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Pep Alert !!!

Pep Alert !!!

I will try and keep this brief. We all know the infatuation that our owner has had with Pep Guardiola for many years now. It is also on record that since Pep decided to step aside from Barca, Roman has offered him unspeakable amounts of money to come and coach Chelsea. Much as I have my serious doubts about whether Pep can replicate the stupendous success he had at Barcelona with any other team in Europe I will say I am impressed that the man has been able to resist the allure of the amount of money Roman and others have thrown in his face in the last year. It does speak of a set of personal principles that few today in professional football have.

While Roman has always reportedly dealt with Pep via emissaries (pep has reportedly never accepted invitations to meet him in person), it is instructive to learn that Pep has recently met with the Mancity hierarchy including the owner Sheikh Mansour and their DOF; Txiki Begiristain who he knows from their mutual Barca days. The guy was reportedly told by these guys to essentially name his own salary to come manage City ...they essentially gave him a blank check!!! Even more intriguing though is the fact that in the last year that he has been on sabbatical Pep has met with Sir Alex Ferguson on multiple occasions. It is now rife over the internet and reported even on Fox soccer news that the most wanted man in Football has apparently reached a decision as to where and when he will return to the beautiful game.

Though not confirmed by him all pointers seem to indicate he will be taking over from SAF at ManU in the summer of 2013 when SAF is expected to finally hang up his illustrious boots and retire.

Why does this concern us you may ask? I wont waste time discussing how if this turns out to be true it would be a lesson to Roman on how not to go about recruiting a quality coach. There is a far bigger issue here. Pep is like the big elephant in the room. Once his final destination becomes common knowledge a domino effect immediately gets set in motion. At Real Madrid it is almost metaphysical certainty that Jose will not stay there beyond this summer. He will either be sacked if Real fail to win the Champions league (as the La Liga title is already wrapped up, sealed and delivered to Barca) or if he wins the Champions league he will resign to stick it to his detractors there. Where Jose goes from there is anyone`s guess but the rumors and common sense suggest that the most likely destinations will either be City or PSG..sites with the money to afford "the special one" and with the high level egos few can manage like him. Much as Jose and Roman remain amicable since Roman sacked him I don`t see any way Jose can return to Chelsea FC considering the egos of these two men and what Jose would demand as far as resources, authority and control for him to return here.

This is where it gets sticky because as we speak for a few weeks now there has been this subliminal rumor making the waves that Real Madrid are looking with interest at Rafa Benitez as their next possible coach (Jose himself has even made allusions to this possibility). This is not as outlandish as some may think..part of the problem many madridistas and the big name Spanish players in Real like Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas have with Jose is that he is not Spanish. Rafa is a Spaniard and his record while in La Liga is there for all to see. He is the last coach to win a La Liga title when not coaching either Barca or Real..This is no mean feat. He also has several Copa del Rey titles to his name not to mention Europa and Champions league titles. He certainly has the pedigree and experience.

The point is knowing Rafa and seeing that he after all only has an interim appointment with us (which expires in summer 2013) It will not surprise me if his reps are making those calls and initial contacts right now. He may well be using his time at Chelsea as the ultimate auditioning job there is; A stage to audition for what many see as the biggest job in club football management; namely head coach of Real Madrid.

Some time ago I wrote an article detailing dispassionately the strengths I saw that Rafa brought to our side. As expected most said that any consideration of offering him a more permanent appointment was premature. Well Roman and the three Amigos need to be very careful here; we may not have the luxury to wait till season`s end to decide on this. it looks like we have lost out on the Pep sweepstakes despite all Roman`s money. if they wait too long and Pep`s appointment to ManU becomes confirmed before you can say Jack Robinson the other dominos may fall. By the end of the season the issue of offering Rafa a permanent position with us may become moot as he may well by then have a way greater profile job offer.

One thing people need to know about Rafa is that he is a very proud man. It has no doubt dented his personal pride immensely to even have to take the Chelsea job. To take it as an interim coach was entirely out of necessity not because that is what he wanted. He will not look at an offer of a permanent appointment from us the same way, if it comes after it is apparent that Pep is not coming to us. It is one thing to offer him the permanent position because we think he merits it and it another altogether to offer it to him because the one preferred by Roman and his Amigos simply turned us down. If we do the latter and the timing shows it to be so don`t be surprised if Rafa then also tells Roman "No thank you" and rather waits for Jose`s exit from Real for him to move there. It should be apparent by now to Roman that money is not everything.

