Will he or won’t he, aka “Say it ain’t so, G!”

Uh, oh …. what a week this has been. First, we lose not once, but twice in our house, and now this, the thing that we don’t know.

Pep Guardiola, even when he signed on as our coach what seems like an eternity ago but in fact has only been four seasons, said that he wouldn’t sign long-term deals, so that he could follow his heart, his “feeling” in deciding when it would be time to step down as coach of FC Barcelona.

I thought, as we all did, that he would be around for a very long time, through a series of one-year deals. As time passed, that feeling for me began to change, to my most recent view, which is that this coming season would be his last.

Armageddon began brewing with a casually tossed off Tweet by writer Jimmy Burns, who said that if we don’t qualify for the Champions League final, Guardiola would most likely go. We didn’t qualify. A teary Guardiola hugged his players, one by one, after the Chelsea match.

Then today, came word of a series of meetings, dependent upon how trustworthy Barca-centric media sources are:

–Guardiola met with Tito Vilanova to discuss his future
–Guardiola met with RoSELL to discuss his future, or the meeting will come on Thursday, whichever
–RoSELL met with sporting director ZubiZa after his meeting with Guardiola, or before his meeting with Guardiola

And then, finally, word from the club that there will be no official announcement until Guardiola has an opportunity on Friday to speak with the players.

Recall the last time that he renewed. The club made an announcement, a smiling Guardiola received a standing ovation from his charges at practice, and that was that. This, however, all feels very, very different. My initial reaction was “Oh, crap, our coach is leaving us!”

Unfortunately, that is still the reaction of the journalist in me, even as that side battles with the cule, who doesn’t want the journalist to be right, who wants all this stuff to lead to an announcement that this will be his last season, and he wanted to let the players know. This move would also allow him to partially finish out his program, see through a bit of his commitment to the Masia grads and go out on top, with either/both a Liga or Big Ears cup.

At present, we still don’t know what is going to happen, but signs are ominous. But it’s all still speculation, but we’d be crazy if we didn’t acknowledge the possibility none of us want to believe would happen: Pep Guardiola might be coaching his last season as Mister at FC Barcelona.

Already, we have begun to hear names, such as Ernesto Valverde, Laurent Blanc, Andre Villas-Boas and Marco Bielsa being bandied about as possible successors. Don’t forget that Roberto DiMatteo doesn’t have a job, either. And it’s safe to say that this club, right now, would be a coach’s dream job, and nightmare. I mean, what a club, but what a record of success, right? Guardiola, whenever he leaves, will whomp down a set of big, giant shoes to fill. You also wonder if now isn’t the time, precisely because the big magic hasn’t happened, leaving the door open for a new coach to have his own successes.


For now, we sit and wait, but not for long. You can imagine that every journalist covering the club is beating the bushes and flogging sources in an attempt to get something, anything that might clarify the picture. And the question isn’t only who, but what, as in “will Guardiola do after he leaves?”

I don’t know that I have ever seen our coach looking so harried and helpless, sounding almost valedictory in his recent press conferences, sometimes almost wistful. I believe that a season off will come after he leaves us, whenever he leaves us. And now, we wait.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recent Posts

Written by:

In my fantasy life, I’m a Barca-crazed contributor over at Barcelona Football Blog. In my real life, I’m a full-time journalist at the Chicago Tribune, based in Chicago, Illinois.


  1. barca96
    April 26, 2012

    Another attack from Sourinho;

    “I think Chelsea’s boys were heroes [against Barcelona], absolute heroes. Some people think they are the masters of the game and they will criticise Chelsea in the same way that they criticised Inter two years ago, but they know nothing. Nothing.

    They know nothing about character and personality. They know nothing about the effort or what it is to resist physically, emotionally and technically, with 10 men. They know nothing about organisation. They know nothing. That’s why my heroes at Chelsea are in my mind and why Chelsea deserve to be in the final.

    • nia
      April 26, 2012

      Mou will never change. He should have said Chelsea have done what RM couldn’t do last yr. This man is obsessed with Barca and Pep. He’s out to prove a point that Barca should have picked him over Pep but, you know what? Barca picked the best coach for the club. Mou can win a title in every single country but, he can’t do what Pep and the team have done and that’s 13/16 titles in 4 yrs. Hell, he couldn’t do it with supposedly the best RM team. I think what also bothers him is how much power Pep has in Barca something that he craves for in Madrid. I’ve stopped paying attention to the guy coz cleary he’s not all there.
      As for Pep, i think he’ll renew. If he is set to leave, i think he deserves to leave on a high while beating Mou in the process. Behind Obama, i think Pep is the 2nd most powerful man in the world, lol, (joke). But seriously, he needs to renew.

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      Call me naive, but I don’t even think this was necessarily directed at Barca the club as such, but more at those in the Catalan press who chose to frame the Chelsea defeat as a footballing injustice. Regardless of whether you think it’s something he should talk about or not after his team have just been defeated (personally believe he’s free to, though for outsiders his obsession is tiresome), beneath the rhetoric he’s making a valid footballing point.

  2. barca96
    April 26, 2012

    Ivanovic: My booking? I got it for kicking the penalty spot before the penalty [which Lionel Messi missed]. It was strange.

    Didn’t catch that on tv but that was pretty low to do that. He needs to get elbowed by Ron Metta World Peace Artest.

  3. barca96
    April 26, 2012

    Obi Mikel: The JT one was soft from what I saw and it was a yellow card. I think Sanchez made the most of it.

    In their books, cheap kick, hit or knee from the back doesn’t warrant a red card.

    If Im not mistaken, JT and Alexis were involved in a similar incident at Stamford Bridge last week. But that looked accidental to me.

  4. barca96
    April 26, 2012

    “If we weren’t playing to win the title, we would have had fresher players, but the team were fantastic in terms of their physical condition.

    “Barcelona played the Clasico and then two days later lost to Chelsea, this has incredible value.

    “You only have to look at the final which will be played between the fifth placed team in England against the second placed team in Germany, both of which used second choice players at the weekend.”

    He made some sense there because both Chelsea and Bayern didn’t have a hard match over the weekend and they could rest their key players unlike any of us.

    But at the same time he praised Chelsea’s performance and criticized us for knowing nothing.

    And when his team loses, he wants to use the excuse of el Clasico which has to apply to us as well but they had one extra rest day compared to us.

    • nia
      April 26, 2012

      Pique said complaining about fatigue is for loosers. Barca had less time to rest and no one complained and we still ran the show but for lady luck.

  5. tiaali
    April 26, 2012

    Oh, Kxevin, i wish it was Friday. I can’t take this much anxiety. I mean, he won’t leave us now, right? He can’t leave us. Would he leave us?
    Seriously, though, I don’t think he’ll leave just yet. I think he will stay for one last season, to have another go at the CL and to be able to say he gave Cesc, Alexis and the kids the best chance at it. But, I do believe he’ll make it clear to the players and the club it will be his last season to give everyone a chance to get used to the idea and also to give the club a chance to find a repacement. Seriously, who would want the job now? Who’s brave enough to hace a go at it when everything they do, and I do mean EVERYTHING, from the sign-ups and the tactics to how he handles the press conferences and even his style of dress, let alone results, would be compared against Pep’s light? I know there are ambitious people out there, but it’s almost as if the next coach is being set up to fail from the beginning. He said he would do what’s best for the institution, and what’s best is for him to stay another year and even help the club find a suitable replacement.
    As far as what he does post-Barça, I definitely think he’ll take a sabbatical. I don’t see him going to any other club or NT right after. It would be a gigantic slap in the face to the players and the fans, and he just doesn’t seem like that kind of person.
    Now, what really worries me is what I heard on ESPN Deportes Radio last week. They interviewed the guy who released the story that Pep was actually going to leave. He said that his ‘sources’ (close to the family and friends, supposedly) said that he was going to take a sabbatical because Tito’s health is not well and he needs to tend to it first and Pep is not going anywhere or doing anything without Tito. I have no idea how true that is, but that’s what he said.
    Do you really want to see players’ long faces, hearts and morale crushed (let alone us fans)? Saturday and Tuesday are nothing compared to Friday, if he tells them he’s not renewing. I know they’re professionals, etc, etc, but they’re people first, you know?
    Anyway, I’m just glad Iive on the west coast so, hopefully, by the time I get up on Friday this will all be over, one way or another, but if you want to see and hear a heart break, come to Las Vegas on Friday if Pep announces he’s leaving.

    Sorry for being so long-winded, but this has been in my mind much more than I care to admit.

