VMC's Lorna delivers her weekly take on City matters ahead of Saturday's crunch cup clash in Stoke. City's dapper gaffer is on her mind...
We can all get on with our daily MCFC lives now that recent news hitting the football world headlines revealed that one saga is finally finished...yep, Pep Guardiola made his mind up and will go to Bayern Munich once his USA oddysey ends. Was he really ever destined to take over from Roberto Mancini? I doubt it very much. Was this all journalist and cheap paper talk...of course it was! There was never a vacancy for Guardiola at Manchester City to start with. Guardiola was supposed to have said 'come and get me' to City and Chelsea.
Clearly, this wasn't good for Mancini to be repeatedly confronted with at Carrington pressers but he isn't daft and himself, as well as every other top manager outside Stretford in the footballing world, would have been pre-warned that rumours are charging around courtesy of certain red Rag newspapers, The Sun to name but one of them.
Now from a purely hypothetical point of view, would Guardiola have made a difference to Manchester City? Could he fuse a better squad of players together than the trophy winning Mancini has done already? The way I look at this, Guardiola has never worked in the Premier League before and along with an entirely new backroom team would certainly have found life rather different to that of Spain. I would always rather have kept Mancio. We know that he does not have a good track record when it comes to the Champions League but for now I say we should be content with what he has done for us thus far and what our fabulous players have done for Manchester City.
City would have been a different option altogether for Guardiola than Chelsea. Not many people would want to mess with Chelsea especially with Roman Abramovich hiring and firing at will and Guardiola obviously being a man of sound mind and good logic would not touch Chelsea with a barge pole. As for City, we share with Chelsea what has become a reputation for constant heavy spending which is inaccurate as far as I am concerned in City's case. We effectively spent heavily in one fell swoop to purchase the key squad players we have now. We didn't spend heavily in the last transfer window and I am sure we are not going to spend heavily in this January window either. Yes, we are hoping to achieve a settled infrastructure (or so it would seem) by having the experienced likes of Txiki Begiristain on board. Many said we were building a Spanish hierarchy and were trying to 'tempt' Guardiola to come on board by having Begiristain already in place, not to mention the finances on offer. I hasten to add that in my opinion finances have not actually swayed Guardiola to join Bayern Munich. It would appear the whole concept of Bayern's footballing ethics have tempted him and to Guardiola, this is security. The Germans have faith in him to carry on from where Jupp Heynckes leaves off after three Bayern managerial stints.
For Guardiola and Bayern I believe this is a move of genius. They are a club that has a lot of home grown stars and a proven talent for luring young and established players away to a land that is paved with gold (or in this instance a pitch that is often paved with silverware). I perceive Bayern to be very similar in its ideals to Barcelona.
Heynckes is in more or less the same position as Sir Alex Ferguson is. Bayern are high flyers in the Bundesliga but Heynckes, who is now the ripe old age of 67, can head for retirement knowing that he has got a diamond coming in to carry on his legacy.
I can see the appeal as to why Guardiola has gone there but at times like this I look at City's growing standing and infrastructure as a yardstick. Is there anything wrong with our infrastructure? We have the financial backing, we have the players, we have a passionate fan base...in fact, we have everything that Bayern has. After speaking to fans in and around The Etihad, the general consensus is that we are happy with Mancini. Of course some fans are a little miffed and I think they could lean towards the side of bitterness when it comes down to Europe and the Champions League as certain of them feel we could and should be still in amongst it right now this season. I think some of them do forget that it had been 44 years before we won the title again. I would say we owe Mancini a lot in this regard. As for sustaining Champions League and the European football, well, this will come in time and if this is the only reason certain fans were asking for Mancini's head on a plate well I would ask them to take a good hard look at what we have achieved to date under the Italian.
We messed up The Stretfords plans for world domination at the twilight of Taggart's career plus we woke the whole worldwide football industry up!
all times East Manchester
Sa 26Jan 12h45 Stoke City, Britannia Stadium, FAC4
Tu 29Jan 19h45 QPR, Loftus Road, PL
Su 03Feb 16h00 Liverpool, The Etihad, PL
Sa 09Feb 17h30 Southampton, St Mary's, PL