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Guardiola was as good as his word; and Roman Abramovich has found out that money doesn’t buy you everything.
Pep Guardiola’s return to club management was confirmed on twitter today. But not on Chelsea’s twitter; confirmed by Bayern Munich’s:
“Perfekt! PEP GUARDIOLA (41) ab Juli bis 2016 neuer Trainer des FC Bayern! / Heynckes beendet zum Saisonende seine Karriere.”
He will take the reigns at the end of the season having signed a contract until 2016. This resulted in jubilation from most quarters and surprise from others. Is it a surprise, though? Is it a surprise that Guardiola has chosen to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world and to one of the best – and still growing – leagues in the world, famous for it’s brilliant atmosphere and fanatical terrace support?
No, in a word. And Guardiola had already pretty much said he wouldn’t move to Abramovich’s forever-in-transition Chelsea team. Wary of working under capricious Abramovich, Pep had wanted stability and a chance to lay down his philosophy on his own terms, not someone else’s.
The narrow-minded Premier League fans will cite lack of ambition from Guardiola to come to “..best league in the world, mate. Best in the world. Messi ‘aint the best till he can do it up Stoke on a cold, wet night..” Ridiculous. The Bundesliga is an ever growing league which produces fantastic players and fantastic football.
Famed for its low ticket prices and it’s focus on the ‘fan culture’ it really is the utopia of football – how football should be played and watched. Bayern, like Borussia Dortmund and Schalke, topped their respective groups in the Champions League.
Indeed, Dortmund, who will most probably be Pep’s main rival in the Bundesliga, took the so called ‘group of death’ by storm. Likewise, all four teams in the Europa League have progressed to the next round.
Fact is, Bayern isn’t that different from Barcelona. Both are huge clubs which draw support from all over the world; both have fantastic stadiums and top-rated facilities, and both have brilliant youth team set-ups. Consequently, both like bringing their own players through their ranks, but Barcelona are famed for this which has been a continued process ever since Johann Cryuff was at Barcelona. Pep would bring along his own Barcelona-esque philosophy to the Bavarian side which would reap dividends for the future of Bayern.
Where does this leave poor, unfortunate, Roman Abramovich, though, and the die-hard Premier League fans? Firstly, the Premier League isn’t seen as the holy grail as a lot of English seem to think. And secondly, money doesn’t buy you everything….except maybe a misfiring Torres and a perennially in-transition football club where managers are sacked at the drop of the hat.
One, seems to think that this was Abramovich’s plan all along. Wait until Guardiola had become available and then pounce, asking him to name his salary and to realise Abramovich’s enternal search for the perfect football team – a powerhouse bankrolled by the Oligarch’s vast riches.
Fortunately, for the rest of football, this dream hasn’t been realised, and he must now be running out of managers to take the reigns at Chelsea. Don’t worry, Roman, there is always Felix Magath who will buy into your idea of buying players left, right and centre.
For Pep, though, this was a logical move. For Bayern Munich this was a logical move. Bayern are always, without fail, in the hunt for trophies both domestically and in Europe. It’s only been Borussia Dortmund that have stopped them domestically in the last two years, and in Europe, being beaten in the final of the Champions League in 2010, and that heart-breaking loss to Chelsea last season.
Pep’s appointment is massive for the Bavarian giants. It’s also massive for the ever-growing status of the Bundesliga.
Premiership the best in the world? Maybe take off those rose-tinted glasses.
Written by William Hold
Follow him on Twitter @liam17oi
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