Pep's Rejection Cuts Chelsea Deep
17 January 2013
As Pep Guardiola waved goodbye to the English Premier League before he even got there, a host of top British clubs were left to feel aggrieved.
Manchester United and Manchester City both had the former Barcelona boss on their radars, although neither club is actively seeking a new manager just yet.
Chelsea on the other hand, were desperate to bring Guardiola to Stamford Bridge, and owner Roman Abramovich must feel like a spurned lover, for all the useless affection he has sent in the Spaniard’s direction.
Chelsea’s fans were particularly enthused yesterday, after the global football media printed Pep’s quotes of admiration for the EPL, and his stated aim to coach there one day.
But their hopes were dashed just hours later, as the news that Bayern had pilfered Pep filtered through, while the Blues were stumbling to a draw against Southampton.
The Chelsea faithful have been cold towards the club’s interim manager Rafa Benitez to say the least.
And perhaps fuelled by bitterness at the loss of Pep, they were especially vindictive towards the former Liverpool boss as Chelsea squandered their 2-0 lead against the Saints last night.
Rafa’s decision to replace club legend Frank Lampard with club laughing stock Fernando Torres with 11 minutes to go was met with scorn by Stamford Bridge.
And after the game, the West London ground rang out with chants of: “You’re not wanted here.”
It is clear that no matter the result, Benitez will never be accepted as a Blue.
But Pep’s decision to pass over the Bridge for Bavaria has put the European champions into a tricky situation.
They must now categorically widen their net in their search of a new long-term manager, who will be acceptable to the fans.
They must also sell Chelsea as an attractive club to coach at, despite their record of firing even winning coaches at the drop of a hat.
Former manager Jose Mourinho is now back in the Chelsea frame according to the bookies, but both Manchester clubs will also be eyeing the Real Madrid boss lasciviously.
Michael Laudrup at Swansea, Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp could also find themselves mentioned by the press as future Chelsea bosses for the rest of the season, now that Pep is bound for Bayern.
Who do you think will manage Chelsea now?