It has been revealed that Chelsea and Bayern Munich were the only two clubs to seriously approach Guardiola with an offer. Abramovich had reportedly visited Guardiola to present the equivalent of a severed horse head in a bed. In essence an offer that he couldn’t refuse. When Guardiola did refuse and it was a victory for civility.
Although Bayern Munich was one of the teams touted as the potential next destination, for in demand Pep Guardiola, it still came as a surprise when speculation became confirmation. The “bombshell” factor that spread was not due to his choice of club but, more so because of Premier League arrogance, and that of Chelsea in particular. Because of course nobody says “no” to Chelsea.
I for one am glad that Guardiola snubbed Chelsea and Abramovich’s millions. That decision told the football world a lot about the character of the Spaniard, yet perhaps more significantly; it told us even more about Chelsea football club.
Now before I start I realise that I am risking the wrath of the Chelsea faithful but, it is not the fans that I have a problem with, it is the clubs hierarchy. Although clearly taking a leaf out of Villa’s ‘19th minute Petrov clapping book,’ I applaud the Stamford Bridge crowd’s 16th minute replica for fallen hero Roberto Di Matteo. I also salute the fans loyalty to club legend Frank Lampard, and although arguably detrimental to the team, I understand their distain for interim boss Rafa Benitez. But the simple truth is that the powers in charge at Chelsea aren’t that nice.
There is much to despise about Chelsea; the ruthless manner in which they dispose of their managers, irrelevant of their achievements. Never more appalling than the disregard displayed towards, Champions League winning coach and fan favourite, Di Matteo. The treatment of Frank Lampard, considering his services to the club and evidence that he can still do a job, is disturbingly bizarre. Add to that the club’s disgusting refusal to apologise to referee Clattenberg and you’re dealing with a hierarchy that many would collectively term as a ‘Shit.’
It seems even the Chelsea following are running out of adoration for the board, quite rightly based on the persuasion that their voice is rarely heard. Abromovich does what he wants when he wants. You only need to look as far as the £50m purchase of his favourite toy Torres to realise that. So apart from the money, and a squad sprinkled with talents such as Hazard, Mata, and Oscar, why would Guardiola want to manage Chelsea?
It’s obvious that the demands of management jab away at Guardiola’s head, hence his self imposed sabbatical from the game. For a man of such frail demeanour it would be ludicrous to put himself in the firing line of Roman’s sniper gun, on a weekly basis, as his first job back. Guardiola isn’t motivated by money he is motivated by football.
Guardiola’s decision to sign for Bayern Munich was a one born out of stability, comfort, financial independence and control over a personal football vision. For Chelsea it was a loss of style, status, greed and power. In a broader football sense it was a victory for principals, morals and decency. Guardiola stood up to a football bully and said “No,” and I liked it.