x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Time for Pep Guardiola to see other side of English football

Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona legend and the new Bayern Munich coach, has a rose-tinted view of English football fans, which is far from the truth.

After his last match at at Camp Nou stadium, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was tossed in the air by his players. Guardiola will take over at Bayern Munich at the end of this season.
After his last match at at Camp Nou stadium, former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was tossed in the air by his players. Guardiola will take over at Bayern Munich at the end of this season.

"I've always found English football very fascinating. The support of the home team is amazing. In England I am always surprised that people always support everything."

Pep Guardiola, the Barcelona legend and the new Bayern Munich coach, in a video message celebrating the 150th anniversary of the English Football Association. Oh Pep, you wonderful sweet man. Not just a genius but one with a soul too pure to understand that you view our game at its unrepresentative best.

Of course the home fans were supportive when your brilliant Barcelona came to town! When we watched our teams get thrashed, what else could we do but take it on the chin and cheer our boys for keeping the goal tally to single figures?

But why not pop back on the Saturday, Pep, when we watch the same clodhoppers draw 0-0 at Stoke for 89 minutes, then concede a goal from a long throw-in. Just watch how supportive we are then.

This is a serious point and one that Guardiola must bear in mind if his next destination after the Bundesliga is the Premier League.

Yes, there are supportive fans, usually the ones in the stadium, who cheer their team no matter what.

Their voices are often drowned out by the media-amplified clamour of the armchair experts and impatient young bucks whose instinctive reaction to any trifling setback is to call for the manager's head.

The former group are called "fanatics", the latter are "fantasists". Unfortunately, both words are abbreviated to "fans".

This is something Guardiola should know before taking any job. Better now than after a Stoke game.

sports@thenational.ae

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