A genius abroad

Pep is itching to try his hand at managing abroad, says Toshack

Last Updated: 02/05/12 7:34am

John Toshack told Revista he believes Pep Guardiola has decided to leave Barcelona in order to fulfil a longing to manage outside Spain.

"When you are a manager you keep saying the same things to the players and sometimes they get a little bit tired of hearing it over three or four years and it's easier to change one person than to change 15 or 20."

John Toshack

Quotes of the week

The former Wales striker - who led Real Madrid to La Liga title in 1989-90 - has no doubt that Guardiola has decided to end his reign at Barca because he is fatigued.

But Toshack also thinks the 41-year-old took the decision not to renew his one-year rolling contract in order to take up a managerial position abroad once his batteries are recharged.

"The pressures [on a manager] are enormous," reflected Toshack, "even more now than when I was there 22 years ago and 10 years ago. "I'm not totally surprised [he left].

"What he said about the [tiring effect of] Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Friday press conferences - and in fairness he's attended every one; he's never missed a press conference.

"I don't think it's any secret that there is more than one player who may be disappointed him a little bit this year.

"When you are a manager you keep saying the same things to the players and sometimes they get a little bit tired of hearing it over three or four years and it's easier to change one person than to change 15 or 20.

"And, of course, he's genuinely, genuinely tired. I remember years ago lots of managers saying at the end of the season to their president 'that's it, I've had enough' and they said 'no, just go away and think about it for a couple of weeks' and they would come back refreshed and then off they go again.

"But I think in Pep's case it's very, very genuine. I think he's come out of it well and I think, as well, that he's probably itching deep down to have a crack at something abroad, something outside of Spain now."

Credit

Guardiola has led Barcelona to 13 trophies since being appointed in 2008 but his side look set to miss out on this year's La Liga title to Real and failed to make the Champions League final after being beaten by Chelsea.

Despite the disappointments of this season, Toshack said he has nothing but respect for Guardiola - particularly as the outgoing boss has refused to make any excuses for his side's failings.

"They've been fantastic years - there's no question about that.

"People maybe haven't mentioned the fact that David Villa has been missing all season; Pedro has had a lot of bad luck with injury; this should have been Afellay's year.

"That's three big attacking players [missing] which has put an extra pressure on Messi and put extra pressure on Alexis, if you like, in his first season; he's been injured twice as well.

"Barcelona have missed David Villa's 20-25 goals a season - and there were six or seven away games where the odd goal from Villa would probably have made that little bit of a difference.

"Credit to Guardiola - he's never complained about injuries, he's never complained about missing. He's kept the Barcelona philosophy of pushing these young lads through right up until the last minute in big games against Real Madrid and Chelsea."