Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have confirmed what we already knew, that he will be coming to Manchester in the summer. This is bad news for Manchester United and their fans, for as things stand, Manchester is most definitely blue.
Manchester City have a manager coming in who has won 19 of the 3o trophies he has contested. That is not including what he will undoubtedly go on to achieve with Bayern Munich during the remainder of his contract with the club.
City are also getting a manager who can attract the top names to the club, that will no doubt increase attendances and bring them to the level of Manchester United or Liverpool in terms of fan base and demand for tickets. It is possible that they could break the world transfer record to get a player of the standard of Gareth Bale or Robert Lewandowski, even though their squad is already among the best in the league, if not in Europe. They have their expanded stadium, which sometimes draws criticism from opposing fans who point to the fact that they have empty seats on match days.
City have everything in place to progress to the next level now that Guardiola is on his way.
The Champions League is the dream for Manchester City officials and this summer will see investment in the squad at the request of Guardiola to achieve this goal.
Meanwhile across the city, Manchester United have spent over £3oo million in the past few transfer windows, yet are going backwards. Louis Van Gaal continues to give the board every chance to sack him, yet for whatever reason he remains in place. Old Trafford is going through a transformation that the fans and more importantly the board are struggling to handle.
The United board need to look to their neighbours to learn how to progress.
United fans are still talking about Sir Alex Ferguson and the ‘Manchester United way’. It is hard to get away from that when Sir Alex is in the crowd every week with the cameras in his face. David Moyes got criticised for saying United should aspire to be like City after they had lost the derby to them, but Moyes may have had a point.
City have Manuel Pellegrini in place, who has won honours for the club and has every chance of adding to that haul this season with the Premier League, Champions League and Fa Cup all realistic targets, not to mention the league cup final at the end of the month. The club has no reason to replace him. However, they saw the opportunity to show ambition when Guardiola became available and jumped at the chance to progress for the good of their future.
Manchester United meanwhile continues on with a manager they know is leaving in the summer of 2017 and have done since the day he signed. They were caught cold when Sir Alex departed. They had no plan in place. Most of their targets had already agreed their futures elsewhere months previous, so they went for what they thought was ‘like for like’ and appointed David Moyes.
Liverpool have shown ambition in going after Jurgen Klopp and succeeding. Manchester City have done the same with Guardiola. Carlo Ancelotti has had enough of waiting around and he is off to Munich in the summer. Will United continue with Van Gaal for another season against the rising discontent among the fans? Even if Van Gaal won the Fa Cup and secured 4th spot to insure Champions League football it would not be enough to keep his job if the vast majority of United fans had their way.
Manchester United need to open their eyes and see Jose Mourinho is the only available big name manager out there who can stop them being left behind in Manchester City’s dust as they race ahead. The club can play it safe by appointing a Ryan Giggs or a Mark Hughes and continue to try following the Ferguson pattern, which won’t work.
United the club and its fans need to move with the times and forget about the ‘Manchester United way’ and find a new way under Mourinho’s guidance.
This does not have to be a total change of style in terms of United history, but they need to find a way to progress without continued talk of previous ways.
It seems Mourinho is not everyone’s cup of tea at the club or among certain sections of the fans. However, few can deny that he is the only man who can take on Guardiola next season and, in time, Klopp, who given time and money can reach the heights with Liverpool that Brendan Rodgers came so close to reaching.
United need to aspire to be like their city rivals and show some intent. They can do this by securing the services of Mourinho. Even if it is to say he will take the reigns in the summer, like the announcement today at City, it will ease the pressure on the current manager, excite the fans, and ensure United are a club that top players will want to join.
If United show no ambition and keep things as they are they will be left behind by their closest rivals and when Van Gaal retires in 2017, as he intends, United will be searching for a new boss with little options available to them just like they were in 2013.