When the Spanish manager succeeded Manuel Pellegrini as City manager last summer, it marked the dawn of an exciting new chapter in the club’s history, and most bookies had the Citizens as favourites to win the title.
In stark contrast, however, City have failed to win any silverware in Guardiola’s debut season, and are not yet guaranteed a top-four Premier League finish with two games to play.
In the pre-match press conference ahead of the crucial clash against West Brom, Guardiola admitted that he would have been sacked if he had managed a bigger club than Manchester City.
“In my situation at a big club: I’m sacked. I’m out. Sure. Definitely,” he said when asked if he felt his job was under pressure after a season of relative underachievement.
“At clubs like Barcelona or Bayern Munich if you do not win you are really out – there you have to win by far. If not, they do not give you a second chance. Here, they have given me a second chance and we will try to do it, and we will try to do better than this season.
“One team was better – Chelsea – so congratulations to them as they deserve by far to win the league. And the second team – Tottenham – played outstanding football again [on Sunday], so the way they play… chapeau. The others we are there, in this moment it’s in our hands to finish third but we are there.”
Guardiola led Barcelona to 14 trophies in four years, including three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues between 2008 and 2012. Even at Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons, and also won the German cup twice in that period.
But he will finish his first season in England without any silverware, and his side faces West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, where they absolutely need to avoid defeat to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Written by Pragadeesh Shanmugam