By most accounts, Pep Guardiola had a good day yesterday. Manchester City overcame Burnley 2-1 at home, despite going down to 10 men early in the game and a referee keen on making some interesting artistic choices. Still, it was the result that mattered, and the win lifted City back into the Top 4.
But for all the good news of the day, Pep seemed oddly wistful. And in an interview with the BBC that could be charitably described as “awkward,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager dropped an explosive nugget.
“I am arriving at the end of my coaching career, of this I am sure.”
I’m sorry, what?
“I will be at Manchester for the next three seasons, maybe more. I will not be on the bench until I am 60 or 65 years old. I feel the process of my goodbye has already started.”
It’s very possible that Pep was having a bad day. (Or maybe a bad week.) His interview with the BBC certainly indicated as much. You can read a partial transcript at the link above, but it’s worth noting this particular exchange:
Damien Johnson (BBC): “You don’t seem that happy that you’ve won.”
Pep Guardiola: “More than you would believe. More than you would believe, I am happy.”
Johnson: “You’re not showing it.”
Pep: “I’m so happy, believe me. I’m so happy. Happy new year.”
So, yeah. He could’ve just been in a foul mood. Between the tough loss to Liverpool just two days prior and Fernandinho getting sent off again, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect some aggravation.
But it’s also possible that Pep Guardiola just told us that Manchester City will be his last job in football management. That’s a huge bombshell to just drop on the world in a throwaway post-match interview
If this was a case of Pep being grumpy or having a lot on his mind, he’ll probably walk it back sometime this week or next. But I wouldn’t be so sure that’s what’s going on. We could very well be witnessing the final chapter of Pep Guardiola’s management career.