This summer will see some major coaching upheavals once Pep`s final destination become common knowledge. If we wait till then to decide what to do about Rafa Benitez we may well regret it.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday December 31 2012
Time: 7:32AM


After that long article about Barca's history yesterday, now this?? GABEU, you need to get over your "anti Pep obsession" no offense but it's getting all the more pathetic really *smh*
31/12/2012 07:43:00
Rafa is our Manager now and he knows if he wins the remaining Cups available he has a good chance to continue managing us should Pep decide otherwise....The clubs future is safe GEEEZ
31/12/2012 07:44:00
I see a eden hazard season 2 based on pep next destination. Maybe we'll hav to follow him on
prince china
31/12/2012 08:00:00
Rafa and Real sounds like a dream match, can we persuade 'em to do an exchange now? Sooner Rafa the maggot faahks off the better.
31/12/2012 08:05:00
I am pretty sure SAF will not retire this summer! Especially if as expected they don't win anything! I still think city will win the league and utd won't win the champions league and its well documented that SAF wants one more champions league title before he goes. So I Pep Guardiola ends up at old Trafford this summer if be very surprised indeed. Maybe he will end up at city or Chelsea who mows. But I do think this summer we might just see the biggest transfer merry go round involving managers and not players that has ever been! Guardiola,Mourinho,Ancelotti,Benitez,Wenger?,Klopp?,Moyes?,there is a good few who might be moving on. Should be a very interesting summer.
31/12/2012 08:50:00
Its a nice article gabeu and I would advice u not to mind any jealous distractors, but ur article thankfully is a hypothesis that has only a few facts, the remainder is guess work which might pay off or not, but know this my friend, if pep and mourinho don't come to chelsea and if rafa goes to real, it doesn't mean we can't get another decent manager, football is evolving and will unearth more suprises in the coming future if the lord tarries
31/12/2012 09:01:00
Forget Pep and give Rafa a long term deal!
31/12/2012 09:31:00
pep anytime but he wont come here...he is smart enough to join chelsea circus here...and about jose a big noooooo dont like his footballing ideology and more of it his favourism towards some players...which i dont like at any club...every player should be treated the same but jose always favoured some players and neglegted other....which i dont want at all...and regarding good manager joining chelsea in future is get dim day by day....i think he should start taking managerial lesson because in future the way things are going now one day he would have no other option but to manage chelsea himself...
31/12/2012 09:53:00
nice article but i still think roman wil do something
31/12/2012 10:59:00
SAF has been planning to retire since forever Citeh gave Mancini a 5yr contract and they are still very much in the title race especially as they have no Europa cup distractions and if Rafa wins. title or two which I'm sure he will it will justify Romans sacking of RDM and perhaps appeal to Pep to try to tame the wild horse that is CFC. Remember when the whole world said we couldn't get Ancelotti and we eventually did? How do you know the same can't apply to Pep. Real and Bayern have been firing managers like its a hobby and they are still respected top clubs. Why can't the same apply to us?
31/12/2012 11:07:00
Oh I forgot don't make promises you can't keep. You promised to be brief and as usual you failed. :'(
31/12/2012 11:09:00
Give Rafa long term!
31/12/2012 11:54:00
rafa is only an interim.nothing more than that.he doesn't play the brand of football roman craves.pep is no solution either.pep would need some massive patience to build something and not to mention complete control of transfer policy.if pep does come i can only imagine us paying a massive sum to terminate his contract later on which truly will be a catastrophe considering the compensation
31/12/2012 12:05:00
Interesting summer its lookin like and with the way things are we might be the biggest losers because pep would not come here and rafa might likely agree to takeover in the summer at madrid if jose gets knocked out of the CL by then what would we have??we are runing out of options,there is only few topclass managers out there,none in their right senses would accept the poison chalice while the others we have sacked already...if i can look 5yrs into the future i would still want rafa to be here #wehaveadiamondonourhand
31/12/2012 12:22:00
It could also be a very difficult summer for the club too. A summer where senior players move on, loan players return and who is going to be the new manager. We've been over this a thousand times, yet we cannot accept reality. Think back to 2011 summer 'guus hiddink odds on favourite to be Chelsea manager' all summer that headline played out until we took the plunge got a manager who clearly wasn't ready. 2013 summer 'pep guardiola odds on favourite to be Chelsea manager' only for him to say no. We have a reputation and we have to live with it I'm afraid, as a club we think that every manager wants to manage us and that we can get rid of them after 6 months. Yes it's a strategy that's been successful with trophies, but how long can that continue. Besides offering a squad of highly talented players, what can we offer to a manager, huge wage, great compensation package, job security only if you get Torres firing every season, play attractive football even though there are some games where that is not necessary. I don't want pep, he is a one trick pony and unlike AVB he should try somewhere else first. Jose wants it his way or no way- so does roman. I've given my choice before, and if we offer proper support and job security, then jurgen Klopp together with Michael ballack as assistant (speaks English and can translate) could make us a dominant force and we would start to use our invisible youth system.
31/12/2012 13:05:00
good suggestion blue 1989 but sadly it wont happen. He seems happy at dortmund. He is winning league's and now In champions league round of 16 and has job security. He does not appear to be the one who takes money that seriously.
