Pep Guardiola 'keen' to replace Wenger as Arsenal manager

Dec 13, 2012
Bill Mann

Source close to former Barcelona coach says if he comes to England, he wants it to be the Gunners


IT'S THE NEWS every Arsenal fan has been praying for. No, Gervinho hasn't joined Spurs, and nor has Andre Santos been offloaded to Chelsea. It's better than that: Pep Guardiola has disclosed he's up for the challenge of restoring the good name of the Gunners.

"Guardiola's preference in England is Arsenal," a source close to the Spaniard whispered to the respected football website "The club are aware he would be interested in the job in 2013."

The former Barcelona coach has been targeted by a host of top clubs across Europe ever since he stepped down from the Camp Nou last summer. Most recently Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was allegedly on bended knee, pleading with Guardiola to take charge of the Blues after the dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo.

But it seems the Spaniard has a soft spot for the Gunners and, says, his representatives "have let it be known to the north London club that he would be very keen" to lead Arsenal out of the wilderness into which they have wandered under Arsene Wenger.

Guardiola is currently hanging out in New York on a 12-month sabbatical but that hasn't stopped a slew of stories emerging in recent months linking him with AC Milan, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, not to mention Chelsea and Manchester City. He will apparently sit down in the New Year to consider his options.

During his four years in charge of Barcelona, Guardiola guided them to 14 trophies including two Champions League titles. His skill and reputation are too great to be trampled on by a know-nothing proprietor like Abramovich.

That explains why he apparently has no wish to go to Chelsea where the Russian has gone through nine managers in nine years. Arsenal, however, have a different and – dare one say it, more dignified - way of doing things and it's this approach that attracts the 41-year-old to the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger's current deal with Arsenal runs until the end of the 2013-14 season but it seems almost certain that the Frenchman won't see out his contract. With the club floundering in the Premier League, and following Tuesday's humiliation in the League Cup against Bradford, it's more a question of when Wenger will go rather than if.

For the moment, the Arsenal board continues to back Wenger, with chief executive Ivan Gazidis telling members of the Arsenal Supporters Trust that the manager would "get it right" from now on.

Gazidis met disgruntled Arsenal fans at a Christmas drinks reception at the Emirates on Wednesday, and as The Sun reports he admitted that defeat to Bradford was a new low for the club. "It was not good enough and it made us all upset and angry," he said. "I would like to apologise to all of you, especially the fans who travelled up there. It was unbelievable support, as ever, and you deserved better."

In which case, a good start might be for Gazidis to hop on a plane to New York, with a blank cheque book and a Spanish phrase book.

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Wenger is respected for what he has done and yes it is true, not many people in football can tell him how to run a team, as he has been doing this for +15 years.

As far as a legacy, we already know this has been established.

Now, whether we wan't to blame him for not spending, or whether we wan't to blame the board for not having the right spending structure in place, it can be debated for hours and days.

What we want as fans is our club to start winning things again.

It's funny how other clubs give a season or two to their managers but we want to give our manager 100 years to bring back a trophy, even a cup as slight as the Carling cup.

People always say, who could possibly replace Wenger?Well this is the answer. They already have a good relationship and they both believe in the same beautiful football philosophy, except that Pep is more concerned about winning things, rather than belief, spirit and good character that Wenger screams after every match analysis.

Like every great boxer, your peak time has a window and when you have done all you can as the best, and step aside.

Ali did it, Tyson did it, Roy Jones did it, but they will all be remembered as greats.

Fergie still has a lot to offer, so regardless of his age, he is still in power at Old Trafford, bringing success.

Wenger is not old, but his results at Arsenal are no longer productive. So lets ask ourself this question, what is a manager at a club for? ............... Ultimately, to bring success!

He may still have a lot in the tank, but it may be with another club such as PSG, or Porto.

Please, as a critic, sports journalist, football lover and life-long Arsenal fan, please bring in Josep 'Pep' Guardiola.


Couldn't agree more Mike. Whilst I firmly believe that a manager should be given enough time to form and gel a team into winners; the difficulty at Arsenal is that too many of our very best players have been allowed to let their contracts run down and basically control where and when they can leave. This has meant that our very best players have been lost for no fee or sold off to mainly the two Manchester clubs for far too low transfer fees with inadequate replacements being brought in. This has strengthened rival EPL clubs and significantly weakened us. Wenger had his glory days in the first 8 years of his time at the club. We now need another man at the helm who can re-inspire the team and use his influence and ability to bring in world class talents and make this once great team winners again. Mr Wenger will move on to a new challenge (possibly the French national managers job) and this will be just what he needs. Pep is the man for us and I am certain he will bring us success in the next couple of seasons if he is sensibly appointed by our board at the end of the current season. He may even bring in some of his former Barca players who would light up the EPL.

