It’s not very often that Premier League’s rich giants are ready to chop each others’ heads to specks to secure the signature of a manager, and that too for a sum larger than Wayne Rooney’s, the highest earning player in the Premier League. The day Pep Guardiola officially announced he would depart Bayern Munich at the end of the current season, one could see how helter-skelter it was going to get among the big boys to land the Spaniard at their club.
It certainly isn’t a surprise to see so much speculation about Guardiola; even in the middle of a season, even at a time when the title race should be the focus. This is no ordinary manager. He is the hottest managerial property in the game, the possession of whom can only termed to be a prized one. This is shown by the impact he has had not just on the clubs he has managed but on Spain and Germany’s national teams as well.
Having conquered the two leagues he has worked in, Pep’s now ready for his English adventure. While it’s hard to say which one of the Premier League’s big boys will be able to land him, it feels like a simple choice to pick the club he’s most suited to – Arsenal.
It may sound strange considering the penchant Guardiola has for taking up “projects” at big clubs who need. He could get just that at Manchester City, but that’s a club which doesn’t quite fit the bill, though, for a manager who has a certain sehnsucht for clubs with passion. Pure passion.
Arsenal and Pep Guardiola looks like a relationship that was always written in the stars, just as Arsene Wenger and Arsenal was. As Paul Merson rightly pointed out, if the former Barcelona manager took up the job at The Emirates Stadium, nothing would change, as nothing would have to change. Pep likes blockbuster football, has a love for possession and passing – that, too, quick passing. That’s what Arsenal has been all about since Wenger was appointed. His principles, his ideologies are all very similar to Guardiola’s, except that the Frenchman doesn’t quite like pressing “very-very high” up the pitch and doesn’t play a 2-3-5 formation when going full Monty.
At Arsenal, Pep Guardiola will already have the mentality and the base to work with, and there’ll be no time wasted in trying to impose his own methods upon the team. Also, there are a fair few wonder kids waiting somewhere in the academies to make a mark on the big stage. Pep would absolutely love that.
Arsenal suits Pep, and Pep suits Arsenal. That’s the best that can be said about the two, but it’s the board that has to make the decision sooner rather than later. Arsene Wenger has done a fantastic job at the club during his tenure, and he’ll no doubt go down as one of the greatest managers ever, but time does catch up, even with someone as exceptional as Wenger. He may have 2-3 years more left in him, but who knows what Guardiola’s mind-set would be at that point of time?
Chiefly, 2016 is the best opportunity Arsenal will ever have to replace Arsene Wenger. In Guardiola, they are almost getting an update on their current manager and a guarantee of a better future – the future Wenger has prepared the club for with all his nous and intelligence. Arsenal surely don’t want a managerial change to become the Gordian’s Knot, which’ll only result in a loss of identity, and the murdering of the club’s brand of football and ideologies.
Pep will bring a revolution to the Emirates. He’ll make the boys men with all his objurgating and his pursuit of perfection. Plus, he’ll bring a different mentality in his package, the kind of mentality that brings you European trophies. To miss out on such a manager would be one of the biggest blunders the Arsenal management will ever make. At a time when they themselves look set to dominate, to let Pep go to another club would possibly be the end to Arsenal’s hopes, while going all-in for the Spaniard would the spark the beginning of an era never witnessed in North London.
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