Memo to Pep Guardiola

by Michael Wade

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

I have just been reading in the Sunday Times that Chelsea or more specifically Roman Abramovich is lining up Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge.

My message to Pep would be a clear one – stay away from the Bridge, distance yourself from the job and under no circumstances buy any of the bullshit they may try to use the sell the club and the job to you.

There may actually be very little in this story, in fact earlier in the week I read a similar story linking Guardiola with a move to replace Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan at the end of season – a story I am inclined to doubt just as much.

In essence, Guardiola has done a great job at Barcelona, exceeded all expectations and in turn made himself one of the hottest properties in world football and as such is coveted by footballing superpowers the world over.

What this means is that when a manager is under pressure (see messrs Ancelotti and Benitez) the name Guardiola will be linked with the club in question – however, given that it made the front cover of the Sunday Times sports section I am tempted to give it more credence than the mere speculation you read in many other tabloids (maybe I am misreading the situation and being a naive fool, but that is besides the point).

This is not an anti-Chelsea post and I am not an anti-Chelsea person but I am increasingly anti-Abramovich. The Russian is someone who  reportedly chased, made eyes at, waved, flirted and giggled at Ancelotti for years before tempting him to west London.

Now, it would appear less than a season and a half on, he is bored with his new plaything and wants it replaced with a shinier, newer version – treating his managers in much the same way you or I might treat mobile phones or iPods.

There will be the cynics amongst you who take the attitude that, ‘meh, that’s football at the top level and Ancelotti knew what he was signing up for and will expect no less’. Well that might be the case but as a lover of football I don’t think that is the way to run a football club and it is one of the fundamental reasons that football is in the state it is in.

It is no coincidence that the only team above Chelsea in the Premier League(Manchester United) and the one behind them by only four goals (Arsenal) are where they are by allowing their managers to fulfil their long-term vision for success at the club.

Would it be coincidence to suggest that the reason Chelsea have been unable to replicate this kind of success under Abramovich and have instead only enjoyed fleeting league wins before equal amounts of time as runners-up because he doesn’t allow his managers to build a legacy before he interferes.

By selling Michael Ballack from under Ancelotti’s nose during the summer and dismissing Ray Wilkins against his wishes Abramovich may have succeeded in unsettling his manager and his team leading to this current state of flux the team is enduring.

If he thinks, as reported, that by appointing Guardiola at Chelsea the club will instantly win the Champions League playing in the attractive attacking manner he expects for his investment then he can expect a rude awakening.

And when after a couple of seasons Guardiola is thrown on the scrapheap alongside Mourinho and Ancelotti at least he can count his big fat payoff from the stupid oligarch who doesn’t understand football.

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  • Raj

    Drogba/Lampard/Terry playing tiki- taka at the bridge . Hopeless case. Could not agree more. Barca plays the best football ever seen in the history of the game, including the Total football of the Cruyff/Michel of 74; Guardiola should stay at the Nou Camp. The spaniards call Mourinho Saturday, Abramovich/Chelsea are the same. They have no class.

  • Sandman

    In no way did Chelsea say that they were gonna replace Ancoletti. And neither did Ancoletti say he was gonna quit the Bridge. Yeah Chelsea are goin through a rough patch with lot of controversies and the form and such and such.. But everyone here is happy wth Ancoletti and the squad we have. We are gonna get through this rough patch and for this we do not need Pep Guardiola for this.

  • Mystical Mike

    Dream on Chelsea, not gonna happen!

  • MHL_GATE13

    This is a fair account of what the press believe is going on at Stamford Bridge and there will always be speculation about ANY manager here.

    The reason’s being rightly or wrongly Abramovich can replace managers like the latest fashion camodity, i am not saying this is correct but the man has invested heavily and if he feels/ decides that the current regime does not fulfill his demands/ requirements/ dream sadly he could have a reactive management approach.

    At no point does this article suggest that anyone is lined up to replace Carlo, it is merely having a proactive approach to a rumour much speculated in the press recently.

    Ancelotti, fact; he is doing a good job and thank you for the double best season i have had and there have been plenty of them lol .

    p.s. Guardiola had a unique batch of young up and coming + established stars at Barca, the team problably in my opinion could have done the treble with a trained chimp in charge (not taking credit away from Guardiola).

  • Mystical Mike

    Reason number 6, becos he is in charge of the best football team we’ve seen since arsenals invincables!

    Tonights result shows exactly how good he is, mr ego was completely mugged up on so many levels

  • adedapo

    pep please make sure real do not defeat barca for the next 4years

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