Barcelona's coach Guardiola gestures during their Champions League soccer semi-final against Chelsea in Barcelona

Pep Guardiola speaks, says England’s in his future, doesn’t use the word ‘next’

2 Comments

The Philosopher is spending some of his sabbatical time in England attending a coaching seminar at St. George’s Park, a visit that gives former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola ample time to tease flounder too farsighted to see the hook. Had they learned their lessons they’d know this is the same morsel they’ve been teased with since Guardiola’s first coaching successes.

The 41-year-old has always spoke highly of the prospect of coaching in England. Some have even called him a bit of an Anglophile. News of him reinforcing those feelings while in England and speaking to English press isn’t worth the imaginary ink with which it’s printed.

MORE: Guardiola to return with Bayern Munich

Here’s a good rule of thumb, one I used to enforce on staff while running sites: When considering whether a story is news, think about the exact opposite report. If that story would be bigger news, then you probably don’t have anything worth writing up. (Of course, the contradiction here is that I’m writing about this).

Alas, here is what Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s life partner had to say yesterday:

“As a player, I couldn’t realise my dream to play there [in England]. But I hope in the future I have a challenge to be a coach or a manager there and feel the experience of all the coaches and players that have been there. It is unique, to play in that league. I want to feel the supporters, the environment, the media and the style of the players and everything.

Oh my God! He’s totally going to Chelsea!

Maybe. In reality, there really isn’t much here. Even if we didn’t already know Guardiola’s Anglophilic leanings, this would read as a polite man speaking well of his hosts but with the biases of somebody trying to avoid offense. That we know these comments reflect his actual feelings makes them more than lip service. But it doesn’t make them news.

And he never uses the word ‘next’ (in fact, as I edit this, news out of German threatens to make all of this irrelevant). He doesn’t say ‘England will be my next stop’ or ‘I hope to come here next.’ He just says he likes the place. Calm down.

So consider this more commentary on media than an update on Guardiola, which means I still have work to do. Later today, we’ll circle back and talk about where the two-time Champions League-winning coach is likely to land this summer.

Southampton: Van Dijk won’t leave, selling days likely done

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Ralph Krueger the Southampton Chairman looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Newcastle United at St Mary's Stadium on March 29, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ralph Krueger doesn’t plan on selling any more big Southampton stars, and there’s none brighter than Virgil Van Dijk.

The Dutchman is perhaps the best center back in the Premier League, regularly linked with transfers to anywhere from Manchester City to Liverpool.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]

But Krueger says Saints have had enough of selling big assets. Southampton has sold Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Sadio Mane, and Nathaniel Clyne in the past three seasons, and those are just the names to go to Liverpool. Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama have also moved on from St. Mary’s.

From Sky Sports:

“We would like to move away from that and we feel confident this summer will be a lot quieter in Southampton and we can keep the core of this team moving forward for a few years.

“That is going to be important when you see how excellent the group is right now and how exciting the football is. The game we are playing is a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to be part of.”

Saints were the more effective side in a 3-2 EFL Cup Final loss to Manchester United this weekend, but are well off the pace in the race to make back-to-back trips into Europe.

It will be hard to hold onto Van Dijk and even new bright light Manolo Gabbiadini without Europe, but Krueger is a strong leader with the ability to convince almost anyone to buy into a plan.

Real Salt Lake signs Plata to multi-year DP deal

Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (8) gestures while walking during an MLS soccer game against New York City FC Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Sandy, Utah. (Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUT
Leah Hogsten/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
Leave a comment

SANDY, Utah (AP) Real Salt Lake has re-signed forward Joao Plata to a multi-year contract and he will continue to hold a designated-player spot.

The 24-year-old was acquired from Toronto FC before the 2013 season and he has 30 goals and 30 assists in regular-season play with RSL.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

Plata ranks No. 3 on the team’s all-time assists list and No. 5 in goals. He has 33 goals and 35 assists during his MLS career.

Real Salt Lake begins the season Saturday when it hosts Toronto FC.

Gotze out indefinitely with metabolism disorder

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 06:  Mario Goetze (R) and Ann-Kathrin Broemmel attend the MTV Europe Music Awards 2016 on November 6, 2016 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV)
Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for MTV
Leave a comment

Mario Gotze’s last few seasons have not fulfilled the expectations thrust about the World Cup-winning attacker.

Gotze, 24, scored the 113th minute goal that lifted Germany past Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, but has endured successive disappointing seasons between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

[ MORE: Liverpool hires new CEO ]

With just two goals this season, Gotze has played just 24 minutes since BVB came back from winter break. On Monday, the club revealed why: a metabolism disorder that will keep him out for an indefinite period of time. From Sky Sports:

“We are glad to know the reasons for Mario’s complaints and we are convinced that after recovering he will give us extra quality with his exceptional abilities,” said Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc.

“Mario gets the full backing and maximum support from all of us at Borussia Dortmund on his way back.”

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Gotze at his best, and here’s hoping this problem is both curable and the reason for his struggles.

Liverpool hires EA Sports executive as new CEO

Leave a comment

Liverpool has named Peter Moore as the successor to chief executive office Ian Ayre.

Ayre, 53, is off to 1860 Munich this summer, and has stepped down early to allow Moore to take over.

[ MORE: Liverpool flops vs LCFC ]

A Liverpool-born executive, Moore was the chief operating officer at EA Sports and has also worked with Microsoft and SEGA.

The move “completes a transitional phase” which saw several new names join the fray. From The Liverpool Echo:

The appointment completes a transition plan by FSG which included appointing Michael Edwards as sporting director while Billy Hogan was promoted to the role of managing director and chief commercial officer.