    • tiaali
      April 26, 2012

      Sorry for the typos. It’s hard to type on the iPod, and it doesn’t allow for much proofreading.

      • BarcaOwl
        April 26, 2012

        The small keyboard doesn’t help, does it? I get typos with my iPad. But i think it’s just a grudge between the touchscreen keyboard and me.

  6. barcarolle
    April 26, 2012

    It all reminds me of that crazy 24 hours when Ibrahimovic was being signed by AC. When the press start leaking meetings and the like, suspicions get raised. It certainly seems different in terms of timing and the lead up in the press to how things were done in previous years. I am sure Pep, as ever, will do the right thing – what exactly that is only he knows.

  7. Judas Pissed
    April 26, 2012

    I for one wouldn’t mind if Pep quits this season. He’s give his all & maybe we need fresh impetus. I hope we get someone who has coached outside the club – either as a new manager or as a number 2 or 3 – just to bring some new ideas in. Tika-Taka has been hugely successful for us but against TOP teams who park the bus & hit on the break we have started to struggle. A fresh face who is loyal to our style BUT has ideas from other countries/clubs on how to change our gameplan when it’s needed would be much appreciated.

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      Disagree with parts of this. Agree that there is a growing sense that perhaps Pep himself needs a rest and perhaps club could do with a fresh take (though I think this overstated). Pep such an intelligent man, would be fascinated to see where he takes us next. Saddens me to think he might not, even if reasons for this are understood.

      One very speculative thought if he were to leave is that I hope this hasn’t put him off running for president/taking on a more backroom role at the club. Would be a shame for Barcelona if his present role was his final contribution, he understands the club as well as anyone, and has the intelligence + charisma to make real contributions.

  8. paxtonpale
    April 26, 2012

    Talk with the players about his future? More like say the last words to the club… Who would really want to step into Pep’s shoes and fill in the best team in the world? Come on, seriously. THis guy has made football like a different game with the passing and well there isn’t another coach like him. Bielsea, Enrique or AVB would be my replacements as they play similar football like him but they won’t be able to create the football that he did. Cryff would be great to have back though he won’t come here again… I knew he was going to go but I just want him to be like a Sir Alex Ferguson and stay with Barca forever.

  9. footballfan
    April 26, 2012

    I want him to at least coach for another season. But if he decides to go, I want Joachim Low as our next coach.

  10. lyd
    April 26, 2012

    Now its a good time to re-watch this wonderful interview-
    The Mister with spanish film director Fernando Trueba.


    So much passion in Pep! So inspiring.

    I feel if Pep wants to take a season break, let him have it. As much want him to continue yet i am strangely at peace with the other decision somehow. If Pep thinks that he has hold the ball long enough (4 yrs) for the sake of possession (continuation of success), and if total footballing philosophy allows for a hypothetical tiki taka between B team coaches, so be it. Continuity is the priority at every level for this club. Even in this crucial transition phase, it still is.

  11. Gogah
    April 26, 2012

    Pep Guardiola is solely responsible for all the success we’ve had.
    Not messi, not xavi, iniesta, puyol, they were all there before he came. The values and mentality he has instilled in the squad, frankly feels like a fairy tale.

    Here’s why I feel Pep should stay, not because of selfish reasons, and not because his story makes him and Barca a match made in heaven. The story of a fan becoming a ball boy, playing in all the youth divisions, going on to become one of the most successful players and a celebrated captain and then becoming the most successful manager is something you will not find in anyone else, maybe ever.

    But there are very young players who depend on him. Their careers depend on him. He has given debuts to i dont know how many canteranos. But if not for anyone, I think he should atleast stay one more season for Cesc and Alexis. Both these players took pay cuts and joined barca because of him, to learn from him and to win with him.

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      That wasn’t the only reason they joined, though. They joined also because we play great football, and football that wins trophies. Pep is integral to that, but I struggle to think that this won’t be the the case afterwards as long as Barca are intelligent in finding a replacement. Comparisons aren’t always helpful, but Shankley resigned suddenly from a comparatively weaker Liverpool team. It’s hard to overstate how much he did for Liverpool, raising them up from the second division to league champions, nurturing a culture so strong that Liverpool have been running of its momentum ever since. He had been there 15 years (compared to Pep’s 4). Yet Liverpool improved under Paisley. Whilst it’s unrealistic to expect Barcelona to improve, there are more than enough good fundamentals at the club that a manager coming in can have few excuses. The question is finding the right man. Liverpool had the Boot Room, insiders who understood the club. You sense with this group of players something similar is required, someone who understands and can carry out Pep’s vision, the vision that, as you say, has led to this success. Who that is I’m not sure, but they’re out there.

      But I do agree in many ways. I hope these conversations are all proved premature; Cesc and Alexis are very much Pep’s players and it will be a shame to not see how he uses them in their second season at the club, especially Cesc who is struggling at the moment.

    • Chiu
      April 26, 2012

      yes, UEFA honoured the Wembley to mark FA 150th anniversary. Barca have a very sweet memories with this venue; we won 2 CL final there. Wish we could make Wembley hattrick next season.

  12. elacule
    April 26, 2012

    i’m ok about la liga, the champions league, and all,
    but sitting in the pre-dawn darkness, contemplating losing pep right now, i just feel bereft. tears, stopped up head, cringing sadness.

    i sincerely hope that if he’s making a change, he’s explaining to the players that this coming season is his last (for a while) – i don’t think the shock of leaving right now would be good for the club or anyone.

    as you said, now we wait. ugh. i don’t know if i want time to go faster or to stop.

  13. Minha
    April 26, 2012

    All i want is Abi, Villa and Pep on the field next season.
    When I thought health wasn’t everything in life, god proved me wrong.
    When I thought health was everything in life, god proved me wrong again.

    Standing between the doors of right and wrong, I’m rooting for love and I know whatever will happen on friday, it will be all about the love for this club.
    Whatever happens, we all stay strong:/

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      Good point. I’d almost be surprised if Pep didn’t leave now. It would be strange for a fairly rational guy like him not to look at his young family having seen dealt with the health issues of Abi and Tito, and NOT think – “hmmm, I’ve done enough here, I’ve lost all my hair – time to spend a bit of time with those close to me and refresh”.

      • barcarolle
        April 26, 2012

        To many negatives there, but I hope you get my point. Pep leaving would be perfectly sane, so think we would be wise to temper arguments for him staying with quasi-emotional blackmail stuff, e.g. stay for x, stay for y. Shankly was wrong – life’s too short, Pep should in no way feel compelled to sacrifice his health or the opportunity of giving his children and wife proper attention for what is just a game. He might do that, but let’s have it be his choice and not, as tempting as it is, try and claim Project Barcelona trumps all other considerations. It’s a fantastic club, but it’s taxing being their manager and he’s given more than enough.

        Apologies if this sounds rantish/patronising. I’m a long term lurker.

  14. barcarolle
    April 26, 2012


    Ok, a risk at linking the Mail quoting Catalan papers, but what an interesting idea/fantasy (summary: English FA want Pep as a consultant). Pep leading a revolution in English football would be a sort of a continuation of Cruyff’s work, proselytising to the ultimate heathens the word of Michels.

    Disclaimer: I am English. Not very patriotic, but for purely aesthetic/frustration-avoidance reasons would dearly love to see this happen in my lifetime. Sort of thing that you have to file under ‘will believe it when I see it’ sadly.

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      Guillem’s rubbishing it on twitter. Chances increasing.

      Honestly, it would be so fun to see Pep trying to explain that to his catalan friends. “So, you are going to leave Messi and Barcelona to fix English football? You are Zlataning, Pep.”

  15. Chiu
    April 26, 2012

    – I feel Pep will renew. He probably made the talk with Rosell to ensure he have authority he required to bring more victory. He could draw on this season result as a reflection for the board; what went wrong and what needed to come stronger next season. The decision to stay in the continent for next pre-season was one of pronouncement that heavily demanded by Pep.

    – The result of two CL semifinals was another cue of a very small margin of error when you play in the very top level of European football. This is indicating that when a club wins more than one major trophies in a single season, it’s an immense achievement. You need a near perfect performance and consistency throughout the season; plus, capability of managing the random factors (injury, fatigue, resource allocation, schedule, transfer decision and luck).

    – In the last 2 decades, only 3 teams and coaches that have won treble denote the “complexity” to win in top level football. Alex Ferguson with his Fergie babes in 1999, Pep with current Barca team in 2009 and Mou with Inter in 2010. Those teams demonstrated a near perfect performance in their respective year and would be very very hard to repeat. It’s no coincidence too, that those three coaches are still the best three in the world right now.

