Today Pep Guardiola told the world that he is going to be stepping away from Barcelona as manager, something he says he has been thinking of doing for a while. During the press conference he said how he had talked to the President over the possibility of stepping away from his post at the end of the year saying “In the month of October I announced to the president and to the sporting director that I thought my spell was coming to an end.” Everybody knows that he only signs a one year contract so there has always been a level of uncertainty but most always assumed that he was going to sign another contract at the end of the season. He stated that it is for personal reasons that he is taking a step back from management “I have given everything and I have nothing left and need to recharge my batteries.” Adding, “The demands have been great and I have not been able to rest much.” “I have to recover and the only way I can do that is by distancing myself. Otherwise, we would have ended up damaging each other.” Guardiola did say one thing though that did make me laugh slightly and that was when he said that “four years is many years” referring to how long he has been in charge of Barça, when he said that all I could think of was David Moyes, Arsène Wenger and especially Sir Alex Ferguson and wondered what they thought of that. Barcelona have already lined up Pep’s successor.
So there’s a new man in now at Barca and it’s Tito Vilanova. Okay so he isn’t “new” but that was just a very crude joke, I fear I have embarrassed myself somewhat there. The appointment of Vilanova ties in with the Barça way so much like the they look firstly at the players that they are producing before they go and buy they have promoted someone that was already at the club. Vilanova was Pep’s assistant while at Barcelona “B” and was his assistant during the last four years and undoubtedly the hope is that the successes that Guardiola brought to Barça Vilanova will be able to deliver too. Tito will take charge of Barcelona from the start of next season but is already working with Andoni Zubizarreta on planning for next season with the aim surely to regain the Home and European title of Champions.