Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Pep talk on Premier League was a Bayern bluff

Pep Guardiola’s near-theatrical “I want to manage in the Premier League” gush turned out to be the most elaborate "come and get me plea" in the electronic media age.
Pep flirted with England's elite - then signed for Bayern!
The former Barcelona boss, on sabbatical after stepping down at Camp Nou last season said, "As a player I couldn't realise my dream to play in England. But I hope in the future, I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there."

He added: "It is unique to play in that league. I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players and everything.

But in the very same day as those words were trumpeted through press and social media, Guardiola agreed terms with German giants, Bayern Munich. So much for feeling the English game then.

Pep guided the Catalan giants to an incredible haul of 14 trophies in four seasons. Auf wiedersehen, Pep!

Then again, Bayern's a prudent and sober choice for someone of Pep's experience and calibre because they resemble his old club, Barcelona in many ways:

Bayern is 82% owned by the fans in a setup similar to that of the Catalan giants and like Barca, they're one of the big two clubs at home.

They also have an enviable youth policy and a desire from the cream of the crop to play for them. It's a hunger shared by just a handful of the world's top clubs.

They're also perennial and viable Champions League performers and sign players from other domestic clubs.

All of these similarities will aid Guardiola to repeat his stellar achievements in the Bundesliga and beyond.

He's spent time away with his family in New York, sampling life and culture in a completely new environment. Despite the growth of the MLS, Manhattan remains one city where Pep can remain almost anonymous in the crowd.

But in signing for the Bavarians, he's ready to step back into the limelight.

Meanwhile, we all know what Jose thinks of English football. The ex-Chelsea boss has a long-held desire to return to these shores when his time at Real Madrid comes to an end.
Jose is open to an English return
England and Spain have been vying toe to toe to be regarded as the best league in the world for the last decade. Perhaps Spain have nosed ahead the last couple of seasons if the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards are a barometer.

But I believe English football is about enter another golden era. Television rights in this country are up 70% from next season – which means while wages are being controlled for lesser talent, English clubs will be able to top dollar and premium for real (or perhaps Real) talent.

Don’t be surprised if the brain drain of managers to England isn’t matched by Latin stars choosing Wigan on a wet Wednesday night too.

Germany's grabbed a superstar coach - but while the Bundesliga's among the most competitive of European leagues, only England has the financial clout to attract a basket of top names.

You heard it here first: English club football is about to enter a period of renewed dominance - and will leave even Spain - and Germany in its wake.