Guardiola harbours United ambition


Published: Thursday 16th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola would relish the chance to take charge of Manchester United, according to a newly-released book chronicling his debut season with the German giants.

Guardiola ended a highly successful tenure at Barcelona in 2012, after winning 14 trophies in four years, and took the top job with Bayern last year following a 12-month sabbatical.

According to several national newspapers, i n Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich, his close friend and journalist Marti Perarnau wrote that Guardiola expressed his desire to manage United in 2011.

“I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day,” Guardiola is reported to have told personal assistant Manel Estiarte as they watched United beat Schalke at Old Trafford in the Champions League.

In the event, Guardiola was eventually tempted by Bayern, with the Spaniard uttering a similar desire to manage at the Allianz Arena.

He had already agreed to take over at Bayern in January 2013 before Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intentions to stand down after 26 and a half years at the helm of United a few months later.

It was reported that the Red Devils made overtures towards the former Barcelona and Spain midfielder following David Moyes’ sacking earlier this year, but they instead appointed veteran Dutch boss Louis van Gaal.

“From the start Pep was well disposed to the overtures from the Bavarian club,” Perarnau added.

“Pep liked the set-up at Sabener Strasse (Bayern’s training complex), despite the fact that it was smaller than Barca’s training ground and had fewer technical facilities.

“The Catalan was impressed and told Manel Estiarte privately: ‘I like this place. I could see myself coaching here one day.’

“Guardiola has always felt a deep admiration, almost veneration, for the legendary teams and players of Europe.”

Guardiola also turned down approaches from United’s Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea to take charge at Bayern, according to the book.

“During his sabbatical year in New York, the job offers poured in,” Perarnau wrote.

“His ex-colleague, Txiki Begiristain, the director of football at Manchester City, was very insistent. He also met up in Paris with Roman Abramovich, who was prepared to do anything to lure Pep to Chelsea.”

The book also reveals Guardiola’s loathing for t iki-taka football.

“I hate it. Tiki-taka means passing the ball for the sake of it, with no clear intention. It’s pointless,” said Guardiola, whose Barca team became renowned, apparently wrongly, for that style of play.

“Don’t believe what people say. Barca didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope. You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak.

“And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side. That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”

Published: Thursday 16th October 2014 by The News Editor

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