I have always firmly believed that Pep Guardiola will be Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Old Trafford. I read a great article on Goal.com by Wayne Versey this morning regarding the impending retirement of the Man Utd manager . Although not yet having decided on a definite date to retire, the “Old Man” of Old Trafford will be extremely hard to replace and is a particular worry for such a massive club as United. Their financial success is firmly linked to their success on the field and in no way will they want a repeat of what happened back in the early 1970′s when Munich Air Disaster survivor and iconic manager of the Busby Babes, Sir Matt Busby retired. What followed was a disastrous period of uncertainty and a revolving door of managerial appointments that led to a drought of League title failures that lasted almost 30 years.
Guardiola came up through Barcelona’s youth system as a player and then became their most successful manager. He understands tradition, and dedication to the future of young players in a football club. More importantly, he has a commitment to loyalty that United will look for. They will insist that their next manager be someone that wants to spend their career at Old Trafford, and after the dark years following Matt Busby’s retirement, they will be well aware of the dangers of making the wrong decision. Also, Guardiola left Barcelona due to conflicts with ownership. He would be the King at Old Trafford just in the same way as Ferguson is now.
Mourinho would definitely continue the success that Man Utd have enjoyed over the past several two decades. In my view he is the best manager around the game at moment, including Ferguson and Guardiola. The reason that I wouldn’t pick him for Ferguson’s successor is that he is too fickle. He always seems to want to go where the grass is greener. For example, I have no doubt that he would accept the job if offered, and he would continue to win trophies but I’m sure that if in a couple of years, the Portuguese National Team came calling and there was an opportunity to win a World Cup, he would jump ship, and that’s not what United want.
Let there be no misunderstanding either, but Ferguson will decide who succeeds him as manager. Obviously, it will have to be someone he respects, and more importantly, someone he admires. He respects both managers but he has had his disagreements with Mourinho, especially during the Portuguese’s time as manager at FC Porto. They have kissed and made up over the years, and have actually become friends. They still talk even though Mourinho is now in Madrid. However, I think Ferguson admires what Guardiola achieved at The Nou Camp, not least of course, Barcelona’s total domination over Man United in two Champions League finals. The style with which they beat United is also a crucial factor.
Apparently, and I have no way of knowing how true this is, Sir Alex met with Guardiola while he was in New York for the US Open Tennis Final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Guardiola now lives in New York as part of his sabbatical from football. Who wouldn’t have wanted to be a fly on the wall at that meeting !