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Pep – Will he stay or will he go?


As he enters his ninth and – as things stand – final season at the Etihad, what could possibly tempt Pep Guardiola to extend his time at Manchester City to ten years or even beyond?


Please don't go! Will Pep call time on his career at the Etihad next summer?

At last night’s 4-In-A-Row celebrations, Pep addressed the tens of thousands of fans out on the streets to pay homage to his team: “Next season we will take the FA Cup.”

History in the making!


It was a nice line in view of Saturday’s sub-standard Wembley showing – but surely not what burns deep as his primary motivation.


Pep will still be here as City go for 5-In-A- Row, but beyond that - only he knows.

A few hours later the bombshell – albeit a speculative munition – dropped. Citing 'multiple sources within the industry and at City', stories began to emerge that Pep was likely to be leaving next summer.


It's all too easy to dismiss stuff with negative connotations about City as fake news. So often it’s malicious meat and drink to the media, feeding into the anti-City narrative with #115 on the menu for starters, mains and dessert.


Explosive event as Pep, the players and fans celebrate City's historic 4-In-A-Row PL titles.

The fact the ‘exclusive’ was penned by Jack Gaughan – one of the few journalists renowned for fair and balanced City coverage – does however give it added credence.


Only recently Pep said he was, ‘…closer to leaving than staying at City after eight years…’ Such a statement shouldn’t and didn’t come as a surprise. It’s easy to put it into context. He wasn’t going to be City’s manager for a further eight years, nowhere near.


Whether it's one or more seasons, Pep has time to win more trophies with City.

Even in the wildest dreams of City fans that was never going to happen. When he joined City in the summer of 2016, few – if any – would have dared to envisage him still being here for the 2024/25 campaign.


What isn’t in doubt is that Pep has still to make a definitive decision. He’s in a unique position in the cut throat world of football management where he gets to decide his own destiny.

Phil Foden's wonder strike put City on the way to their final 3 points of the season.


He's often said he has everything he could ever want at City, with the full backing from the hierarchy of Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain.

Dream Team - Khaldoon, Pep, Ferran and Txiki.

Rumours abound that he could be tempted to switch to the other side of the Atlantic with the City Football Group's New York City. At face value it might seem preposterous. Why would Pep swap the Premier League for the MLS?

New York City FC will be moving out of their adopted home at Yankee Stadium in a couple of years time.

Take a step back and evaluate the lifestyle Pep would enjoy in New York. He and his family have an apartment in the Big Apple. He loves the city and lived there on his year long sabbatical in between leaving Barcelona and joining Bayern Munich.

Pep could be tempted by the lifestyle in New York where he already has a luxury apartment.

His presence would be a huge commercial boost to the game in the USA and would further enhance the global standing of the CFG. NYC FC will be moving out of their present adopted home at Yankee Stadium to a new bespoke home at Willets Point in the borough of Queens in the next couple of years.

Viewed in this context, maybe it's not quite so preposterous.


Together as one - Pep and Khaldoon are the lynchpins of City's success on and off the pitch.

As the greatest manager of all time, Guardiola has not only delivered incredible success at City, he’s transformed the whole of English football with his philosophies and playing style.


In that sense the likes of Ferguson, Mourinho, Wenger, Klopp – you name them – aren’t even in the same ballpark. But now is not the time to reflect on his illustrious haul of 17 trophies at City or to explore his legacy.

Pep would love to pick up Old Big Ears at least one more time with City.


The focus must be on what is still to come, be it in one last hurrah or, an extended stay at the peak of the Premier League and another assault on his beloved Champions League.


A history-stretching 5-In-A-Row of PL crowns will be on the to-do list but, after finally getting the Champions League monkey off their back in Istanbul, Pep insisted City needed to be multiple winners of the trophy.


There's always room for a few more if Pep continues at the Etihad.

City presently sit alongside the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Marseille, Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucharest, PSV Eindhoven, Hamburg, Feyenoord, Aston Villa and Celtic as one-time victors. That’s not good enough for Pep.


Oh what a night in Istanbul, but could Pep and City win the CL Final in Munich next May?

He’ll also want to be around when Khaldoon & Co finally lay to rest the 115 charges brought by the Premier League and its malicious cohort in the Red Cartel.


City fans will be partying again when the club consign the Premier League's 115 charges to the bin.

Pep has been right, left and centre defending City against those hellbent on besmirching the club and sticking asterisks against every league and cup success since 2008.


He's not one for shirking a challenge.

Erling completed a treble at Spurs on behalf of Pep.

Having won The Treble he was asked what he wanted for his team in 2023/24? He responded – tongue-in-cheek – “To score a goal away at Spurs!”


In that respect he ran up another ‘treble’ courtesy of Nathan Ake and Erling Haaland, as City won 1-0 in the FA Cup and 2-0 in the Premier League at their boggiest of bogey grounds.

Will any team ever surpass City as the greatest in English football?


A historic fourth consecutive Premier League title, the FIFA World Club Championship and UEFA Super Cup successes represented another treble of sorts.

Kapitan Ilkay Gundogan was sorely missed in 2023/24.