    Visca BARCA!

  16. barcarolle
    April 26, 2012

    Balague: “According to sources in Barcelona, Pep will announce tomorrow if he stays or goes. Club fear he might announce his departure. Only Pep knows”

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Not good, I sense.

    • Chiu
      April 26, 2012

      Some opinions afloat that if Pep not renew, the new hired coach would be under heavy shadows of Pep success. That point of view is valid. But on the flip side, Pep would also leave a very strong team with proven maturity and cohesiveness. So the new coach would start with a very well-built structure. He just needs to prepare himself mentally strong to be compared with his predecessor. If he is strong enough to manage and jump that physchological barrier, I think this team could still continue making the history.

      PS: I personally pray Pep continue.

      • barcarolle
        April 26, 2012

        If Pep goes, then there are two things specific to Barca that are in a new managers favour.

        Firstly, his predecessor is a man with the club’s interests at heart who I think it’s safe to say will leave behind no ill feeling nor feel any Mourinho-esque need to comment/interfere behind the scenes.

        Secondly, the players are very respectful by nature. However, as with anything, it is respect that has to be earned. New manager will have to show above all an appreciation of the playing style the Barcelona players enjoy. That is not to say modifications are not required, but no stylistic revolution of the type AVB attempted at Chelsea thank you very much.

  17. blitzen
    April 26, 2012

    I’m just not going to speculate about Pep. What will happen will happen.

    *fingers in my ears* LALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

    • nzm
      April 26, 2012

      Yes – with you on that one. 😀

      Too much torment in one week without getting into a “Will he? Won’t he?” debate.

      All I’ll say is that Pep will continue if Tito is by his side AND if he can get the assurances that he requires from Rosell, Zubi and the board that he has their full backing.

      Rosell cannot use the “we can only afford B&W copies” excuse. He needs to provide enough funding for Pep to get what he wants, as well as give Pep complete control over the first team in every way.

      • mom4
        April 26, 2012

        Sooooo, now’s a good time for the BFB international recipe exchange?

          • mom4
            April 26, 2012

            Curry, I need authentic curry recipes.

          • nzm
            April 26, 2012

            Google Madhur Jaffrey. I learnt the best tips and recipes from her.

            Also Charmaine Solomon.

          • blitzen
            April 26, 2012

            All I know is, the secret to a really good curry is to let it “rest” in the fridge overnight. Tastes so much better the next day! This works for pasta sauce as well.

        • kinukinu
          April 26, 2012

          Here’s a cocktail recipe that might come in handy:

          Post-Pep Fizzle Fizz A.K.A. The Comfortably Numb


          Entire Contents of Liquor Cabinet
          Entire Contents of Medicine Cabinet

          Combine Ingredients in a giant boot-shaped glass, drink and enjoy.

  18. Rittick_cule
    April 26, 2012

    Some reports in england say Barça might want to sell Dani alves in order to rebuild the squad as they have grown tired of his defensive indiscipline. I mean newspapers are having a great time now that barça couldn’t make it to Munich. Pathetic

    On another note i’m sure pep will do whats best for our beloved institution. Personally I want Pep to continue for many years although that might be wishful thinking on my part.

  19. nzm
    April 26, 2012

    Slightly off-topic, but very amusing: some LOL jokes are being written in the TB comments re Ramos.

    Some of the gems:

    ~ Ramos and an elderly woman reach Heaven’s Pearly Gates at the same time, and St. Peter asks the woman why she should be allowed in.

    “I’ve been good and kind all of my life and prayed every day,” she responds.

    “OK,” says St. Peter, “that’s good, enough. Now, Ramos, why should I let you in?”

    Says Ramos, “Oh, I don’t want to stay, I just want to get my ball back.”

    Apparently North Korea has contacted Ramos. After their latest rocket launch failure, they want to hire him as a consultant to find out how they can successfully shoot projectiles into space.

    There are reports that Ramos’ ball has still not landed – it’s on a World Tour.

    And then there’s this gem of a gif: http://i.imgur.com/WKX8r.gif

    Gotta laff! 😀

  20. April 26, 2012

    –The sell Alves stories are trumped-up nonsense. Montoya isn’t THAT ready.

    –The above comment about Vilanova’s health is something I hadn’t considered. A couple of commenters mentioned that Vilanova hasn’t been looking at all well since his return. But I just can’t see a sabbatical/return. If he leaves, I think it’s for good.

  21. Huckleberry
    April 26, 2012

    “we decide what’s best for the club.” So if Pep decides that he better leaves, he must have very good reasons…
    We’ll see.

  22. April 26, 2012

    So I got depressed and saw my shrink…
    Might need more counseling, but if Mr. G leaves, I might just lose it. 🙁

    Anyway, I love you Pep and thanks a lot.

    Uhmmmm..Pls staty…pretty please 😉

    • hansh
      April 26, 2012

      Damn it, I thought you were kidding!

  23. Srini
    April 26, 2012

    The journalist in me actually suggests that Pep is coming back. I take the opposite position of Kxevin..

    The tearful hug given to every player is basically a way of saying.. alright, guys.. great run.. it is devastating that we didn’t win it all this time.. But thanks for the effort. It doesn’t necessarily mean.. “alright, goodbye”.

    All this to and fro meetings with various representatives of the club is to get assurances about what Pep feels are musts if he has to continue. The uncertainty is not from Pep. He has, IMO, set out the boundary conditions for his continuation. It is upto the Barca management to heed that or else look for a replacement.

    As things stand, I don’t think the Barca management has the gumption to let Pep go.

    What the boundary conditions are.. I suppose..could be the following –

    1) No parading around of Barcelona’s players in taxing pre season tours to earn the extra Moolah. (Already kind of addressed by limiting the preseason schedule to European fixtures)

    2) More control for coaching staff over player development, transfers and organic integration from La Masia in the true Cruyffian sense.. and that means no demeaning/demonisation of Cruyff’s proteges and former management officials. That also means greater cohesion of playing strategies and selection at the lower levels.

    3) Less commercialisation, more core football.

    And some such. If Pep gets all these, he stays, IMO.

  24. TITO
    April 26, 2012

    I don’t like what Pep is playing. If he wants to take off, than just come out and say it and not fool around.
    Nobody is bigger than the club, so neither is he (maybe Oleguer) regardless that he brought the brightest times of 100 and few years of the club’s history.
    If he leaves, the reasons are surely personal, cause i think he got almost everything that he wanted, professionally, he even convinced RoSell that the players should stay at home this summer.
    If he is leaving, he should have done that last year when we everything, again. I blame Chelsea and RM for destroying a man’s life and not letting him have this year’s CL and LL trophies.
    If he goes, good for him, if he stays, good for us.

  25. April 26, 2012

    Pep can’t leave. Please don’t leave. After so much success in the last few years, he simply cannot leave on a losing note. He owes it to himself more than anyone else to leave on a high.

    Though of course, as he always mentions, football is just a game after all, and he could have a multitude of other reasons for his decision.

  26. April 26, 2012

    Pep is a troll. He is meeting with players to see Pique put his hand in the fire and to see Messi cry buckets. Then he will say he already renewed in the Jan transfer window LOLLERCOPTERS.

  27. April 26, 2012


  28. mom4
    April 26, 2012

    barcastuff ‏ @barcastuff
    Official: Xavi has a muscle tear in his left calf and is out for around 15 days #fcblive

    And how long has he been sufffering/playing with said tear?

    • Megster
      April 26, 2012

      It’s been nagging him since last year. Maybe the pain is really unbearable so it’s advised he take a rest. And if he’ll be out for 15 days, I guess he won’t be playing for the remaining 4 games. Liga will end on May 18. I just hope he’d be okay for the CdR Final on May 25.

      • Megster
        April 26, 2012

        Also, Pique will be out for two weeks due to his concussion.

      • mom4
        April 26, 2012

        This is a calf tear not Achilles tendonitis, though.

    • Chiu
      April 26, 2012

      I think Xavi and Puyol should contemplate about retiring from La Roja after Euro. Age factor shows that their body couldnt cope any longer with chock a block full schedule of Barca and NT games. They could prolong their career if they give up for NT selection.

  29. April 26, 2012

    I think that Guardiola is doing this at this time so that if he decides to leave, the board will have maximum time to make its decision, to answer some of the “Why now?” questions. The new person could easily be in place before preseason.

