If Manchester United are looking at the best managers to take over from Ryan Giggs this summer, Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola would have been high on the list.
Of course, pursuing Guardiola would have proved about as fruitless as pursuing Lionel Messi given Bayern’s indomitable season but last night, his Bayern side were horribly exposed by a ruthless Real Madrid in a 4-0 humilitation that has immediately seen Guardiola take a hammering from the German press.
Guardiola was immediately defensive about the loss and felt the players didn’t perform well enough.
“The reason we did so badly in the first half is that we did not have possession,” he said.
“We didn’t play with the ball. Against Arsenal and against Manchester United (earlier in the competition) and in the first leg in Madrid, we played with the ball and we controlled the game.
“We did not do it in the first half and when you don’t have control against a great, great team like this, you don’t have a chance.
“The argument about my ideas is not valid,” he added. “I can’t change what I feel and what I feel is that we must play with the ball and attack as much as possible.”
Conversely, Bild placed the blame for Bayern’s defeat firmly at the feet of Guardiola, personally.
"Madrid humiliate Guardiola". Don't go pulling any punches there Bild. pic.twitter.com/trXZCjpnF2
— AS English (@English_AS) April 29, 2014
The defeat was Guardiola’s heaviest ever defeat but despite being frustrated, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stood in support of Guardiola.
He said: “It’s best not to say much. Our opponent clearly dominated us. This was a disaster.
“We have a very competent manager and though we’ve conceded a very painful defeat, we cannot start questioning everything right now. Also, Real Madrid have played marvellously, it has to be said.”
Should Manchester United fans get excited? It seems we already might have…
However, Bayern are unlikely to be as reactionary as to sack one of the world’s best managers off the back of one result. Also, the fact it could cost them a pretty penny would play a part.
Wonder if Bayern had the presence of mind to put a sacking clause in Pep's contract. If they didn't, he's owed €17m/yr through June 30, 2016
— Incog Neato (@incognitoMrBuLi) April 29, 2014
Guardiola’s position seems safe for now but expect there to be a fallout over the next few days that doesn’t paint him in a particularly good light in Germany.