English club sees break for Qatar World Cup as an asset to resolve issue
Nobody is worried about the future of the champion coach of the Premier Leaguebut we all know they’re going to ask about your stay on the team.
the contract of guardiola, who has already reached the age of 51, ends at the end of this season and no negotiations for his stay have been officially made. City have never denied wanting to stay with the manager, who has won four Premier League titles and five other trophies since he arrived in 2016, but Pep is always vague on the subject.
“I wouldn’t change a thing about the life I have here,” Guardiola said: “It’s already been seven seasons with the team. We’ve talked to the club and we’re going to talk about the contract midway through the season and at the end of it, always thinking about what’s best for the team. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If they want it, I’d love to stay for a long time, but I need to be sure in the meantime.”
In an ideal world, City would love to have the terms agreed with Guardiola in the break for the World Cup. The Premier League will stop between November 13th and December 26th and if everything is in order when the championship returns, in the middle of Boxing Day, it allows the team to focus only on the title race and the next stages of the Champions League.
If players return from world Cup, with Guardiola’s future quite uncertain, will be a focus of questioning what the next step can be taken. It’s a problem the team could avoid.
Manchester City would still need time to look for another manager. The team has some coaches on its radar: it admires the work of Julian Nagelsmannat the Bayern Munchen; Patrick Vieira has been doing good work in Crystal Palace; and the former City captain, Vincent Kompanyhas been doing well in Burnley. Even so, choosing a new technician is not an easy process.
The team president, Khaldoon Al Mubarakhas already accepted the fact that the coach’s position will always be discussed, especially when his contract is ending:
“Pep has never stayed at a club as much as he has here, whether in the barcelona or Bayern Munich. So it’s fair enough that they ask about your time here on the team, whether it’s at the beginning of the contract, in the middle and now at the end. It is a partnership that has brought glories over the years.”
And it’s not the first time that Al Mubarak has been in this situation with the coach. In the 2020/2021 season, the situation was the same: that Pep has been with him longer than at Barcelona and Bayern Munich; along with speculation that he would like to rest. In the end, Guardiola signed for another two years and mentioned that the relationship he has with the team is very good, which is one of the reasons for staying. Again, this is going to be a very important fact at this point.
“Having that kind of support is the best thing a tech can have,” Pep said two years ago, “I have everything I could ever want to work well and I’m flattered by the trust that the owner and president, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristainhas demonstrated for me to stay two more years after this 2020/2021 season.”
Pep has a close relationship with Soriano and Begiristain, made during his time at Barcelona, and which has grown at City. But he is aware that his success depends on the good game of his athletes and, above all, that they continue to believe in what he tries to do with the team.
“It’s been a lot of years with the team and I need to see how the players behave,” Pep said in August: “I don’t want to be a problem. Sometimes when you extend some things and force the situation it is not beneficial, so you have to get over it. It is natural for this to happen. And I say it again: if you force it, it won’t work. We will see what happens during the season and depending on how we feel, we will think about what is best for the team.”
Before the season starts, Bernardo Silva admitted that it can be a little exhausting to have Guardiola as a coach, but if City start the season well it is possible his methods will continue to work.
Also, Begiristain is trying to renew his team and just De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Gundogan and Mahrez are players over 30 years old. The average age of the team, in the 3×0 victory against the Wolverhampton before the Fifa calendar break was just 26 years old, with some players like Haaland and Phil Foden far below this mark. Extremely important situation for the success of the team to continue.
Guardiola doesn’t want to be a coach forever, but he has ambitions in Manchester. It seems like he would like to take a break, travel with his family and improve his golf, but after that it wouldn’t be surprising that he’s in front of a selection. Even so, Khaldoon, Begiristain and Soriano hope their motivation in the team will stay for a few more years.
No desire to work 60 years as Sir Alex Ferguson and Wenger, Guardiola’s working time will come to an end sooner. City’s hope is that there is nowhere else he would rather be than his own team.