As you know, the jury’s still out on Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, but on Sunday afternoon a very compelling case came forward for the prosecution.
City’s visit to Goodison Park on Sunday saw Guardiola’s expensively-assembled XI utterly crushed by a resurgent Everton side, inflicting the Spaniard’s biggest ever league defeat.
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 15, 2017
It just wasn’t good enough.
The Citizens now sit in fifth, a full 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and with their title hopes now effectively gone.
All this after headhunting who many believe is the very best manager in the world and spending over £200 million on players.
Just to be clear, I’m not an advocate of the modern footballing mentality of ‘hire slow, fire fast’. Good, honest managers are often not given the time that they deserve to really put their stamp on a side and turn results around, and the media are far too quick to condemn men to the sack.
But based on what’s happened at City in the past, I don’t see how Guardiola can keep his job at the Etihad beyond the summer – unless something drastic happens in the next few months.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 15, 2017
If we think back to Manuel Pellegrini and Roberto Mancini, both were sacked despite winning the league title at some point in their tenure and continuously finishing in the top four.
Why should Guardiola escape, especially if he fails to bring Champions League football to Manchester next season?
It is unthinkable that his side finish outside the Champions League qualification places, but that is exactly where they sit at present, and don’t appear to be in the sort of form to turn it around.
Should he fail to get a minimum of fourth, I would imagine he will be shown the exit door, which makes getting his team back up to speed a matter of immense importance.
Sadly for Pep, he doesn’t have the luxury of an ‘easier’ fixture to ease back into winning ways – City face the in-form Tottenham next Saturday.
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) January 15, 2017
Given the way his side were blown away by Mauricio Pochettino’s back in September, Guardiola will know that his men must hit the ground running next week. Fail to do so, and Tottenham will almost certainly prove too good for them.
It’s time for Guardiola to start earning that massive paycheck, and proving to the owners that they made the right decision in hiring him. Only time will tell whether he can do just that.