Friday, 29 April 2016

Guardiola to take the helm at Manchester City

Harry Elliott (@harry94elliott) writes on the news that Pep Guardiola is to take the helm at Manchester City at the end of the season from Manuel Pellegrini.
January transfer deadline day brought about some fantastic news for Manchester City fans. Not, as might be expected, the announcement of a new player, but rather news that current Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is to take to the dugout at the Etihad Stadium, starting next season. It was been dubbed “the worse kept secret in football” but City fans should be pleased that the Spaniard chose the blue half of Manchester over the numerous other clubs courting him. Manchester United and Chelsea will have to look elsewhere if they want a managerial change, as arguably the most hip and in-demand coach (the other being Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, if you’re that way inclined) has now been snapped up, as @bluemoon_mcfc explains:

“A statement issued by the club said: Manchester City can confirm that in recent weeks it has commenced and finalised contractual negotiations with Pep Guardiola to become MCFC Head Coach for the 2016/17 EPL season onwards.
The contract is for three years. These negotiations were a re-commencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012. Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players, the Club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation.”

Much like Ross and Rachel in US sitcom Friends Pep and the Citizens have been engaged in a “will they/won’t they?” scenario in recent years, with @ReadManCity giving a useful potted history:
“One of the longest running sagas in Manchester City’s recent history has ended, with the club confirming the signing of Pep Guardiola, who will arrive as the club’s new manager at the end of the season. Guardiola has been linked with a move to City for a number of years, but most heavily during the 2012-13 season. Discussions were broken off, as acknowledged in the statement released by City, and the ex-Barcelona manager joined Bayern Munich while Pellegrini replaced the sacked Roberto Mancini at Eastlands.”
“Guardiola announced late last year that this season was to be his last at the Allianz Arena, where he has faced off against City in the Champions League a number of times since his arrival. The rumour mill span furiously, with City, Manchester United and Chelsea all presumed to be in the hunt for a manager come the end of the season. However City, who have been the clear favourites throughout the chase, have won the battle for the successful Spaniard’s signature.”
Understandably excited by the prospect of a man who has won three La Liga titles, two Bundesligas, two Champions Leagues and no less than six domestic titles in Spain and Germany; @ReadManCity states:
“He will be greeted with a cheer by Blues fans, who have been waiting for this moment for years.”
This success for Manchester City has not gone unnoticed at city rivals United…
“Guardiola is arguably the best manager in the world and City have secured a major coup with his signing.”
“United are in disarray right now and there will be concerns that they could be left behind by City. If van Gaal leaves, Jose Mourinho and Ryan Giggs will be left as the favourites to take over at the club.”
Harsh words from @PeoplesPerson_.
Regardless of who wins the title in the current season (and that could well be Manchester City) it cannot be argued that the Etihad outfit do not look incredibly well placed to challenge next season, with Europe’s most in demand coach and no doubt an open cheque book.
By Harry Elliott (@harry94elliott)
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