That said, a penalty shootout win over Sevilla and a 4-0 trouncing of South American Champions, Fluminense, doesn’t come close to that glorious night in Istanbul, or Ilkay Gundogan’s 12th second strike at Wembley and subsequent FA Cup Final victory over Manchester United.


Pep and Khaldoon - World Champions both.

A year on – and a hugely disappointing role reversal against Erik ten Hag’s team – it speaks volumes about City’s dominance that a 2-1 defeat to United is seen as a major shock.


It’s not up there with Wigan downing Roberto Mancini’s strife-torn team in 2013 – Bobby Manc’s last game as City manager – but nonetheless, nobody saw it coming.


Winning the Premier League is always City's top priority and a perennial event!

Who knows the win could even keep ten Bob in a job – his stock may well have risen to 55p. Is it part of a City ‘Masterplan’?

Upon his appointment at Old Trafford, the Dutchman expressed his admiration for both City and Liverpool saying, “…they both play fantastic football, but eras come to an end.”

Doku scored a brilliant goal at Wembley but it was too little too late in the FA Cup Final.


That may be true in part with Klopp’s exit from Anfield, but hopefully Khaldoon’s persuasive powers will put off Pep’s departure for a while to come.


At the start of the 2023/24 campaign, questions were raised whether a team and a manager who’d just won everything worth winning in club football, would have the hunger to go again?


Player of the Season Phil Foden scored a sizzling opener against West Ham.

The retention of the Premier League – always the top priority in the eyes of the fans – going out on penalties to Real Madrid, having outplayed them over a two-legged Champions League quarter final, and narrowly losing in the FA Cup Final, amply demonstrated the appetite for more.


Rodri set the seal on 4-In-A-Row with the 3rd goal in the 3-1 win over West Ham.

God forbid next season will be Pep’s City swansong, but if so, not only will he want more trophies, he will also want to lay new foundations for his successor.

There's no way City will allow a repeat of what happened at United when Sir Alex Ferguson knew it was time to get out, leaving an ageing and overperforming squad for David Moyes to inherit in 2013.


When Pep eventually departs he'll doubtless leave the City team in good shape.

Speculation is not limited just to Pep's future, but also that of key players who have been critical components throughout the Guardiola era.


Time waits for no man and Ederson (31), Kyle Walker (33), Kevin De Bruyne (33), John Stones (30) and Bernardo (30) may all be at the crossroads of their City careers.


Will Super Kev be extending his contract beyond 2025?

It’s unthinkable to believe City would allow or want a quintet of serial winners to depart all at once, but change is inevitable if not always desirable – unless your name’s Scott Carson who has just signed a one-year contract extension at the age of 39!


39-year old Scott Carson is a definite stayer next season.

Heroes come and heroes go but City have seamlessly survived and thrived despite the losses of Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Ilkay Gundogan and others during Pep’s time in charge.

Will yet another summer of transfer speculation see Bernardo stay or go?


When arguably – no make that undoubtedly – the most influential and successful individual in the history of Manchester City eventually bids 'adios', it will be with the undying gratitude and eternal love of every man, woman and child who bleeds sky blue.


The obvious question will be, ‘Where do you want your statue Pep Guardiola?’

That would be inadequate.

Don't make it a farewell salute anytime soon!


It must be a case of ‘all points north’ and the new stand in the expanded Etihad Stadium bearing his name for eternity.


By David Walker


Dedicated to a friend, widely known as ‘Howie’, but ridiculously referred to as ‘The Howitzer’ by yours truly – a warrior in every sense of the word who is battling cancer – and, with a fair wind, will beat the crap out of that bastard disease.



Twitter @ReadButNeverRed


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12 commentaires

Hi David, great writing as always and a much needed positive angle on the FA cup! Al the best to Howie!

En réponse à

Thanks Suzy B - the FA Cup Final was the proverbial bad day at the office - a rarity where Pep, by his own admission, had the wrong game plan. Even a genius can have an off day.

As for Howie - he’s a fighter and, for my money, a winner 🩵💪🏻🩵


28 mai

Another fab read ... thanks Mr RBNR 💙

We're blessed to have Pep and I can't/don't want to even imagine him leaving! He is quality on another level .....🏆🏆🏆🏆

Sending love and healing to Howie ... go kick it's butt 💙💪

En réponse à

Thank you - Howie’s a tough nut - cancer picked on the wrong guy 🩵💪🏻🩵


Great read David. God bless Howie.

En réponse à

Thank you my friend - fair to say cancer fcked up when it thought it was going to beat Howie 🩵💪🏻🩵


Indeed time waits for no man, as David said. But we shouldn't overlook the fact that some of Bernardo's new hair has a fresher best-before date than the rest of the Portugese. KIDDING, Bernardo! Just kidding, lad! Enjoy your summer, David, Always a good read . . . never a good red.😎

En réponse à

What’s a good red? I suppose the wine connoisseurs among us might have an answer, but other than that it’s a contradiction in terms.

Thanks for your feedback 👍🏻


I'm crossing my fingers and everything else that Pep does extend his stay. If sadly he does decide to go we can only thank him for the success he has bought to the club. We will wish him well with tears in our eyes surely they greatest manager the prem has ever seen.

It's guess who again 😁

En réponse à

Or ever likely to have graced the top flight of English football. Cheers Doug.

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