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Txixi For Pep And An Altogether Ego

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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At last, after 8 years of pampered La Liga-ering, Pep Guardiola has found the challenge he says he’s been looking for. And he really didn’t need to look that hard, did he? There were so many severely challenged clubs out there to choose from, despite his limiting of the field of play to English green and pleasant land. However, only natural though it is in these circumstances to pick the most deserving of cause and pledge yourself to their remedial renaissance, it has come as something of a surprise to see him view Manchester City worthy of selection, let alone needy in any shape or form. That said, I suppose there is an element of regenerative work to be done at the Etihad Stadium, albeit the measure of his achievement can only ever be regarded as mole-ish and not mountainous, but that’s because…


By common consent, when Guardiola moved from Barcelona he left the best team in the world behind, to join second best Bayern and now he's decided to bravely plumb further depths at City, a club in dire need, struggling as they are in pursuit of a League title, CL quarter/semi finalists/winner progression and potential double domestic cup success. Clearly deserving, though by no stretch of the imagination third placed on any scale or pecking order, Pep’s nevertheless on this Mancunian club’s case and with his challenge boldly set the football world will soon have its opportunity to judge him in what some regard as the toughest of environments, the English Premier League. A daunting prospect, made more so by the quality of opposition he is about to face and the inadequate weaponry he has at his disposal. 


Armed with but a slingshot of cash, a mere sprinkling of quality players and a modicum of talent in reserve, this dutifully diminutive David, this plucky Pep of Santpedor, has seen fit to set himself against such Goliaths of the English game as the Bonneted Tony Pullis, the Big Sam Allardyce, the Sparky Mark Hughes and the Head-butting Alan Pardew, who at the drop of any expletive directed his way holds out the promise of going ’full Pardew’ no matter the reputation of the technical area tormentor he‘s up against. Doors closed at Barca, bridges burnt at Munich, sabbatical taken, there is no turning back for the Catalan and, to make matters worse, the stress of English Media briefings awaits - always assuming the hacks don’t go ‘full thrall’ on him and his much-vaunted Pep talks. No fear of that, I hear you say, but sadly there is if this overview from Henry Winter in The Times is anything to go by:- 


“The advent of Guardiola is of great import for English football generally. This is an opportunity to learn and improve, not just for City. For England too. His media briefings could become like the Reith Lectures.”


Oh dear, still months to go before he arrives and the fawning foreplay has started in earnest. I ask you, media briefings becoming like Reith Lectures?! For those of you unfamiliar with such things, they are given annually by leading figures of the day (Stephen Hawking the latest) to an audience that listens expectantly and respectfully until the completion of each one before putting sensible questions to the lecturer. So, sorry Henry, unless you are thinking of monopolising the asking of the first question, making it ’Hi Pep, can we mere mortals receive your pearls of wisdom for the next fifteen minutes?’ whilst simultaneously gaffa taping the mouths of colleagues to avoid inane interruptions, a Reithian revivalist meeting it ain’t gonna be. Indeed this weekly search for any readily [miss] quotable fluff, by journos who don’t really give a stuff about anything else, is destined to be about as far removed from Reith rhetoric as a Pellegrini press conference is from a Shakespearian soliloquy.


But such is life over here in Engerlund in the best League in the world and the sooner Pep gets used to it the sooner he can get down to the business of turning his newly-acquired silk purse into another silk purse of slightly superior ilk. And what an achievement that will be, or so we will be told by all those sports news outlets desperate to clothe this coaching king in finery befitting of the best….


Isn't he grand! Isn't he fine! Look at the cut, the style, the back line! 

The challenge that’s posed is altogether

But altogether it's altogether

The most remarkable challenge posed that I have ever seen.

These eyes of mine at once determined

The moves are velvet, the shape is ermine

The hose sky blue and the double [to come] leaves a lovely shade of envious green.

Somebody send for Hayley McQueen.



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