociation from Arsene Wenger. But who knows disgruntled fans, fading memories of silverware success, and a failure to secure a CL spot could force a change of heart from the board.
Submited at Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 12:45 pm on Uncategorized by chuck
Comment RSS 2.0 - leave a comment - trackback