Ferguson’s departure ends Guardiola speculation

With Sir Alex Ferguson leaving Manchester United earlier than expected, his mooted successor Pep Guardiola may have lost his chance.

Just another day became something else entirely following the announcement that Sir Alex Ferguson would be retiring as Manchester United manager after 180 more minutes of football.

It was news repeated countless times across every possible media outlet. But it was news that may not have been acknowledged for its true meaning.

For news such as this takes time to sink in, at least for the United fans who have known only one manager in over 26 years.

To write an article on Ferguson at the moment is to be swallowed in one hundred others. Everyone wants their say. Everyone has their opinion of the man soon to depart and the possible men to replace him.

It speaks volumes of the 71-year-old’s achievements that he has outlasted so many of those suggested as possible replacements.

While he saw off challenges from invincibles, oligarchs and sheikhs, men once touted as his successor disappeared, retired or floundered, their reputations tarnished or never sufficiently swelled.

One man whose reputation remains very much intact is former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

In fact, when it was announced he had signed a three-year contract with Bayern Munich, many took that as the time-frame for Ferguson to oversee the final seasons of his legacy.

Seemingly no closer to retirement, the United manager would remain for another three years, before handing the reins to the Spaniard.

Even if it was a patchwork fact stitched together by guesswork, it made sense.

Back in December, a meeting between the two managers in New York prompted headlines and whispers that their main topic of conversation was the Old Trafford hot seat.

That Guardiola ultimately signed a deal with the newly crowned German champions didn’t quell the thought that it was a stop-gap – although a particularly glamorous one – en route to the red half of Manchester.

So it was perhaps appropriate that on the day Ferguson declared his departure, Bayern announced the date when Guardiola will officially take charge of the team.

Had he not yet revealed a destination at the end of his sabbatical, you can be certain he would have been above both David Moyes and Jose Mourinho in the betting to be United’s next manager.

As it is, Ferguson’s sudden revelation suggests that those anticipating a future with Guardiola at the helm may be left disappointed.

Of course the future is a sizeable thing, and at just 42, Guardiola has a lot of football at possibly a few more clubs to oversee.

You just sense he missed his chance at United; if there ever was a chance at all.

Can you still see Guardiola managing Manchester United in the future?

image: © tpower1978

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