How long will Guardiola stay at Manchester City?

Nathan Ake
How long will the Etihad be where Guardiola calls home?

That is a question every City fan has been asking themselves for quite some time now. It is the same question every fan and manager of City’s rivals have also been asking, and both sets want the polar opposite answer to be true. The truth is, he cannot stay forever, and it is inevitable that he will go when he feels it is the right time. So when will it be the right time?

The Statistics

This is Pep’s third club he has managed (not including Barcelona B), so it will be beneficial to see what he achieved at each of those, how long he stayed and what his success looked like.

Barcelona: July 2008 to June 2012 (Four seasons)

Total Matches Played: 247

Matches Won: 179

Matches Drawn: 47

Matches Lost: 21

Win %: 72.47

Silverware: 3 league titles, 5 domestic cups, 2 Champions Leagues

Bayern Munich: June 2013 to June 2016 (Three seasons)

Total Matches Played: 161

Matches Won: 121

Matches Drawn: 21

Matches Lost: 19

Win %: 75.16

Silverware: 3 league titles, 2 domestic cups

Manchester City: July 2016 to Present (Seven seasons)

Total Matches Played: 391

Matches Won: 282

Matches Drawn: 52

Matches Lost: 57

Win %: 72.12

Silverware: 4 league titles, 5 domestic cups

The first thing that jumps out from all those statistics is just how consistently successful the Spaniard has been. The win percentage at all three clubs is between 72% and 76% which is phenomenal for an extended stay. He has also won trophies everywhere he has been, and apart from his first year at Manchester City, in every single season he has been in the dugout.

Manchester City Era

According to the football betting odds, City are currently favourites to win the EPL title, their fifth under Guardiola. There is a glaring omission from his CV at the Etihad however. He – and the owners – see the Champions League as the main target for their ambition to be seen as the best club in Europe, or indeed the world. Without that under his belt if he were to leave there would always be a question mark or asterisk attached to his time in Manchester.

That would make it appear unlikely that he will leave before he has achieved that. If City were to win at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in June, then there really would be a valid argument that next season would be his last.

Scratch a little beneath the surface at City, and everything is not all as good as it may appear. There are the charges from the FA for one thing. Similar accusations have been levelled at the club before though and Guardiola turned that around to create a siege mentality that worked in their favour.

There are other factors however. Many of the current squad will be moving on shortly, and/or have gone past their golden years. There is no doubt they have incredible stars, and stars of the future at the club including Erling Haaland, but many of those who have seen Pep to his recent successes only have a season, or two left in them.

He will have seen what has happened at Liverpool. He has admitted recently his team can’t play the way they used to because the levels of exertion required are too much for some of the players available.

Like Liverpool, the team will require a substantial rebuild over the next few seasons, especially now that both Arsenal and Manchester United look like they are likely to push them for domestic silverware.

A Life after Manchester City

Manchester City
If he is to leave, where could tempt Guardiola?

As mentioned, it would look unlikely that the former Barcelona and Bayern manager left his role at City until he saw his job was complete, i.e. he brought the Champions League to the blue half of Manchester. There is of course a good chance that he will win the Champions League, if not this year, then the following year.

But what then? It is incredibly unlikely he would manage another team in England. Barcelona is the only side he would go to in Spain, but would he go back? There are not many other sides big enough to tempt him. PSG don’t have the domestic league to excite him on a week by week basis. The Italian league probably couldn’t afford him, and though the thought of completely revolutionising the way they play is one thing, it would be a huge task, even for someone of Guardiola’s pedigree.

That leaves international football, but again you get the impression it is the day to day contact with his players that Pep enjoys most. So the question of where next may well be the one that keeps him at City for some time yet.

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