    –I also think that Guardiola owes the club nothing. We owe him everything. When you think of what he did for us, what he must have given up, the joy that his efforts have wrought. Man, that’s just crazy to contemplate.

    –Guardiola has started a revolution. Football, and Barca football, will never be the same. He didn’t just say he was going to attack. He did it. And won silver, hearts and minds. Sometimes, a true revolutionary knows when it’s time to step aside and let things continue. I believe that he has the best interests of the club at heart.

    • barcarolle
      April 26, 2012

      This. So much respect for Guardiola the man.

  30. Dani_el
    April 26, 2012

    This is the first time in 3 years I had serious doubts about his continuity. It won’t be easy to replace Pep and though I believe we will continue winning trophies (maybe not 13 of 16 in 3 years), but nothing will ever be the same. It’s impossible to replace a genious, as it will be impossible to replace Messi when he retires in 2023(ish) in our club. He will be sorely missed. We can’t thank him enough what he did to Barça. He will be remembered as Johan Cruyff.

    Bielsa ends his contract this year. He’s a strong candidate. He could teach us to do killer counter attacks while keeping our posession game with agressive pressure on other team’s half. He could come with Javi Martinez or Llorente.

    • April 26, 2012

      Another name I floated on Twitter was Rene Girard, who is at present coach of Montpellier. He took over in 2009, and now has them top of the table, with a club that doesn’t have immense talent even if it does have a few remarkable players. I would LOVE to see Belhanda in the colors, for example.

    • nzm
      April 26, 2012

      Apparently Unai Emery is also parting ways with Valencia.

  31. mega_tajh
    April 26, 2012

    I believe its more personal decisions within the squad that is making Pep unsure.

    Such as after a 4 years cycle it is obvious some of our core players need to be gradually removed from the starting 11 and not used week in, week out.

    Sport is saying that one of his tough decisions if he stays on, is making some heavyweights to gradually lose prominence in the starting lineup and others specifically, Pique should seriously rethink their professional attitude.

    Pep has personal relationships with everyone in the squad so maybe breaking this to some of his closest friends is a heartbreaking strain he doesn’t want to go through as a manger. He has to make cold cut decisions involving players he cares deeply about, such as Pedro and Pique.

    He needs to reevaluate certain players commitment and age and decide, while bringing in new players to compete for a starting spot.

    If he stays, it means that Guardiola has to rebuild a squad that is fulled with his closest friends and maybe restrict playing time to some, which he said before, deeply hurts him when he has to sit someone on the bench. ie the Pique & Pedro situation now.

    As a man manger, Pep is one of the best but when it comes to making personale changes he needs a helping hand since he is a loyal man who cares about his players as his family.

    • April 26, 2012

      See, I think that Guardiola would have no compunctions about moving about whatever he had to in order to ensure this club’s success. And he would make clear, as he did with Pique, that the person who was benched or left off for technical reasons, would understand.

      • barcarolle
        April 26, 2012

        Also dropping Alves for the second leg of the semis. This is the sad thing about Pep leaving. He is a legend, a man clearly committed to the club’s best interests – this knowledge makes the hard decisions much easier to sell and carry out.

    • kinukinu
      April 26, 2012

      I disagree-if anyone can make those difficult decisions while maintaining the players’ respect, it’s Pep. Can’t see that going over as well if some new guy were doing it.

  32. April 26, 2012

    Joint presser tomorrow with Rosell and Guardiola, after practice.

    • messifan
      April 26, 2012


      What time is the press conference tomorrow? I’m going to cry.

      • April 26, 2012

        Not sure yet. Will depend, I imagine, on how long the pre-practice talk takes, etc.

  33. April 26, 2012

    This does not look good. If he was staying I’m sure they would’ve been a leak by now. The fact that there is no leak suggests he’s going, in my view.

    Very sad day, but then again, if it’s his decision, we must respect it and move on.

  34. April 26, 2012

    ONA-FM saying Guardiola leaving, new coach to be announced at the end of the season.

    • April 26, 2012

      Backtracking, apparently …. in other words, they’re making the same speculation as everyone else, which is that the portents are not good.

  35. April 26, 2012

    This whole thing reminds me of that 24 hour shitstorm leading up to Ibra’s departure, except the consequences are about 1000 times as great.

  36. barcarolle
    April 26, 2012

    This might sound a tad ridiculous, but is there anyway that were Pep to leave that the blog could communicate its thankfulness directly to him? A card perhaps, or something more ingenious/less traditional? Does he have an office/secretary? Know I’m jumping ahead, but given what looks likely to happen just something to think about. He’s given us all so much, more than we could have ever expected – would seem the right thing to do.

    Amazed at the second part of that rumour, Kxevin. Already someone lined up, you think?

    • culegirl3
      April 26, 2012

      Well they have to be prepared for any and all possibilities rights? They need to have a list of candidates just in case.

      • barcarolle
        April 26, 2012

        Yes, I suppose so, especially with Pep’s 1 year contracts. Guessing game will be insufferable, hope it’s done as quickly as this rumour suggests if it has to be done.

        • April 26, 2012

          Exactly. I think the club has had a short list for a while now. And who wouldn’t leap at that job? Bielsa’s contract, for example, is up this year. Villas-Boas available. Now we wait.

  37. April 26, 2012

    Almost from the time he was born Pep has been a cule. His family has been with the club for generations. He grew in La Masia and was a ball boy for the team.

    A playing legend who was the epitome of one of the great sides in European history.

    A manager who recreated for the club an even greater project than the one he played for.

    We all know this. We know all of it. But it’s important now to remember that none of us have the club in our heart’s to the degree that Pep must. All of those connection, memories, accomplishments.

    If he does leave it will be for one over arching reason-he just can’t lead the team to the degree he thinks is right. If he leaves it’ll be an act of love. But it’ll be because he thinks it’s for the best.

    What ever his decision – it’ll be a personal one. One that we should honor.

    All of this made me think back to something Messi said about Pep around a year ago:

    “The coach knows the club better than any of us. He was a ball boy, player and now coach. He is very smart, knows what needs to be done at all times and how to treat each player,”

    He knows what needs to be done at all times and how to treat each player.

    Whatever Pepe’s decision – it’ll be for the same reasons. It needs to be done. And it was the best way he could treat his players.

    Pep very well could be wrong on both counts. But those will be his honest reasons for staying or going.

  38. April 26, 2012

    Latest report is that the club have offered Guardiola a blank check, full carte blanche, deadline of Sunday for acceptance.

    So here we go:

    1. Leaked thing means club is trying to save face now. “We tried everything, he just wanted to go.”

    2. Because if you make that kind of an offer, you DON’T put a deadline on it.

    He’s gone, folks. But keep in mind that he always said he wasn’t a long-term coach, and would be here only a few years. So we can’t be that surprised.

    But man, would I love to be wrong.

    • April 26, 2012

      Yeah remember that interview to that Italian journo last year? He made it clear he was “closer to the end than the beginning”.

      I just wish he’d stay and try to get our crown back. But maybe he doesn’t think it’s worth trying or there’s other stuff going on he’d rather not put up with.


      • mom4
        April 26, 2012

        Yeah, that’s been one of my thoughts through this. Pep leaves; Mou wins.

      • barcarolle
        April 26, 2012

        We can’t blame, Mou. Admittedly, he has not made Pep’s life easier and he never actively sought out confrontation with Mourinho. But, as euler notes, Pep knows this way of life better than any. Top level sport is not a nice place. He will know that if he can’t cope with waking up to battle the Mourinhos of this world then he will not be carrying out his responsibilities properly. Moreover, Mourinho has if anything toned things down as the season has gone on, as he’s grown more comfortable himself. Standard barbs but no more.

        Whatever the reasons, Pep’s always gone acted on his “feeling”. Well, it’s sounding very much like this time his feeling is saying that time’s up.

        • Ryan
          April 26, 2012

          Pretty sure Mou toned down as EE inched further away from Barca at the top of the table. Once it became CL season again and he had to see us beat Milan and potentially face a Clasico final, he was back to being Mou.

  39. mom4
    April 26, 2012

    Question that can’t be answered:
    What was the impact of the uncertainty on the players for these past months?

    Question that will be answered soon:
    What will be the impact the announcement will have on the players for the rest of the season?

    Near-term question:
    What will be the impact of G’s leaving on the core squad and the up and coming canteranos?

    What will the impact be on the club if there is not a personality as strong as Pep’s to fight for sanity against the board and president?

