By Biola Kazeem (@biolakazeem)
Alexis Sanchez’s clear rejection of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United represents, for those who worship at the feet at Pep Guardiola, another opportunity to roll out a boring, defensive and comically illogical trope that Pep’s rejection can only be money-induced.
According to these worshippers, only two choices lie before every player Manchester City seek to sign: join Pep ‘the Genius’ Guardiola to learn the
rudiments of football (including how to pass) or go elsewhere in a sole pursuit of cash because apparently, only the Genius knows how to improve players or teach tactics.
How else could Alexis Sanchez turn down a giant club like Manchester City for an average, no-history club like Manchester United managed by a certain Portuguese named Jose Mourinho who has no clue what it means to play the game, let alone win trophies?
Football philosophy is all that matters at Manchester City, nothing else apparently.
In fact, when the club approached the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, John
Stones, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo, Leroy Sane, etc for their signature, all it took to get these players was just a power-point presentation of Pep Guardiola smiling and beckoning at them to come and learn tactics. The over £400M spent in the process was for transportation and other logistics.
In the same vein, the cross-over of Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano to Manchester City as Sporting Director and Vice President respectively only happened to coincide with the takeover of the club by Arab billionaires with obvious plenty of cash to splash. They have always admired Manchester City right from the 60s when they were the dominant club in England, putting the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United to shame.
Having had to exit Bayern Munich after three seasons of failing to win the
Champions League, Pep Guardiola himself joined Manchester City because of
the might of the club; its rich history, cabinet full of laurels and shining glory. The £15.3 million annual salary he negotiated for himself, a figure which makes him the highest paid football manager in the world, could be for legal representation or charity.
The foolishness of the ‘money’ trope and the attempt to demean other clubs and managers in the glorification of Pep Guardiola can be seen in the obvious fact that the club he manages has spent more money on players than any other in a league of twenty clubs. In fact, in the whole of Europe, only PSG can be said to match Manchester City in terms of financial strength and willingness to break set-boundaries in pursuit of a player.
If the allure of playing for him is all that matters in securing the signature of players, how come Manchester City have had to spend so much on transfers and salaries since he arrived?
Except for hypocrites who bend facts to justify the hero-worship of a man whose success is hardly far-fetched given that he has managed clubs awash with talent and money, it is clear to dispassionate observers that money has always been the deciding factor for Manchester City since the purchase of the club by Sheikh Mansour. Having not much to as much as history and success go, the strategy has always been to outbid other clubs, both in
transfer fee and other added player benefits.
Manchester United, on the other hand, can recall years of domestic dominance and international triumph, global followership and recognition that is the envy of most clubs, including Manchester City who are struggling to fill the new Etihad every match day.
Maybe, just maybe, Alexis Sanchez considered all of that and made his decision. Deal with it.
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