Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Could Guardiola be the emergency solution?

After Saturday's defeat, people really started to believe that Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard (45) could well be replaced before the end of the season and that the game against Schalke tonight could be decisive (read more here and here). Because there are only two months left and because he already knows the ins and outs of the club, the only possible successor who has been put forward by the press is Barcelona B manager Josep Guardiola (37).

Catalan sports paper El Mundo Deportivo reports that a lot of Barcelona officials don't like the idea of Guardiola taking over with a few months left because they are afraid of burning him in the last two months of the season, what could very well be the case if things would not change under his command. Others have another vision and indicate that this could be a chance for Guardiola to get to know the players, what would allow him to make decisions in the summer. That is, if Guardiola would not be seen as provisional solution. Barcelona site Pelikano indeed states that Guardiola would not be prepared to be a temporary coach, but would want to change things drastically, having a long-term perspective.

Catalan sports site Info Esports claims that Guardiola was already sounded to take over after last December's defeat against Real Madrid, but that the manager rejected the offer cause he didn't feel ready for the job. Guardiola wants to gain more experience and his only wish now is to finish the season with Barcelona B, who will most probably play the promotion play off to return to the Segunda División B. Madrid sports tabloid As even claims that Guardiola's agent, Josep María Orobitg, last summer negotiated to include an explicit clause in the contract allowing Guardiola to reject an offer by the Barcelona board to coach the first team.

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