After three years in charge of the German giants, Pep Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the current season.
The most sought-after football manager has alerted a host of clubs vying for his signature, but Pep Guardiola is concentrated on his final six months of the contract with Bayern and will not let the rumour mill ruin the atmosphere within his squad.
With the media already speculating about Pep’s future gig, we have already analysed the five most probable options for the German manager HERE.
Guardiola however did comment on rumours linking him with Premier League move suggesting it could be years before he moves to England. He was also quick to apologize to the Premier League managers who were unwillingly dragged into the speculation.
“When I sign a contract I will announce it immediately. Maybe it will be two years until I will coach a team in England. I am sorry. Normally, in my career as a trainer, as a player, I respect a lot my colleagues, so I am sorry. It wasn’t my intention”, Guardiola said in his press conference at the end of 2015.
With the etiquette of a departing boss taped to his back, Pep Guardiola heads into the last six months of his contract with Bayern feeling great pressure on his shoulders.
Spain manager’s aim will be to divert the public attention from his own future to Bayern’s title run and it is not going to be an easy task.
Bayern Munich look ready for the second part of their campaign and the first Bundesliga match in 2016 as they look to continue their impressive domestic run.
The Bavarians are sitting comfortably at the top of the standings with eight-point cushion ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, but their mid-season 2-1 friendly defeat to Karlsruher last week has been slightly upsetting and concerning for the fans.
It wasn’t the best introduction to Bayern’s Friday match at Hamburg, but Guardiola was quick to reassure the public claiming it is the competitive fixture that count and that Bayern will be stronger than ever in the second part of the season.
History does teach us otherwise, though.
January has never been kind month to Guardiola and the Spaniard will be more than willing to change the fortunes in this delicate moment of his tenure.
Guardiola’s first new year period at Bayern was marked by a 3-0 defeat to Red Bull Salzburg in a winter friendly, so similarities with their Karsruher loss are a bit uncanny. His second winter in charge brought no difference as Bayern were thrashed by Kevin de Bruyne and Wolfsburg 4-1.
However, with three wins out of six games during the winter months, Pep Guardiola still went on to lead his team to glory, so the fans will be hoping for a similar outcome this year as well.
Ominous similarities are nothing more than coincidences and ruling out Guardiola during his final months would be a foolish thing to do. Doubting his determination and dedication to finish the job on a high even more so.
Guardiola wants to win the treble and he is well aware that his final year with the club will be remembered as a disappointment if he fails to win the Champions League.
To achieve that, Bavarians will first have to topple last season’s finalist Juventus in the round of 16, but there is mutual sense of optimism among Bayern’s players, who are all eager to win the treble as Pep Guardiola’s farewell.
Still, their long path to glory begins on Friday with a game against Hamburg and Bayern Munich are firm favourites at 1/5 to claim the maximum three points and begin 2016 with a win.
As he fights the tradition, Pep Guardiola is also faced with a lot of injuries which will only make his job harder.
Frank Ribery, Mario Gotze, Juan Bernat, Douglas Costa, David Alaba and team captain Phillipp Lahm are all injured or still recovering from their knocks.
Questions are inevitable.
Many in Munich are asking themselves whether Guardiola’s imminent departure will offer little motivation to the players at this particular part of the season and Bayern Munich officials did their best to soften the blow as they wasted no time in finding the proper replacement.
Carlo Ancelotti is the next best thing and Bayern’s hierarchy should not be too worried if players will rue Pep’s absence.
As for the Spanish manager, Guardiola is too much of a professional to let himself be distracted by planning for life after Bayern Munich. That is one thing he has taught us so far.