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Pep Guardiola is not going anywhere anytime soon

The media has ran with some Pep Guardiola quotes this week. The reality is Pep Guardiola isn't going anywhere.

Alexander Hassenstein

What happens when Pep Guardiola makes comments about leaving Bayern Munich? Oh that's right, the universe explodes in a fiery nova storm of clickables and text bites that consume us all.

"I tell myself 'Pep, calm down'. You are here to work as well as possible, and my best talent is work, work, work. I am here to help the club, and if the club do not want me, a handshake and no problem for me."

Of course, that's just the cherrypicked quote being swirled around by every sports news and pseudo-sports news site worldwide because it's the most sensational. What did Guardiola continue on to say after that?

"It's the same at all big clubs. You can't imagine what it was like at Barcelona when we didn't win. It's the same at Milan, Real Madrid, too. It didn't surprise me. I knew at my first press conference at the Allianz Arena that winning was the only option. I'm just here to help the players. I can't always win - sorry, I'm not God. Losing against Dortmund made me realise how important the league is and how important games against are. I realised how painful the defeat was for the fans. When we are dominant, we play well and have a good structure. The opponent finds it difficult to counter, especially as I have very good defenders in my team. However, we have conceded too many goals lately and we must return as soon as possible to our usual game."

Oh, well, that's quite a bit different. So, Mr. Guardiola, you're saying results matter in a multi-billion dollar business? I'm shocked. Here I thought this was fairyland and we all rode unicorns on rainbows. Pep Guardiola knows results matter; and he knows that right now Bayern Munich are not up to snuff. He knows the issues with conceeding too many goals to sides like Borussia Dortmund and making sure this team has its head screwed on right and takes matches seriously.

Yet after a lackluster 5-1 thrashing of FC Kaiserslautern on Wednesday, Matthias Sammer was rightly a little perturbed with the team.

"We're delighted to be in the final, but I'm not happy with how we're playing. There are too many lapses in concentration and not much by way of a group dynamic. I think we're being too positive and too nice to each other. We need a little more fire and also the courage to speak out and talk about these things. If things stay as they are it'll be tough collecting another trophy. But if we can get back to playing as we did before wrapping up the league we're capable of winning everything."

His words are just as much of an indictment of the players response to winning the Bundesliga in March as it is of Pep Guardiola's coaching lately. And rightly so. Two straight extremely lackadaisical Bundesliga performances resulting in 6 dropped points, and a struggle past Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, and to top it off, a sub-par performance against Kaiserslautern. It makes Bayern Munich's form extremely worrying heading into next week's clash against Real Madrid.

But this is Matthias Sammer's job as the club's technical director. He controls the direction of the club's on field product. When it's not up to par with his expectations, everyone will know it.

With all that information at hand, where does that leave us? A coach who knows his performances aren't up to snuff. An unhappy technical director. And then you have us; the worried Bayern Munich fans. Anyone who's not playing mental connect the dots between now and the spring of 2011 is deluding themselves. You'd have to be mad not to make that connection even at a cursory level.

Ultimately what makes this so much different then that historical scenario are the people involved and the success Bayern Munich have already achieved.

Christian Nerlinger was cocky. Van Gaal was a wave maker who couldn't control his dressing room. In many ways, it was a relationship born to fail. And thus the team failed.

Fast forward three years. Matthias Sammer is fiery and in your face, yet controlled. Pep Guardiola is the definition of control, yet demands players deliver the impossible. And they are on the same page. Both men agree that the performances are not good enough. Yet where Van Gaal couldn't deliver, Guardiola can. He's already shown he can deliver. Until Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga, they were sweeping aside oppositions on their path to the salad bowl. Look at their results on the road to that pinnacle. From the start of the Ruckründe through March the 8th, Bayern Munich scored 35 goals in the Bundesliga. They allowed 3. They had nearly a 30 point lead on the second place opponent.  And these weren't all featherweights. A 5-1 smashing of Schalke 04. A 6-1 annihilation of VfL Wolfsburg. These are teams that will most likely be joining them in the Champions League next year.

If Bayern Munich go out with a whimper to Real Madrid, people will question Guardiola. Yet even when those questions get asked, the answer will be Pep Guardiola has already shown the capacity to learn from his mistakes and take the next step. The tactical intransigence that hobbled him at Barcelona has not shown itself at Bayern Munich.

If Bayern Munich go out in a blaze of glory, no one will question Guardiola. It'll be a loss because Real Madrid are also an exceptional side.

Even if you're want to be like Franz Beckenbauer, huffer and puffer extraordinaire that he is, and proclaim this team "unwatchable", it won't matter. Because results matter and Guardiola has already delivered in record time.

Win or lose against Real Madrid, Pep Guardiola isn't going anywhere. And if Bayern Munich make their third Champions League final in a row, I think we can all agree, this season is a success.

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