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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:39 pm 
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FACT not feelings

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... y-12853590

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Roman Abramovich demands titles.

The Premier League or the Champions League - he’s not fussy.

Anything less and it’s a P45 and a rather handsome severance cheque.

Say what you like about the fickle Chelsea owner - but it’s a successful formula.

He’s on the verge of winning his fifth Premier League title in 12 years, despite dismissing Champions League and World Cup-winning coaches for fun.

Any manager taking up the reins at Stamford Bridge knows exactly what they are signing up for.

Abramovich showed the door to Chelsea’s greatest-ever manager in Jose Mourinho, not once - but twice.


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Carlo Ancelotti received notification that his services were no longer required just 12 months after delivering the double in his first season in charge.

Mourinho is the only manager to survive failing to win one of the big two prizes in a season.

He did it twice.

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First in 2007 when he ‘only’ won the FA Cup - but was gone little over a month into the following campaign.

And then in his second-coming in 2014 - though he would go on to win the title a year later.

Even then, he was sacked four months into the defence of what was his third Premier League crown for a club that had been champions just once before he first walked through the door in 2004.

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Perhaps it was Guardiola’s knowledge of Abramovich’s trigger-happy approach that convinced him to resist the Russian’s heavy courtship in 2012.

Abramovich - like Manchester City's Abu Dhabi owners - had visions of Guardiola building Chelsea in his own image.

Of recreating his glorious Barcelona team in West London.

It is claimed the negotiation process reached the point of Guardiola demanding 100 players to work with.

Ultimately, however, the lure of Bayern Munich proved too much to resist.

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It is easy to romanticise about Guardiola - his commitment to the beautiful game and easy-going charm.

But he is a savvy operator, too, with a steely determination to succeed.

The most powerful team in Germany was a good platform to enhance his reputation after his all-conquering reign at the Nou Camp.

A far more attractive prospect than risking his legacy on Chelsea - working under an owner with no compunction about dismissing the most celebrated of names.

Likewise his decision to answer City’s call after they spent four years trying to entice him.

READ MORE
Pep Guardiola reacts to Chelsea defeat

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Two of his closest friends in football in Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain had already been installed in influential roles.

City - for all of their success in the era of Sheikh Mansour - were a club that Guardiola could mould with the luxury of time, incredible financial backing and state-of-the-art facilities.

They may be in a hurry to topple Europe’s traditional elite - but there is no sense of Guardiola being under pressure despite what is shaping up to be arguably their most disappointing campaign since Roberto Mancini transformed them into a trophy-winning club in 2011.

Guardiola joked this week that he was destined to fail - such were the expectations placed on him.

But failure to mount a credible title challenge falls short of even the most modest of projections for his first year in English football.

The FA Cup and a top four finish is now a bare minimum requirement.

Abramovich would not tolerate it - but Mansour has already given Guardiola the green light to spend lavishly again in the transfer window and continue the overhaul of his squad, following an outlay of around £170m last summer.

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Three quarters of his defence will be changed.

A new striker may be added too as Guardiola seeks to drastically improve the quality in both boxes.

He will be afforded time and money because City are convinced he can replicate his success at Barca and Bayern.

Just as Johan Cruyff’s fingerprints are all over the Nou Camp, they hope Guardiola can leave a lasting impression at the Etihad.

From the appointments of Soriano and Begiristain - and even Manuel Pellegrini - City have been building towards the Guardiola era

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The Catalan is expected to carry them over the line - his impact to spread from the first team, right through the academy, creating a ‘City way’ that last long after his departure.

If they are right, it could be spectacular.

But not necessarily more successful as the ‘Abramovich way.’

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