Pep Guardiola acted a bit of a dickhead after his side’s brilliant victory over Southampton on Wednesday evening.
There, it’s been said. And do you know what? Nothing bad happened as a direct consequence. No puppies immediately dropped dead as some kind of justice balancing. There wasn’t any extra evil brought into our cruel world, and Pep himself hasn’t grimaced as if a knife has been thrust into a voodoo doll and twisted a bit.
It’s not the first time Pep has shared his inner dickhead recently. His October comments about the Carabao Cup ball were another example of his emotions leading to a strop, reminiscent of the grass crusade he went on whilst at Barcelona.
This is not to say that Pep is a dickhead, people can have varying opinions on that, and they do, oh they do. We all have our strops and do things that are frankly silly and driven by temper or other emotions, or even something as everyday as being hangry, it’s a battle we sometimes win and often lose.
And that’s ok. It’s ok to be a dickhead sometimes, and it’s ok to point out it happening in others, especially when millions see it right before their eyes.
Manchester City’s manager has his quirks, and some of them are brilliant, heartwarming even. Take one we covered at Sport Witness this morning.
Assuming Mundo Deportivo are spot on, their reasoning for rubbishing rumours of a Pep renewal at City is brilliant: ‘No matter how good things are, no matter how much interest the club has, he doesn’t want to prolong until he raises a trophy with City.
‘Guardiola, who is one of those who preach by example, couldn’t demand everything of his players if he, with unmistakable gestures like this, did not demand it of himself.’
Great isn’t it.
Then yesterday we covered comments from a Manchester City scout in Brazil: “In the first season, Pep gathered all the scouts and said what he expected for each position.”
The scout in question elaborated, but he didn’t need to, because the image immediately came to mind of Pep obsessively detailing, with infectious enthusiasm, what he wants. And that enthusiasm growing throughout the club and helping to create a culture which demands the best.
Again, great isn’t it.
But what happened with Nathan Redmond wasn’t great. It was entertaining, so it’s good in that sense, but it was dickhead behaviour.
Guardiola’s explanation of simply telling Redmond he’s a really good player, and elaborating Southampton have other really good players, so should therefore play in a style more suited to Pep’s philosophy, may be what happened or not, but it doesn’t change the view of it.
This was all about Pep and less about Redmond. It could have been said in the tunnel, it could have been said later, it could have been said to Mauricio Pellegrino after the match, showing respect for the opposition manager and not ranting at his players in public, or it could not have been said at all.
Guardiola could have kept the outburst in, he could have stopped his inner dickhead escaping, but failed. He’s failed before, and he’ll fail again.
Redmond’s future reaction piles unnecessary glare and pressure on the player. The 23 year old may back up Pep’s story, regardless of whether it’s the truth, but he shouldn’t have to be doing anything.
Any suggestion of a problem between Redmond and Guardiola and the Southampton player will almost certainly come off worse. Again, completely regardless of the initial reasoning or intention.
A public war of words is to be avoided by Redmond unless he wants to hear chants like ‘Pep was right, Redmond’s shite’, if it goes one way, or ‘Pep was right, Saints are shite’ if it goes the other.
It’s not taking things too far to say, depending on what happens from here, a grudge could build up ahead of future ties and even become something of a brand on Redmond and/or his Pep displeasing manager Pellegrino.
And who wants all that extra aggro and drama? WE ALL DO. No, seriously, it’s not what the player or his manager will want. This whole event isn’t.
So what happens from here? Well, nothing needs to really. Pep may give his fellow manager a call and smooth things over, admit some fault, and be done with it.
However, the level to which football punishment has been taken perhaps dictates ‘something’ has to happen. Because comparisons.
That’s a headache for the authorities of their own (albeit assisted by fans and the media) making, and meanwhile, Pep’s army rushes around social media trying to dispel the ‘haters’.
It’s just part of his character, he’s unique, it’s passion. Ok, fine, as explained previously, we all have our inner dickhead, but when that escapes from the box, let’s not pretend it’s anything else.
If you don’t get what Pep did, you don’t get Pep, no wonder this country is miles behind in football. Ah, the old you’re a football philistine no-argument, these days sometimes laced with an insinuation of voting Brexit.
Nothing happened, don’t be such a snowflake. From the Pep disciples who have spent the past 12 hours trying to put out fires on social media and would, perhaps literally, soil their pants if another manager did similar.
Of course, you’re completely free to believe Pep’s strop was all dandy. And, of course, should any manager you happen to like less do similar in future, then it will be devoid of even a sniff of dickheadedness because the great one went first.
Meanwhile, back in reality, it’s ok to admit Guardiola acted a bit of dickhead, no puppies die, it doesn’t make you a football philistine, and it’s not even a slight on the man.
We all do it, geniuses included.