Guardiola meets Ferguson, is Pep off to Man U or Harvard?

Dec 19, 2012

Speculation that Spaniard is next in line at Man United, as Fergie reveals his management methods

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PEP GUARDIOLA is once again being linked to a return to management with a big English club, but after rumours that he wanted to take over at Arsenal last week the latest reports suggest that he is in line to succeed Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

The Sun says that Guardiola and Ferguson had a meeting in New York earlier this week and the paper claims it is the third time the pair have met this year.

"It is not clear whether the United boss, who turns 71 on New Year’s Eve, will extend his 26-year reign beyond this season," it notes. "Guardiola is available and the Old Trafford job is his No 1 target."

The Spaniard quit as boss of Barcelona at the end of last season and decided to take a break from football and move to America for a year. He is currently living in New York, where he has an apartment overlooking Central Park.

It is not clear whether Guardiola is putting his year off to good use but if he wanted to prove he is serious about taking over at United he could do worse than head up the east coast to Boston, where it is now possible to study Ferguson's management methods at Harvard Business School.

Ferguson collaborated with academics Professor Anita Elberse and Tom Dye who have produced an in-depth study of his work - titled Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United.

According to the Daily Mail: "He wanted to pass on his blueprint for managing one of the biggest sport clubs in the world and a global brand."

The key themes that emerge from the report, says The Guardian, are "his determination to prevent media leaks, how to keep players in line, and how to use a more sensitive approach to keep them happy".

The study reveals the the Scot, famous for his fearsome dressing room rants which have become known as the "hairdryer treatment", now takes a more relaxed approach to his charges. "I was very aggressive all those years ago. I am passionate and want to win all the time. But today I'm more mellowed – age does that to you. And I can better handle those more fragile players now," he admits.

However, he makes it clear that he is not a soft touch. "You can't always come in shouting and screaming. That doesn't work," he said. "But in the football dressing room, it's necessary that you point out your players' mistakes. I do it right after the game. I don't wait until Monday, I do it, and it's finished. I'm onto the next match. There is no point in criticising a player forever."

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