This is the end?
Is this it? Is this the end of Pep Guardiola’s reign at the Nou Camp? Was a defeat to Chelsea really too much to bear?
April 27th, 2012
Pep Guardiola is set to end his four year tenure as manager of Barcelona after reportedly telling the club that after four years, three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and two Champions League titles, he cannot carry on. A meeting between him and the players will take place this morning, with an “emergency press conference” this afternoon.
The revelation comes after Barcelona were dumped out of the Champions League by Chelsea this week and after Barcelona effectively conceded the title with a home defeat to Real Madrid.
On Thursday, the 41-year-old spent three hours with Barcelona president Sandro Rosell at his private home in the city, where Guardiola apparently claimed that he could “not go on”.
Guardiola is out of contract at the end of this season and Rosell is thought to have offered the former Barca captain unlimited funds in the summer to remain with the club, to no avail.
The news sent the book for the next England manager into something of a frenzy, with one bookie slashing Guardiola from 22/1 to 6/1 in the space of a few hours. We’re going out on a limb here when we say “not gonna happen”.
Was the Guardiola announcement coming? Perhaps. Ignoring the contract issue for a moment, this week has seen something that we haven’t seen for some three years – people questioning Barcelona. For all the possession that they enjoyed against Real Madrid and Chelsea, they ended up on the wrong end of the score line, failing to beat one side that played for more than 55 minutes with 10 men. “No Plan B” was the criticism of Pep’s side – one that is oft levelled at Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal – and perhaps, just perhaps, Guardiola has realised that his philosophy has been trumped?
Either that, or there’s still a job going at Chelsea.