It's sportsbook season. Hot on the heels of Roy Keane's latest slice of score-settling comes a new volume, Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola’s First Season at Bayern Munich, by his "close friend and journalist Marti Perarnau". And it turns out that the balding Catalan possession-fetishist has quite a bit of affection for a certain club on the northwest of England ...
The day after beating Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final, Guardiola and [his assistant Manuel] Estiarte travelled to Manchester to watch their next opponents in action.
It was 4 May 2011, and the pair sat together in the stands of Old Trafford watching Sir Alex Ferguson's team beat Schalke 4-1. Once again Pep had turned to his friend and said: ‘I like this atmosphere. I could see myself coaching here one day.' Guardiola has always felt a deep admiration, almost veneration, for the legendary teams and players of Europe.
The "once again" there refers to a previous comment about Bayern Munich, which is of course where Guardiola is currently working. Which means, essentially, that Pep Guardiola is definitely going to take over at United after Louis van Gaal. Luke Shaw had best start getting ready for a spell in midfield.
Also, if he does get the job, then fair warning. Don't mention the t-t word ...
I hate tiki-taka. I always will. I want nothing more to do with tiki-taka. Tiki-taka is a load of shit, a made-up term. It means passing the ball for the sake of passing, with no real aim or aggression - nothing. I will not allow my brilliant players to fall for all that rubbish