    BTW, I’d love Bielsa, but he’s got something special started in Bilbao. I’d hate for them to lose him.

    • tutomate
      April 26, 2012

      I love Athletic as much as the next Cule, them being our brothers in arms and all, but screw Athletic. We need the best coach for our needs no matter what team has to suffer for us to have him.

      • April 26, 2012

        FWIW, Guillem Balague says that Pep has told the club he wants to leave and that Rosell has told him to sleep on it. So there you go.

        • April 26, 2012

          Don’t know why this came here, it should’ve been a new comment.

  40. April 26, 2012

    All of this points to an exit in my opinion, which is fine, the fairytale can’t go on forever. Pep will leave a legend, and rightfully so. Kxevin is right, he owes us nothing and we owe him everything.

    So other options? I think top of my list is Bielsa, who could very well leave after bringing Bilbao very close to a Europa League final. Pep has said himself Bielsa was a huge inspiration, has the Argentinian connection with Messi, is a strong supporter of “total football,” and could bring some interesting players along with him (Llorente, Munian, Javi Martinez). Watching Bilbao this year when they are “on” is quite amazing. Oh, and there is that copa del rey final coming up, where Rosell I’m sure would be happy to chat beforehand. Obviously, I’m merely speculating here but I think it could work.

  41. just listenin
    April 26, 2012

    This must be an incredibly difficult choice, with many factors. After all the Mister has done, and what he has proven again and again, you have to respect the choice whichever way he goes, he has earned that much (and more). From my perspective we are at a very pivotal and intersting point.
    I can only imagine how the combination of passion for the club, born from his personal history, the obvious but somewhat detached (because you need to stay somewhat objective and make decisions) affection for the players, the current political landscape of the club, going out on a high, or recognizing that perhaps your moment has passed, which happens, you can overstay and do too much of a good thing… I would say for someone who appears as passionate and committed as Guardiola, this must be agonizing. Whatever he chooses, we have already been through what will always be “legendary times” for the club. Kudos to all those who always remind us don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

    I was out of the country (from US) and caught the Semi in an English pub (outnumbered) and I have to tell you, that there was that moment in the match after Leo missed the PK where I personally felt a little ability to exhale and say, wow, look what they’ve done. I felt a little resolved and sentimental. The mental and physical fatigue, Xavi obviously playing through pain (I think Messi too), the continuous chain of injuries and the illnesses… And we were still there standing up at the end, making the attack, taking the fight forward, giving every last drop from an near empty tank, and stretching the opponents to their limits. It was profound to me, that through it all, they were fighting and finding a way… And but for a few inches here or seconds there, they almost did it again. How I was pulling for them really struck me. You can be disppointed, but angry at them?, or cynical?, or highly critical? – unfair. It made me think of family. You can only attribute all of this to one human emotion, love… For the club, for the game, for each other on the pitch, for the fans. Tides turn and there is an inevitability about passing in all things, everything is fleeting. I don’t think it’s the end of an era in any way shape or form. That could only mean we don’t know what we’re watching with this particular team and that is a labor of love, and there are some amazing stewards of that labor, and always some threats to it. I would trust this particular generation to be building the next chapter or cycle of this journey before our very eyes while they keep on keeping on and we just aren’t able to see it. No one can, but the potential is there! Who’s passion and history and ideas on the pitch becomes the next most uncontainable influence on the project as a whole?, we might be watching a future coach, or president, and not even know it, and one day, we can look back and say this round of unstoppable awesomeness was born out of the last, just like when a “insignificant” ball boy aspired to play in the Camp Nou, and he did, and he came back as a coach and brought brilliant ideas from his experience to reality and incredibly talented players whose contracts were signed on a napkin because someone believed in him when others weren’t sure mesmerized us, …like someone before, and like someone surely will again after, and so it goes. I think it is happening before our eyes. You have to trust, and work for it, and sometimes… watch and wait, and be proud and entertained to follow such a club. There’s more to come, and it’s can’t be far away…maybe next year 😉 Visca Barca.

    • tiaali
      April 27, 2012

      Beautifully put and so true! Thanks for this.

  42. simple_barcafan
    April 26, 2012

    Things seem getting worse and worse for the past couple of days…

  43. messifan
    April 26, 2012

    The situation is somewhat similar to “Lebron James’ Decision.” Except this case is created by fans and the media.

    Tomorrow, I hope Pep will say, “I’m going to keep my talent at Barca.” Just to troll us all 🙂

  44. April 26, 2012

    Anybody remember back in the Offside days, the “Huh?” “What” reactions when Guardiola was named? My, how far things have come. I just don’t know that RoSELL has the courage to make that kind of a choice, should such a thing become necessary.

    • sd
      April 26, 2012

      As long as their “Huh?” “What” choice this time isn’t like the Lakers (not that I am a Lakers fan) picking Mike Brown I’ll be happy.

  45. blitzen
    April 26, 2012

    Squee! Jordi Rios from Crackovia just DMed me on twitter! /fangirl


    • rightlps
      April 26, 2012

      this is probably really random but for some reason i always thought you were a male lol

    • hansh
      April 26, 2012

      I like you, blitzen. Incredibly happy in this thread full of depressing people.

    • Laurentiu88
      April 26, 2012

      i think these many missed chances are not only down to luck – clearly players were tired physically and mentally.

      it is not just to some previous games, to a hard season with many hard games and so on. it is the whole 4 years…

      of course, coming into this season we were less then perfect prepared and in many games signs of players tiredness were there. i dont know how come it all become evident in these crucial games. i would have never imagined that we would loose all. some edge was missing. like we managed to find somewhere in the second part of the season. we finished our fuel right before the finish line.

      otherwise hard to explain how we lost the qualification from that 2-0… what a difference … so many regrets… and now i wonder if it isn’t for these last games that have made Pep edge towards leaving us… I always felt that through his strategy he tried to avoid Cruyff’s mistakes in his last seasons… maybe he thinks that that point has been reached? 🙁

      sad about this. i always felt that he will continue. that this was just a strategy to keep the team and himself focused.. some form of pre-commitment … and i thought that we had amazing things to learn from such a season and that this was achievable through his continuation… but maybe in the end other things mattered more. maybe players aren’t there. the same commitment isn’t there? maybe they are more interested in their off the field new fame? maybe, just maybe, he FELT he could not get the same commitment from his players? maybe he FELT is better for the club with a new coach?

      I don’t know what to say… Until a few hours ago i was so sure he will continue… bloody press made me really unsure now. these great years… i think he must stay, but hey what do I know? he has a better image of hos things go…

      I still feel he will continue. There is a clear risk in the next season of discovering/ not being able to motivate his players and he may wish to simply quit now. for the good of the club. If this is so than we should support his choice. My view so far is that there is still magic there..team still ticks …players still smile… Cesc still has a dream to fulfill…that he can still engineer another successful year. But I may trust him knowing more than me.

      finally, I also trust our club to continue our team to develop under a new coach. I like Bielsa .. and his quote from today:

      “The game yesterday [at Camp Nou] indicates that attacking football has nuances. But styles cannot be changed.

      “Even if the best team doesn’t always win, the best way of winning is always by trying to be the best.”

      p.s. How amazing was Camp Nou singing after Torres goal?! never ever since Judas return was the stadium so united…

      the idea of Pep leaving… starting to feel like I am loosing something…a deep love..


  46. jordi™
    April 26, 2012

    Obviously players and coaches come and go and the club will always survive but I think we’ll never have a trainer with as much class or human conduct as Pep.Of course having been the best coach, he’ll next go on to try to surpass Laporta as best President and we can only look forward in anticipation to when that time comes.

  47. Gogah
    April 26, 2012

    I know this is the heights of optimism, but maybe he needed all this time to be convinced enough to sign a 2 year deal.

  48. April 26, 2012

    Guillem Balague says that Pep has told the club he wants to leave and that Rosell has told him to sleep on it. So there you go.

    • blitzen
      April 26, 2012

      Aaaand Guillem just denied saying that Pep wants to leave.