Blue India
31/12/2012 14:20:00
Thanks for all the comments from those who had something constructive to say whether you agree or not with mine. Desmond you are absolutely right that much of what i wrote here is conjecture and heresay regarding peps final destination or those of others like Jose. Till Pep himself or his reps come out and say where he is headed who knows..My concern is only for our is true is we lose Rafa in the summer and Pep ends up elsewhere with Roman's money we will probably get a half decent coach eventually but the thing is think about this that will be the 4th coach our team will be getting in as many years during another summer transfer window after Carlo, then AVB, then RDM..imagine yourself what it would be like to work in an organization where your direct boss keeps changing every new work year and then imagine that for young relatively inexperienced players having to learn a new system and nuances each is not ideal..not even the most talented players can thrive in that kind of constantly shifting sand. @Traykidd i never promised anywhere that i would succeed in keeping the article brief..i said i would try and clearly from your judgement i failed. If this bothers you so much just pass over the article and dont bother commenting on it. @Mq this "Anti Pep obsession" you say i have is a delusion of your own creation that is non existent. To begin with i doubt i even mentioned Pep at all in the article on being more than a club. Further if you took the time to actually read and understand what i was saying in this article it would be evident to you that i am actually impressed by Peps resoluteness. Few men can keep to their word when faced with the incentive of so much money easily available. He said he would take a sabbatical year and thus far he has been true to that word no matter what. His family will no doubt greatly appreciate that. While it all still conjecture, if pep does end up coaching any team other than Chelsea, Man City, PSG or Anzhi it will be clear as day that as my two Catalan friends keep telling me Money is the last thing that motivates or drives the man's decisions making...time will tell. As for Rafa though, Roman will be sadly mistaken if he thinks he can apply the same treatment of "switch and bait" or "wait till i am ready" that he did with RDMs interim appointment. Rafa is no RDM..he has way more pedigree and way more options out there. If we dilly dally in offering him a deal that shows him some respect it will not shock me at all for us to be back in the market searching for another coach come summer 2013...just saying. BTW @ Blue 1989..i agree entirely with your expressed sentiments.
31/12/2012 14:25:00
GabeU…I think you do not give Pep the credit he deserves. I totally agree that it was Frank’s foundations that built the Barca we see today. Even Messi’s path was laid by Frank. But I think you forget Pep was there to experience all that and when he took over. And I think its because of that experience that he was able to take them to another level. Barca is a team with a long history of good players from Maradona, De Lima, Dinho, Romario, Figo, Rivaldo and now Messi as well as the best coaches you can think of including our own Jose, Cruyff, Aragones, Van Gaal and Robson. But their most glorious period has been under Frank and Pep. After a very dark and elongated period of trial and error with false hopes Frank built a team which was just as enterprising, but his was more balanced and allowed less goals. A much higher rated Cruyff failed that in over a decade with similar talent! Thing for me about any coach is they need around 5 yrs to horn their philosophy/tactics and gain knowledge about their own vision/execution. Rogers and AVB came in as the new brilliant minds out there, but they are stuttering at big clubs. That’s because they are still going through the motions/learning curve. On the other hand Steve Clark and Moyes are ahead of the curve now and right now can probably manage a big team better than your AVB and Rodgers. Conte and Simeone who are past the learning curve are doing even better than your established coaches. Pep had time to learn the ropes with Barca B while working with the first team under Frank. He even went to Biesla to study before putting a stamp to his style. I have doubts with Pep’s ability to build a team in the same way that Frank, Guus and Jose can. However not even Jose will be able to make a team play like Barca in the same way as Pep. I look at how RDM failed to see all aspects of the game. He had certain areas figured out but could not make Mata, Oscar and Eden accountable defensively. Is it that RDM couldn’t/didn’t see it? No. I liken his situation to Wenger at Arsenal. Wenger inherited a good defense and he brought in offensive firepower and swept everything in front of him. But when he recruited his Fabregas led teams were always lacking defensively! At the same time that defensive capability from purely offensive minded players is something that Pep had mastered to the extend that he could have a better defensive record even when fielding midfielders as CBs! And that is something I think Pep would have mastered even with Wenger’s team! Pep’s value would be in making a team play his way. Just s Jose’ value would be in making them play his way! And I would look at chances of failure in the same way I would look at Jose failing wherever he goes.
31/12/2012 19:18:00
OCBlues has just split my Dome (Head). This is the most intelligent comment I've ever read on this V.C site. Raijkaard Laid the Barca foundation while Guardiola drew up the continuity plans from back stage, that's what true coaching is all about, but these days, we have people attend coaching schools, graduate, and think they are ready to be a head coach without being an apperentist to a seasoned manager. We had steve Clarke, Ray wilkings and others, but roman let em all go. If this isn't handled properly sooner, we might just go through a regular season without a proper manager.
01/01/2013 02:16:00
@ gabeu, nice article, agree with you on giving rafa a long term deal.
pego sama
01/01/2013 02:45:00
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