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.

Yikes!

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.

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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.

231 Comments

  1. 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!!!

  2. Clouseau
    April 27, 2012

    presser has started. unfortunaltly can’t watch 🙁

  3. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    Getting teary eyes……. Sigh

  4. 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

  5. BarcaRoja
    April 27, 2012

    i’m crying 🙁

  6. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    All the La Masia players are there….

    BAd bad bad

  7. 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 😐

  8. Rittick_cule
    April 27, 2012

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

  9. barca96
    April 27, 2012

    he s already crying

  10. 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,

  11. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    Official then.

  12. Chiu
    April 27, 2012

    Thank you Pep!

  13. Ryan
    April 27, 2012

    Gràcies per tot Pep!

  14. mom4
    April 27, 2012

    Thanks, Pep!

    *sigh*

  15. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    93 ppl online now

  16. elacule
    April 27, 2012

    what are the players thinking?

    • 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!

  17. AJ_10
    April 27, 2012

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

  18. April 27, 2012

    New post up, folks.

  19. BarcaRoja
    April 27, 2012

    Thank you!!!

  20. 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.

  21. K_legit in Oz
    April 27, 2012

    Wait, Tito will take over as coach?

  22. barca96
    April 27, 2012

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

  23. BarcaRoja
    April 27, 2012

    TITOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

  24. Jackieboy
    April 27, 2012

    Tito! Anyone seen this coming?!

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