  49. tiaali
    April 26, 2012

    I have gone from anxiety last night and utter sadness this morning, to complete amusement now after reading my TL for a while (‘Pep won’t stay because he wants Piqué out and Rosell doesn’t. Also because he knows it’s time for Xavi to go and doesn’t have the heart to do it himself’ Come on, now! Really?) Every one has gone mad over this!
    I will stay with Marti Perarnau’s take, for no reason other than I just respect his opinion: “1.Very few people know the truth: Him, his wife and Tito. Anybody else? I understand no one else. No one means no one. 2. Sensation: after the climate that has been created based on him leaving, my feeling (based on nothing tangible) is that he stays. Probably for the last year”
    I will be devastated if he leaves, but he needs to do what’s right for him and his family first, even though in my heart I was leaning to believe that if he was going to do what was best for the institution that could have meant nothing other than staying. Only he knows what it is to wear the Mister hat for 4 years, what he has given and what it has taken from him and his family, and I wish nothing but the best for them, whether in Barça or not.
    So, hopefully I will have learnt something from him and keep my composure, class and common sense from here on until tomorrow (‘says she, while she curls up in a ball and starts crying…’).

    Fingers crossed everyone!


  50. Laurentiu88
    April 26, 2012

    anybody watching Bilbao’s game?

  51. tutomate
    April 26, 2012

    Athletic put pressure on the ball right away upon losing it but seem to do it 2 at a time with a third waiting for the spilled ball.

    • April 26, 2012

      This is exactly right. Their system of pressure defending is different than Barca’s. It depends much more on pace and frenetic closing down than “hunting in packs.”

      A major reason why that’s so is that it allows them to transition & attack in a much more direct, vertical fashion. That’s the thinking.

      • tutomate
        April 26, 2012

        Thanks Euler. Another thing I noticed is that they have something I think we lacked this year and which killed us against Madrid the long pass from left or right to center to some running in a mirror image. Think Ozil to CR7. I seen that tried a few times in this game. We haven’t done that in a while.

        • April 26, 2012

          Their game in attack is much, much more vertical and direct. It’s very different than Barca’s. Very different.

    • April 26, 2012

      If you want to know why the board leaked that they gave Pep a “blank check” – read this story. Pretty much why they let that news go public.

  52. Dani_el
    April 26, 2012

    This is the wiki-bio of Montpellier’s coach, Rene Girard:

    I tried to look for a presser from him, but they are all in french. I keep getting videos from a french historian. Maybe someone can enlighten us about this guy (psst Kxevin).

    Another guy up to the job according to some press is Ernesto Valverde.
    He played for Barça between 1988 and 1990. Then he coached Athletic (2003-2005), Espanyol (2006-2008), Olympiakos (2008-2009), Villarreal (2009-2010) and again Olympiakos (2010-2012). According to David Salinas, in Olympiakos 3 leagues and a Cup with an offensive minded football.

    Top candidate to me is Bielsa. He is OBSSESSIVE for the sport. The only thing I would have to worry about him, is a Van Gaal treatment from the press and the entorno. He doesn’t like to give 1 on 1 interviews (a la Pep) and can give pressers filled with technical arguments. He’s also well read. I like him a lot, he seems brilliant. He likes a 3-3-1-3 formation, attack mode, and killer counterattacks. He loves to motivate his team to run like animals and press high, way high.

    But please God, make Pep have a pleasant dream to change his decision (if a negative decision has been made).

    (Athletic qualifying to the final, 3-1, 4 minutes to go. Great Llorente goal).

    • Dani_el
      April 26, 2012

      Llorente crying on the field, well deserved qualification. It’s a joy to see when a home-grown player really loves his club, and fights for it til’ the end. Athletic Club de Bilbao, I hope they win the Europa League.

    • tutomate
      April 26, 2012

      Like everything you said. Hope Pep stays too.

  53. tutomate
    April 26, 2012

    Who ever our coach is it has to be someone the Boys will respect, football intellect wise.

    • April 26, 2012

      This is exactly why I wouldn’t want Villas-Boas. While tactically and philosophically he seems to be in the Barca mold, the fact that he was chewed up and spat out by the Chelsea “seniors” doesn’t bode well for his dressing room skills.

      • Anonymous_69
        April 26, 2012

        To be fair, I don’t think even Guardiola could have succeeded at Chelsea this season.

  54. April 26, 2012

    As much as I hope Guardiola will stay, I can’t imagine anybody who could use a break more than Pep. The work rate the guy has to put in to be prepared for all the matches that Barca play … I can’t even imagine putting that many hours in at my job — and I love my job. And you just know if he were confirmed for next year, that work — seven days a week, hours upon hours every day — would start immediately and carry through the summer.

    Honestly, given the preparation, the variables and the high standards Pep sets for himself and his team … it’s just staggering. I don’t want him to go, but if he does, I’ll hope he is able to relax, recharge and go on with a long, happy and healthy life. The man, through his coaching, has brought me so much joy that I can wish nothing less for him.

    • tutomate
      April 26, 2012

      He definitely deserves a break but it is about what is best for the club and what is best for the club for him to stay and be 100%.
      But is he so tired that he NEEDS the break? now that is the question.

  55. Helge
    April 26, 2012

    If Pep takes a sabbatical next season, I respect his decision. He deserves a rest and even more than deserving it, he needs it!

    He’s without a doubt the best possible coach for this generation of Barca players, but I think I could also like Marcelo Bielsa a lot if he comes as Pep’s successor. Once again a fascinating match by Bilbao.
    Also, the CdR final will be fun. And some may not value it at all, but given the opponent and the show that you can expect from the two teams, it should be a high end to the season!

  56. Judas Pissed
    April 26, 2012

    Any chance we may get a glimpse of Jean Marie Dongou as the season winds down now..?

  57. TITO
    April 26, 2012

    I disagree with the reference that we owe him everything, he owe us nothing.
    Of course he owe us, from a ball picker, to a player and finally as a coach, the club made him the man he is today.
    He would never achieved at some other club the things that he achieved here. So of course, he owe the club.
    They just came together at one pint of their life, the wright coach for us, the wright generation of players and the wright circumstances in the club. I don’t think that we will ever witness this sort of symbiosis again. He’s already a Legend, but not yet Johnny Legend.

  58. Huckleberry
    April 26, 2012

    Pep took the right decision for the club!

  59. blitzen
    April 26, 2012

    BREAKING NEWS: Pep Guardiola and Eusebio Sacristan to switch jobs for the 2012-2013 season.

    FCB has announced today that first team coach Pep Guardiola will relinquish the reins for the coming season to the current coach of Barcelona B, Eusebio Sacristan. Guardiola will return to the position he previously held in charge of the youth side.

    “It was a tough decision,” says Pep. ” I didn’t want to let the club down, but I just can no longer handle the stress of such a high-profile position. I need to take some time away from the spotlight to reconnect with my family, grow my hair back, and rediscover the love of football that led me to become a coach in the first place. Coaching the B team is the perfect solution. I know Eusebio will bring something new and exciting to the first team.”

    For his part, Eusebio feels he is up to the challenge before him. “I am ready,” says Eusebio. “I will bring the same creativity and tactical nous to the first team that I employed last season. I plan on bringing some fresh new players into this side. Maybe some of the older players like Xavi or Iniesta won’t get as many minutes as they are used to, but when they see what my boy Carmona brings to the midfield, they will be happy to give up their places to this bright young talent.”

  60. Larm
    April 26, 2012

    i started watching barca in the rijkaard years. when it was announced he was leaving the club i thought it was the end of the world. Some fan at his last home game had a big banner that read “frank youll never smoke alone” and i thought that was the nicest thing i ever seen for a coach.

    now pep might be leaving, and once again i think its the end of the world. but im not worried. lots of people here are freaking out, but who knows what a new coach might bring.

    its like at the end of charlie wilsons war, when the guy is talking about the zen master…whether this is a good move or a bad move, well see.

    • For me, it’s not about “the end of the world”
      This club will win trophies again, sooner or later. I don’t know when, but that’s for sure. I’m ready to support this club for better for worse.
      Looking at our squad, we are more than capable to keep winning.

      It’s the fact that I’m gonna miss him so so much that makes me deeply sad. I adore him as a player and coach, as a person, and as a figure. Such a bless to have him as our coach.
      If we sad, I can’t imagine our players feeling.

      But yeah, life goes on, we move on. We have to.

      • elacule
        April 26, 2012


        he is such a “mensch” – brilliant, warm, funny, intense, positive, honorable – the list can be much longer, but you get it. i feel selfish to say it, but if i don’t get to see and hear him, i will miss the joy and inspiration he gives me all the time.

        how must the players feel? do they already know?

        yeesh. what a week.

        • K_legit in Oz
          April 26, 2012

          The word ‘man’ just sounds so much more cooler and more macho in German 😀
          Spreche ein bisschen Deutsch!

