Pep Guardiola To Leave Barcelona, Where Next For The Uber Coach?

Alan Duffy

27th, April 2012


By Alan Duffy

“Pep saaaaaaaaad”

Regardless of the two Champions Leagues and the 11 other trophies he’s won since 2008, it seems the shame of conceding a Fernando Torres goal was too much for Pep, as Reuters are reporting that he’s announced this morning that he’s to stand down as Barcelona coach at the end of the season after five years in charge at the Camp Nou.

Still only 41-years-old, the former deep-lying playmaker won three La Liga titles, two Champions League trophies, one Copa del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Club Cups in just four seasons at the helm for Barca, an incredible haul of trophies. However, now the suave tactician looks all but set to leave.

Whether or not leaving after such as a disappointment as the Catalans’ shock Champions League exit is the best decision to make remains to be seen, but there are now two very interesting questions on everyone’s lips – 1) What next for Guardiola himself and 2) who will replace him in the Barcelona hot-seat.

The young whippersnapper is expected to take some time off from football (probably an entire year), but when he is ready to return he’ll have a queue of suitors prettying themselves for him.

A known fan of the Premier League, could Pep end up at Stamford Bridge, or maybe the Etihad? Another theory doing the rounds is that he may take over at Arsenal when Wenger decides to quit. Or is he Fergie’s replacement at Old Trafford? What do you think?

And as for who’ll take the hot seat at Barca, Big Sam is probably waiting eagerly by the phone, though surely Athletic Bilbao boss Marcelo Bielsa is in with a shout? That said, interestingly, former Barca player Ernesto Valverde – who was a huge success at Olympiakos – is said to be the current favourite.

Or what about my outside bet – Alex McLeish (taking Emile Heskey with him, of course)?

Thoughts guys?

Posted in Barcelona, Managers

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  1. Jackelele says:

    Don’t anyone even dare mention Brendan Rodger’s name

  2. ds. says:

    this guy grew up in the Barca system and inherited at least the most integral members of perhaps the best club side ever. while he may have known how to squeeze the most out of their potential, i don’t think we’ll really know how good a manager he is until he succeeds somewhere else where his work isn’t almost ideally cut out for him. for now we know he is good, but if he is great remains to be seen.

    although as a Liverpool fan i’d love John Henry to give him a call. and if i was an Arsenal fan…

  3. Milkchew says:

    What ds said.

    Frank Rijkaard left him with a great squad, so its all a bit meh atm.

    Outside guess would be the return of Johan Cruyff who put in place this tic tac toe football they play, a few weeks back people was talking about him giving up his position in Mexico. But hes an old fella now. My money is on Luis Enrique handing in his notice at Roma and taking it up.

  4. Khairo says:

    Luis Enrique for me too…felt like Barca just loaned him out to give him the feels and the pressures of top flight football in serie A

  5. Stewart says:

    Seems a bit mad to me. A couple of weeks of signing on he might regret this. He won’t get benefits straight away because he left the role himself.

  6. RyanMe says:

    Pep considers Bielsa one of the best in the game right now and the two are close friends. Seems like if they can pry him from Bilbao then he’ll be the guy. Luis Enrique certainly has a shot as well as Pep’s assistant Tito Vilanova. Whoever it is it will be an interesting story. It’s pretty clear that Pep has looked fatigued for awhile now; just look at pictures of him when he was hired and what he looks like now. He’s certainly aged haha

  7. Gary says:

    arsene wenger anybody?

  8. Davy says:

    Morinho to Man Utd and Pep to Real Madrid anyone??

    but I do see Morinho at Man U and could see Harry as England manager and Pep trying himself out at Spurs!!

  9. martin says:

    “Pry” Bielsa from Bilbao? His contract also expires this summer.

    But apparently Tito Villanova will be the next coach.

  10. Archbishop Betty Snagcock says:

    @martin yeah i heard that as well – he’s the guy who mourinho jabbed in the eye lol

    and Guardiola had to make massive changes to that squad, ditching the old guard in deco, ronaldinho et al isn’t easy and he changed the way they played massively

    but if you ask me he’s absolutely copped out, vanished when the going’s got tough, and that will be a blotch on his legacy

  11. Mr. T says:

    apparently tito villanueva has been announced as the new manager for barca.

  12. lfc_man says:

    I think he may be headed to the couch, and will be watching matches on TV not from the sidelines. Its not that wild an idea to think he might take the England job, at least for a year. Being a national coach leaves a lot of time to rest, he won’t be dealing with demanding journalists every week and the FA would pay fairly well.

  13. Papi says:

    Steve Bruce will take over and take Titus Bramble with him.

  14. Pkhakheria says:

    that comment just made my day, can just imagine brucey at the helm of “un club”

  15. Mr. Sparkle says:

    Why does everyone believe he’s going to England?

    Not to mention that he quit because of two major upsets in the last few days. It’s been reported for weeks and maybe even months before that he was stepping down at the end of the season.

    I hope he doesn’t come to England, I’d hate for a manager of his calibre to put up with Abramovich at Chelsea. He’ll be fired even if he does bring success to the club. God knows Mourinho was. Chelsea fans and board are so fickle that even if Di Matteo won them the Champions League they would get rid of him for the sake of having someone more shiny and “better”, no other club in England has either the money nor the set up for success within a season. Other than Manchester United. Ferguson is obviously going to hold on till he’s in the ground.

  16. Roshan says:

    I find this pathetic, he’s running away from the face of adversity.

    2 big losses in one week, big deal. He thinks he can’t manage a team after that? I will laugh at anyone who calls him one of the best managers in the world just because of this.

  17. dc says:

    Roshan, and everyone else who is uninformed and likes to come to baseless conclusions,

    PEP MADE HIS DECISION IN OCTOBER. In fact, if you’ve been checking the news at all this season, all the warning signs have been there that Pep was thinking of leaving. It’s one of the reasons, I believe, the Barcelona has been underperforming a bit this season, as everyone knew something was up. He’s looked depressed at EVERY news conference this season, he even stated back in March that the league was totally lost at one of the conferences. The reason he decided now to release the news was because Barcelona are now out of their major title races and theres no risk of players getting distracted.

    And for everyone who says he inherited a great team from Rijkard, what about Busquets, Pedro, Pique, Thiago, Alves, Mascherano etc. Most of those players started under Pep on the B team or were brought in by him and are now arguably some of the best in the world at their current positions, and the Spanish players, apart from Thiago, played a huge role in winning a World Cup.

    Barcelona CLICKED with their new formation under Pep, specifically with the “Busquets role.” as much as you may or may not like him, ask our friends over at Zonal Marking– Sergio’s role and Pep’s system which flowed around him revolutionized the way Barça play. That was all Pep.

  18. Ian Holloway. That is all.

  19. jose fernandez says:

    we will do better than los blancos every time weve won 3 cups and it will be 4 to your 1 visca el barca blaugrana catalonia anti madrid and spain

  20. Andy Carroll's Ponytail says:

    Tito has taken charge and now he’s gonna pay Jose with an eye for an eye!!

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