By Chris Wright
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has joshed that he may well have taken the Manchester United job a couple of years back but for his inability to decypher Sir Alex Ferguson’s nigh-on impenetrable Scottish accent.
Having left Barcelona at the conclusion of the 2011/12 to embark upon a self-imposed 12-month managerial sabbatical, Guardiola met with Ferguson for a casual dinner in a New York restaurant five months before United’s Scottish overlord announced he was retiring – joking that he may have unwittingly passed on the opportunity to take over from Sir Alex at Old Trafford as he was unable to understand him properly.
“Maybe I didn’t understand if I received an offer or not,” said Guardiola. “My English is not so good and when Sir Alex spoke quickly I didn’t understand him.”
“He invited me to a super restaurant. It was a friendly dinner, like always. He was so gentle and we spent a very good time together.”
Even a man who speaks three languages with impressive fluidity (especially his German swearing) couldn’t made head nor tail of Sir Alex’s mulched-up Scottish burr so, sadly for United fans everywhere, the club were forced to pursue the only suitably-Glaswegian candidate able to come anywhere near comprehending Fergie’s wordless slurring.
However, when Rab C. Nesbitt then turned the job down, David Moyes was waiting in the wings…