Wenger tried an experiment at Arsenal which because of his inexperience & arrogance has not worked namely purchasing players cheaply & by changing the playing positions turned them into quality players in his early days at Arsenal there were some notable sucesses but more failures which seem to have been forgotten plus on arrival at Arsenal he inherited a potentially winning quality team which with 2/3 additions became a quality side which coupled with his ideas on diet etc laid the foundations for the next few years.
As time progressed the teams became more Wenger's & we began to see his limitations both in football knowledge, man management & tactics if anybody disagrees with me & I am sure there will be many please read his biography & be aware that what is happening at Arsenal happened at Monaco under Wenger's tutelage.

wenger is not much of the great people make hime to be. if you look back arsene wenger inherited the winning arsenal team arsene wenger did not make the winning team and never did, so he aint all that.
and yes i am a Arsenal Fan

Seven reasons why we don't need The Week - the seven reasons they offer as to why the second most successful manager in Prem history should step down. And while I rate Guardiola as an excellent coach, he didn't exactly stick around at Barca for too long. Arsenal have a great coach committed to making the club competitive at the highest level and a long term plan for doing so. If we listened to many of the so-called fans calling for his removal early on, instead of investing in the new stadium, and getting Arsenal's finances right over the long term, we should be splurging on players in the hopes of outspending oil sheiks and the marketing bonanzas of Man U (Whose next sponsor is Chevrolet - Wonder if that will last longer than the AIG sponsorship?). We'd be Pompey or Rangers now, if we took that approach. Instead, Arsenal are poised to be able to increase their level of player spending within the next year or so. Indeed, once they offload a few players, the wage bill (the biggest obstacle to spending - not the transfer kitty) will also be improved, Theo Walcott's agent's ambitions notwithstanding.

And this was the dumbest line of the article: "it's more a question of when Wenger will go rather than if." Wenger may very well be at the club long after Bill Mann is an afterthought at The Week.

Spanish has history of performing well at Arsenal.lets try luck.

You made apt analysis mike, wenger is such a wonderful coach,we must give it to him.

Wenger should be appreciated for what he has done, not continuously criticised. If we all support him when i can guarantee we will be in a much higher position. It is because people do not understand the pressures of a manager that we continuously criticise him.
I agree he got a few things wrong - but he has got so many things right that it is stupid for us to call for his head and instead let him do his job. Lets make a judgement at THE END OF THE SEASON, not less than halfway through.

In the worst case scenario, he should at least step down as manager and help the club economically (he has an economics degree and has proven he can operate on a tight budget) or even a scout or something...

Anyway after Wenger decides his time as manager is over, I want one of these 5 people:
Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Michael Laudrup, Steve Clarke or even Dragan Stojkovic

And on a wider note, perhaps we should demand that some of the Board step down too as they are also accountable for the financial control of the club and decisions over the transfer kitty and to a very large extent influence the manager on the direction the club is going in both financial terms and on the field of play. A good clear out of some of the less talented players would save a small fortune in wage bills too if balancing the books is fairly high on the agenda of the board.

wenger has totally run out of ideas

What about this Guadiola story? Its mouth watering but I'm
wondering how many of these mgrs can perform under Arsenal's conditions. "The special one" ,Mancini etc. even Sparky and Grant looked like a good managers for a while at City & Chelsea. but back in the dark alleys ways ... so different... Reality bites. The decent ones like O’Neil, Redknapp, Pardew and Curbishely even Fat Sam have toiled against heavily Money (doped) opposition with nothing but scraps to feed on. None of them stayed long term to cement their reputation, except Moyes the 3rd most durable Mgr in EPL, poor guy actually seems happy for the first time in ages (Everton good start perhaps) SO back to Arsenal, the only person that would get better performances from our ragged boys right now is Fergie (a boot across the face would do d trick) . Any other person regardless of his past success will need the Arsenal Hierachy to part with their stash About £1,000,000,000 for starters, so If there is a Nieymar, Falcao or anybody else out there for 100,000,000 we can pay more and get him. Otherwise lets cool it... The board Knows that unless they are going to employ Harry, Sam, Alan, Alan or Martin it is pointless kicking out Wenger now or even at season end


Well said, Mike, taken right to the heart. 'AGREED', a move from Pep right into the Emirates would be the best thing that could happen to the 'Gunners'. As a life long Barcelona fan, Pep is without a doubt the best I've ever seen as a coach. I must admit, if there is any other team I like seeing, that is ARSENAL. Wenger has done so much for the club and I respect him.. I don't think he'd be sad knowing that he has in Guardiola, a great successor, on the contrary, I think he'd be delighted to know that the 'Gunners' would fall into good hands. I am fascinated by the idea! The players need some motivation and new breath of air. Guardiola is the right dose of medication those players need. Walcott and company will GROW AS PLAYERS.

"Every Arsenal fan has been praying for"? Mind your words, Bill. I'm sticking with Wenger!!!

No disrespect to Arsene Wenger but if any manager should replace him then it should be Pep Guardiola but i have a gut feeling the dithering loyalties by the powers that be will miss the opportunity to take Arsenal into the 21st century and prolong the agony for Wenger and the supporters still further, this only goes to prove some people in positions of decision cannot see beyond their noses, I think Wenger could go upstairs or take another coaching job, surely he must be getting bored by now it's certainly aged him beyond his years. Wenger can be assured his legacy at Arsenal is massive and will always outweigh the last almost certain to be eight seasons of failure.