Being at the right club at the right time with the best conditions of service is the desire of every football manager. Pep Guardiola and Manchester City have been like a perfect match. But that has not insulated them from the highs and lows of the game. Despite winning the biggest trophies on offer in England, the club has not been able to win its most sought-after piece of silverware, under the Catalan manager. Even after six years of being in charge.
The Blues came close to lifting the Champions League in 2021, losing in the final to Chelsea. Even that was a huge disappointment as Chelsea was the underdog heading into the encounter. City are regularly accused of “buying” trophies as the club spends a lot on players. When that does not result in winning the biggest trophy on offer, it seems the manager is failing.
The life of a football manager is already hard enough. Pressure from the club’s fans and hierarchy can be so much that change at the dugout is a frequent occurrence. Rarely do managers stay in a job for more than five years these days.
The job is usually very unstable. That’s understandable as it depends largely on results. Since teams regularly have good and bad times, it takes a lot of patience to wait for the good times when the bad times tarry.
Once the goodwill begins to dissipate, the exit door is flung wide open. Hence, it's been said that there are two types of managers; those that have just been sacked and those who will soon be.
Fortunately for Guardiola, he is not just any other manager. The Catalan boss is a special breed. His success on the job sets him apart from the rest. He has won all there is to win in the game as a club manager. He has succeeded everywhere he’s been; from Spain to Germany and now in England.
Yet he remains ambitious, looking to win even more. His unquenchable desire for the best and unrelenting commitment to success form the intersection with City. The recent contract extension makes for a continuation of the relationship for another couple of years.
Despite his success in England so far, Guardiola still has unfinished business in the Champions League. Same applies to the club. The manager expressed his excitement at the opportunity to continue with the project.
“I am so pleased to be staying at Manchester City for another two years,” Guardiola said. “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone at the club for trusting me. I am happy and comfortable here. I have everything I need to do my job as best as possible.
“I know the next chapter of this club will be amazing for the next decade. It happened over the last ten years, and it will happen in the next ten years because this club is so stable.
“From day one I felt something special being here. I cannot be in a better place.
“I still have the feeling there is more we can achieve together and that is why I want to stay and continue fighting for trophies.”
Most likely, the feeling about the renewal will be mutual. That the City faithful both in the boardroom and at the stands believe in and trust Guardiola to deliver is a given. Clearly, the overwhelming majority of the fans around the world are loving life under Pep. And the man himself is loving the City dugout too.