SWANNY'S WORLD OF SPORT: Pep is trashing his own reputation
Pep Guardiola is doing his best to trash his own reputation.
I wonder if he regrets coming to the most competitive top-flight football division in Europe?
Barcelona and Bayern Munich either had numerous top defenders at the club when Guardiola took charge or they were so far superior to the rest of La Liga and the Bundesliga, they weren’t needed.
Guardiola sure isn’t good at buying them. Manchester City’s purchase of Spurs right-back Kyle Walker for £50 million plus for is mind-bogglingly stupid.
Walker now becomes the most expensive defensive purchase in the history of the world. More costly than the £47 million City spent on John Stones, a centre-back so bad at the main part of his job, he’s become a figure of fun for the rest of the Premier League.
Stones hasn’t improved. City have David Silva to play the pretty passes, they don’t need a frail central defender to start their attacks.
Walker faces a similar future. Fresh from winning naff all with Spurs he’ll now be part of a squad expected to win the Premier League, the FA Cup, the Champions League and probably the Grand National and the Boat Race as well.
Any club spending that sort of money should clean up, but they won’t because Guardiola is not the super-coach his club (or indeed the man himself) thought.
And Guardiola is also the man who wasted time and money on bringing alleged ball-playing goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to the Etihad with laughable consequences.
A manager’s obsession with style over substance has never been more ruthlessly exposed by a goalkeeper who could play a five-yard pass accurately, but who couldn’t stop a shot, any shot, sailing past him.
And yet Guardiola continues to be indulged. He’s now replaced the perfectly adequate ‘keeper Joe Hart with a bloke called Ederson Moraes for £35m from Benfica.
It’s a frightening amount of money for a ‘keeper who could safely take his pipe and slippers onto the pitch for most top league games in Portugal.
I wonder when these vastly inflated fees will stop rising and the answer is probably when Sky TV’s money runs out.
And that might be sooner than anyone realises as, like me, many traditional football fans have become bored by the saturation coverage of the Premier League and the sheer awfulness of any live or highlights programme that doesn’t involve Gary Neville.
Until that happy day arrives we will have to accept the stupidity of Liverpool paying £34 million for Chelsea flop Mohamed Saleh, Leicester shelling out £17 million on relegated Hull defender Harry Maguire, ‘little’ Bournemouth, a club with 11,000 home attendances, splashing out £20 million on Chelsea reserve centre-back Nathan Ake and Everton throwing money at everyone including £30 million on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and on the huge wages of past-it Wayne Rooney.