      • tiaali
        April 27, 2012

        If he leaves, a new coach will be brought in, silver might again be won, the players will adapt and life will go on, but Pep will NEVER be replaced. There is a big, unsurmountable difference between the two.

  61. K_legit in Oz
    April 26, 2012

    what time would you say is the best time to visit New Zealand?
    I am thinking of going there come january if i save enough money.

    • nzm
      April 27, 2012

      January weather is always a bit weird. Leave it until Feb/Mar if you can. But if you’re in varsity, you may not have the choice, in which case January is good.

      Same seasons as Oz and, like Melbourne, you can get 4 seasons in one day. 🙂

  62. Dani_el
    April 26, 2012

    There’s something I read, that the last 3 years we had more than 88 goals divided between 3 strikers;
    Henry (26), Eto’o (36), Messi(38)
    Pedro(23), Ibra(21), Messi (47)
    Villa(23), Messi(53), Pedro(22)

    This year the second striker behind Messi in goals, David Villa, has 9 goals as Pedro.
    Messi(63), Alexis(14), Pedro(9), Villa(9), Tello (7), Cuenca(4)
    Midfielders: Fabregas (15), Xavi(14), Iniesta(8)

    We need more pólvora (powder). Our success depends maybe in having 3 menaces making diagonal movements, freeing space for Messi or other. One of the things I missed about Villa the most, was his diagonal runs. I hope he returns to his usual self.

    Here there is some scouting according to TransferMarkt: Strikers and defenders. I consider Javi Martinez a good option if he can adapt, he can play as a central defender and as a holding midfielder. That is assuming Abi comes back. If he doesn’t I believe that we need an Abidal clone, a left back with height, pace, that can play as a central defender. For a striker, my guess is that we need a left side winger, that can make 15-20+ goals per season, a la Villa. Buying VanPersie I believe will give us a the Henry edge. Let’s remember his contract ends on 2013.

    Édinson Cavani
    Date of birth: 14.02.1987
    Place of birth: Salto
    Age: 25
    Height: 1,84
    Position: Striker – Centre Forward
    Foot: right
    Market value: 28.000.000 €

    Robin van Persie
    Date of birth: 06.08.1983
    Place of birth: Rotterdam
    Age: 28
    Height: 1,86
    Nationality: Netherlands
    Position: Striker – Centre Forward
    Foot: left
    Market value: 45.000.000 €

    Fernando Llorente Torres
    Date of birth: 26.02.1985
    Age: 27
    Position: Striker – Centre Forward
    Height: 1,95 Market value:25.000.000 €

    Thiago Silva
    Date of birth: 22.09.1984
    Age: 27
    Position: Defence – Centre Back
    Height: 1,83
    Market value: 32.000.000 €

    Javi Martínez
    Date of birth: 02.09.1988
    Age: 23
    Height: 1,90
    Nationality: Spain
    Position: Midfield – Central Midfield
    Foot: right
    Market value: 22.000.000 €

    Mamadou Sakho
    Date of birth: 13.02.1990
    Age: 22
    Height: 1,87
    Position: Defence – Centre Back
    Foot: left
    Market value: 17.000.000 €

    • barca96
      April 27, 2012

      I don’t like Van Persie even one bit even we are from the same area.
      His attitude is questionable. Even the Feyenoord fans say the same thing.
      And he is already 28 yo and the is not a powerful player.

      – Attitude problem
      – This is the first season where he is almost injury-free since forever
      – Already 28 years old

      I love Iker Muniain but he isn’t a goal scorer either. I heard rumors about Adrian but he isn’t a proven goal scorer either so in that case I prefer Muniain if we really want someone up front.

    • Clouseau
      April 27, 2012

      hehe, well these are all quality but very costly option. it seems to me that we have to eat the humble pie this year and develope our own defence backline.
      on the good side bartra and muniesa already regained some experience at segunda still pep needs to adjust the team a more conservative play..

      forwards are rare these days if only sammu hadn’t a agreed a contract with machachtskala..

      agree on van pervert!

  63. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    Can anyone who has a twitter account ask barcastuff if he will be following the press conference at 11am(barca time)?

    Or will we able to follow it on youtube?
    I gotta make sure that I will be back by 11am then!
    Although I won’t understand what they will be saying but if

    1) Pep leaves – people become hysterical and start crying
    2) Pep renews – people cheering and clapping

    Best thing is for Pep to stay one more year but take AVB or Bielsa (dont think he wants to be a no.2 though) or whoever it is as no.2 so that it will be a smooth succession plan next season.

    I had this in mind after thinking about Pep as no.2 for SAF rumors a few years back and also how Lakers handled Phil Jackson’s health problems in the past.

  64. providence
    April 27, 2012

    im sad and down, why should pep leave now,i stucked with tears, at least he givesus someone we can trust in.they should do their best to block his departure

  65. Oil_Can
    April 27, 2012

    If Pep decides to leave it will be saddening. But I guess we can take some positives out of it:

    -A new coach brings added Motivation and competitiveness to the squad.

    -A new coach with unique ideas and styles can make Barcelona very hard for opponents to read our play and many of our opponents might struggle to adjust to our new playing style.

    -If our new coach does happen to do well and Barcelona continue to be their dominant selves then it will reinforce our stability.

    -A new coach can re-ignite some players form who have struggled recently. for example Pedro might flourish in a different position or with a different role.

    -Anybody but Mourinho as our coach would be a positive

  66. providence
    April 27, 2012

    oh God, i cant stand the pain for the rumors,he is a catalan, he is the one who can bring out the best out of the messi, iniesta, xavi, sanchez,fabregas etc..u. he is the one who can make us feel secured when it comes to elclasico and big games, he is the one who mourinho and EE is afraid off.. at least he must wait on his decision to leave it too early to call it, why pep? where do u want to go to that u are pressing to leave… oh pleaseee stay,barca fans need u, catalans need u,football needs u,la liga needs u , barcelonafootblog needs u,providence needs u cos we love u pep!!!

  67. Gogah
    April 27, 2012

    For next season, I’d like to see

    – Alba or Alaba for LB
    – Javi Martinez or Sakho or Rami for CB
    – Hazard for LF or Llorente for CF.

    But I highly doubt Bilbao would let two of their biggest assets leave for the same team.

  68. Clouseau
    April 27, 2012

    that meeting doesn’t worry me to be honest.
    can’t imagine him leaving the club before he didn’t resolve the (last) incesecuryties at the backline..
    sandro already fullfilled some of his wishes regarding the upcoming preseasons, and the squad still show their hunger and commitment.

    so i guess it is mental exhaustiation which is understandable reason.
    beeing a barçacoach was always a hell of a job but for pep who has a deeper connection to the club.

    but something tells me the administration still has to pay a high price-not a material one but a loss of influential power- in order to convince him to remain…

  69. Laurentiu88
    April 27, 2012

    i dont understand anymore – he went through all the soap opera with Cesc gave him his no 4… foe only one last season…?

  70. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    I heard on, espn news g.balague saying that pep will take a sabbatical and return. If this is true it wouldnt be fair to the incoming coach. Knowing that he will be gone after a year. But I highly doubt that this is what pep wants.

  71. Clouseau
    April 27, 2012

    Guardiola already informed the players about his decision. medias are next in line.

  72. BarcaRoja
    April 27, 2012

    Why is the waiting game more nerve-wracking than a clasico or ucl semifinal match? uuuugggghhhh…. too much rollercoaster emotions in 1 week…. 🙁

  73. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    Guardiola is leading the training session, that has now started at the sports centre

    If he is quitting, he will be the one at the press conference.
    He wouldn’t let Rosell announce the dreaded decision.
    So I think he is continuing!!!!


    • barca96
      April 27, 2012

      Rushed home just to be in time for the 11am press conference but till now no official word. I though Pep would hold it.

      Anyways, no matter what it looks like he is staying and leaving Rosell to share the good news while he is taking charge of the training session.

      • April 27, 2012

        Actually, word was that there was to be a joint Guardiola/RoSELL presser after the morning training session.

        • barca96
          April 27, 2012


          Man…. I was rushing home. Was at a buffet but couldn’t even eat properly.

          I was expecting it to be a big time affair, live blog here, stream links and stuffs. Maybe Im making it like its such a big deal.

          It’s like 5-6am at your place. Why are you up?

        • BarcaRoja
          April 27, 2012

          30 mins before i get off from work.. i hope they don’t announce anything while i’m driving on the way home…

          extreme emotion/shock + driving through rush hour manila traffic = recipe for disaster!

          i feel so tense!!!

