undefinedmanchester city s spanish manager pep guardiola ge200226220537

Sorry for asking, but why is Pep not at Barça?

OPINION

@ErnestFolch

Pep Guardiola once again claimed victory at the Santiago Bernabeu. What might be an exception for many coaches has become something of a routine for Pep. He's now won six times in Madrid with three different teams. Zinedine Zidane said it himself and many feel the same way: Guardiola is the best coach in world football.

He's got the knowledge, enthusiasm, passion and extraordinary energy which is contagious amongst his players.

It was inevitable, looking from Barça's perspective, to feel envious towards City and see their coach animated on the sidelines. He had a plan, believed in it and the club backed him. And it felt inevitable to ask the same questions, the same questions we've been asking for years now: What the hell is a culé like Pep, who learnt everything he does here, doing away from Barça? What did Barça do that was so wrong and what did we, as fans, do so that we have to enjoy Pep wearing someone else's colours? 

The official explanations we all know and he's repeated it various times. He felt the project under him had gone as far as it could and staying on would only damage that reputation. Other stuff hasn't been said. The club didn't fight hard enough for him to stay and his departure, however you look at it, is a collective failure. 

Every time Barça look at the market to sign a successor (Luis Enrique, Valverde or Setien) there's never been any intention to re-sign the original. One of the greatest contributors to the Barça brand is plying his trade away from here. The club either doesn't want to, or can't, tempt him back. Pep isn't without his own faults (City are 22 points behind Liverpool) and his attitude can rub people the wrong way. But watching him at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, and despite all the explanations that we already know, no one can answer a simple question: Why is Pep not at Barça?

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