An open letter to the peerless Pep Guardiola
Dear Josep Guardiola Sala,
On behalf of all the Manchester City fans, I would like you to welcome you to Manchester City Football Club; to the blue half of Manchester!
Pep, you have earned a reputation as one of the best coaches in the world following your successful spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. When it was declared that you will be replacing our charming ‘tinkerer’, Manuel Pellegrini, every City fan on this rejoiced. We don’t say that we will forget Pellegrini overnight. He will always have a special place in our hearts. In fact, I would like to take this moment to thank Manuel for transforming our club into one of the top clubs not only in England but also in Europe.
Being a City fan is probably one of the most difficult things. People question our loyalty, claim we are ‘plastic’ and accuse us of ruining football with our infinite supply of money. But off late we have answered our rivals on the field. The transformation that Pellegrini brought with the introduction of a hyper-attacking style of football made the haters sit up and take notice. Supporters of the traditional ‘big’ clubs started to acknowledge us as a threat. Manchester City is known for not doing things the easy way, but the last few years have had more joy than heartbreak. Be it the ‘Agueroooooo moment’ (still feel the chills) or watching Silva and Yaya doing their thing week in or week out, it has been a hell of a ride!
After the announcement, we hold sure the belief that you are the man who will be guiding us to the next level of greatness. Now we want to see our team achieve ‘legendary status’ and because of your reputation as a perfectionist, I’m sure you’ll take our team there.
Pep, you have changed the way people see the beautiful game during your tenure at Barcelona. There are many teams who win titles, many who play attractive football but under you Barca was showed what football looks like at peak beauty and perfection. You showed us with your team that winning can become a habit and made the Blaugrana champions again and again and again, 13 times to be precise. Manchester City may not have a rich history like Barcelona (and we won’t apologize for it) but we know that henceforth we will be creating history.
After Barcelona, you decided to manage Bayern Munich, another beast of European football. Inheriting a team which had already won the treble, it would be so easy for you to just maintain the status quo and eke out a couple of league titles. But easy is not your thing (just like us!). You changed the way Bayern played football except for Robben (he still doesn’t pass, does he?). Making your players pass, pass and pass till the most sumptuous of goals are scored is in your DNA and even Neuer had to respect that. No wonder he ‘chills’ in midfield sometimes (has to be your idea).
We want to be known for our football, not press conferences and touchline theatrics. On behalf of all the fans, I would like to assure you although the buzz right now may be very high, we understand that for a new system to work it takes time. Time is what we are willing to invest, safe in the knowledge that you assure us ‘edge of the seat’ football, a style of football where contenders become champions and champions become legends.
We have always believed that one day we would create a special kind of history. Let’s create it together!