          • BarcaOwl
            April 27, 2012

            Be careful! Can’t blame you for being a bundle of nerves. I’ve got the twitches myself

      • Laurentiu88
        April 27, 2012

        isn’t the news conf. after the training?

        • barca96
          April 27, 2012

          Yeah apparently it is. I read somewhere that it was at 11am.
          Damn it!

          2 more hours of agony.

          It’s like waiting for a birth pill test.

    • Laurentiu88
      April 27, 2012

      payed for their arrogance… taking the game to the penalties against the Germans… what were they thinking?

  74. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    Official: At 13:30, president Rosell, sports director Zubizarreta and Guardiola will give a press conference at the Camp Nou

    2 more hours of waiting. Sigh.
    What am I gonna do?

    • Laurentiu88
      April 27, 2012

      might as well accept the idea that the man is leaving. or you can read some stoics. in the end Pep will leave behind not only expectations but also a great team with lots of knowledge. barca will be stronger after him. no chance the team will implode.

  75. Clouseau
    April 27, 2012

    now tweeted : guardiola had once announce as a player his departure on april 27th…

    • barca96
      April 27, 2012


      Damn what a coincidence or maybe Pep really is a philosopher 🙂

      • Clouseau
        April 27, 2012

        everthing seems planned looking at his careers.

        28.06.84 pep arrives @barca
        27.04.01 leaving barca
        28.05.07 barca b
        and now his departure?

  76. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    Kxevin, I said earlier that I wish Pep would take AvB or whoever it is, Bielsa, Lucho or Sergio will become the no. 2 so that it will be a smooth transition next summer.

    There were reports of SAF wanting Pep as his no.2 for similar reasons in the past. And La Lakers did something similar didn’t they because Phil Jackson couldn’t travel to away games. Was Mike Brown his no. 2?

  77. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    All local media say Guardiola will not renew his contract and leave the club. He will explain his reasons at the press conference

    I still think Pep will stay.

    I don’t think that the the players would want to train after hearing the bad news because Pep was supposed to tell them his decision the first thing in the morning.

    • April 27, 2012

      A much as I would love your reasoning to be true, unfortunately I dont think his decision would have any bearing on the training session. As big as Pep is he is not bigger than Barca and no matter what happens the club will continue to function normally. These players are consumate professionals getting paid millions per year and they will train and work for whatever manager the club chooses. Also Pep is the kind of man who would try and make sure that his leaving has as little a negative effect as possible on the players. He would never let them skip out on a training sessions because of this decision.

      I think we all need to come to terms with the fact that he is leaving. It is a sad day but I dont think its the end of an era, in fact I think we will come back stronger and hungrier next season. There are a lot of coaches out there who have the ability to continue to deliver the type of football and success we have come to expect from Barca. Whether or not they can do it with the class and style of Pep has yet to be seen. He will be sorely missed…

      • barca96
        April 27, 2012

        That was the optimistic in me talking 🙂

        I know they are highly paid professionals but they have feelings too. The players would definitely prefer to have a moment to think about it instead of going through drills.
        I know they should behave like professionals but they have been together for 4-5 years now and the bond is strong.

        At least that is how I would prefer if I was in Pep’s and the player’s shoes.

  78. Laurentiu88
    April 27, 2012

    no reason to be nervous anymore..things look quite certain 🙁

    • Clouseau
      April 27, 2012

      just wait until the presse between zubi y rosell is finished. listening to all those wannabe insider journos is pretty annoying.

  79. Chiu
    April 27, 2012

    Now, the buildup buzz before the press conference sounds pessimistic about Pep renewal.

  80. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    This feels like a Lebron James the Decision moment drama 😆

  81. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    Around 10 min left..should we get a liveblog started?

  82. providence
    April 27, 2012

    its been confirmed on other websites that he is leaving.im begining to hate him,dun know why, he didnt take our interest at heart, at this crucial moment where our major rivals(EE) are trying to overtake us,it will all go down in praise of mourinho who the will say its bcos of his presence in spain that is forcing pep out,think they will soon dominate us

    • barcarolle
      April 27, 2012

      I understand where your fears about Madrid come from, but cannot agree with you that Guardiola does not have the club’s best interests at heart and is being selfish in making this decision. If he leaves, then it’s because he doesn’t think he can do the job justice any more, that he can’t do it in the same manner that he did in previous years. That he would, in short, be doing this group of players a disservice, wasting their time. It is the need to be certain that he can still meet his own standards which is why he has only ever signed very short term contracts. Unless you believe he’s lying, then we’ll have to task his word that he sincerely feels he cannot do the job this time, just as we trusted him on the other occasions when he renewed.

      • barca96
        April 27, 2012

        But how would they know when Pep and the club have not said anything at all? They are just trying to get clicks on their websites.

        It doesn’t make sense.

        • barcarolle
          April 27, 2012

          Most won’t have a clue and are just hit mongering, you’re right. It’s more the difference in this year’s build up, the amount of noise that has me suspicious. Very different to memory of previous years when he renewed. We’ll soon know for sure, but I think it’s now got to the point where it is very unlikely that Pep is going to be staying. Been my feeling since the press conference was announced.

    • Helge
      April 27, 2012

      wow! beginngin to hate him – are you serious?

      First of all, he deserves a sabbatical. And secondly, Pep Guardiola does not leave because of Mou or EE, but because he is exhausted. I bet he will tell something like he doesn’t feel to have enough energy left for doing the job another year.

    • K_legit in Oz
      April 27, 2012

      I actually don’t want to see it now :/

    • K_legit in Oz
      April 27, 2012

      Dafuq? the countdown timer went down to zero and then restarted at 30 min..I just got trolled by the Barça youtube page!

  83. Chiu
    April 27, 2012

    I propose to mods that we run the live blog, too

  84. Laurentiu88
    April 27, 2012

    i am not hopeless at all actually. there are some amazing coaches there and I believe they can keep the same level of play. my hope is that he will also have the politics too…

  85. Laurentiu88
    April 27, 2012

    does he know that quitting won’t get his hair back? 🙂

    anyway, Bielsa does not seem the man to care if he’ll loose his …

  86. providence
    April 27, 2012

    or may be Rosell is playing politics with this one too thats why he didnt dig so deep for pep to sign again,afterall its la porta who signed him

  87. Chiu
    April 27, 2012

    65 people online in BFB currently. looks like an event with “CL semis” magnitude

  88. providence
    April 27, 2012

    you’ve left us in anger and in pain!!! how is messi especially feeling cos my situation is worse, i can hear people shouting outside that barca is finished!!!

  89. Clouseau
    April 27, 2012

    presser has started. unfortunaltly can’t watch 🙁

  90. providence
    April 27, 2012

    cryuff once said that he already knows who will replace pep,guess sandro and him got no beef again!!! shit happens in this world!!! the bad month of april for barca, Abidal,la liga, ucl,…and the killer of all, Guardiola!!! ive got exams in next 4 hours but cant learn

  91. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    All the La Masia players are there….

    BAd bad bad

  92. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    Hostia so I guess its real now…Adeu Pep!

    • K_legit in Oz
      April 27, 2012

      Damn Sandro, I can’t stand to see your face now 😐

  93. Rittick_cule
    April 27, 2012

    Cant believe pep is leaving…. Hope he comes back one day!!! Getting choked. Gracias Pep!!

  94. April 27, 2012

    providence, what is the matter with you? Is it Abidal’s fault because he should have scheduled his liver transplant surgery after the season ended? Have a heart. Look at what has physically happened to Guardiola in his time with us. Allow him his life, his dignity.

    • providence
      April 27, 2012

      kevin im sick cant believe pep is going, when i look outside there i dun see anyone who will fit in his shoes like he did,

    • elacule
      April 27, 2012

      Messi isn’t there, (or they’re not showing him),

      and how would it feel to come back to work after 2 days off (after an excruciating week) to find that your boss fired himself?

      barcastuff says Pep says he is exhausted and needs to recharge. i can sure see that. i think the whole team should take a while off!

  95. AJ_10
    April 27, 2012

    Thank you for 4 glorious years Pep.
    May Barcelona and you continue to grow and succeed
    Gracies, Pep!!!!

  96. eugene
    April 27, 2012

    Hes left us. I am bit disappointed, but I guess he has his personal reasons. One of the best coaches that built one of greatest football team in history. Thank Guardiola for the great years off football. It was an abosulute pleasure watch his team play.

  97. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    Wait, Tito will take over as coach?

  98. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    i thought tito was going to quit but he is taking over?

Leave a Reply