The future of Manchester City, post-Pep Guardiola

Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final
Manchester City v Manchester United - Emirates FA Cup Final / Marc Atkins/GettyImages


Pep Guardiola's tenure at Manchester City has been nothing short of transformative.

Since his arrival in 2016, he has turned the club into a dominant force in English and European football. Under his management, City has won numerous Premier League titles, domestic cups, and even the coveted UEFA Champions League.

However, with Guardiola's contract set to expire next year, the big question looms: what does the future hold for Manchester City if he leaves? In recent interviews, he has declared that he is closer to leaving the club next year then renewing the contract.

The Guardiola Era: A brief overview

Guardiola's impact on Manchester City is profound. His innovative tactics, high-pressing style, and meticulous attention to detail have redefined the club's playing philosophy.

Key achievements under Guardiola include:

• Multiple Premier League titles, including record-breaking points tallies.

• FA Cup and League Cup triumphs.

• A historic domestic treble in the 2018-2019 season.

• Finally, securing the UEFA Champions League title, fulfilling a long-term ambition for the club.

Beyond the trophies, Guardiola has instilled a culture of excellence and professionalism, elevating the club's status on the global stage.

Potential successors

Replacing a manager of Guardiola's calibre is no easy task. The club's hierarchy, led by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, will need to identify a successor who can continue the club's upward trajectory. Some potential candidates include:

1. Julian Nagelsmann: The young German manager is known for his tactical acumen and innovative approach. His work with RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich has earned him a reputation as one of Europe's brightest managerial talents. He has also done a great job with the German national team.

2. Mauricio Pochettino: His last club was Chelsea where, despite numerous difficulties, he qualified the club for European competitions. Pochettino has Premier League experience and a track record of developing young talent. His philosophy aligns with City's long-term vision.

3. Mikel Arteta: Guardiola's former assistant and current Arsenal manager, Arteta has shown promise in his managerial career. His understanding of City's ethos and Guardiola's methods could make for a seamless transition.

4. Roberto De Zerbi: The new Marseille coach is another potential candidate. His playing style mirrors Guardiola's, and he shares a strong connection with City's footballing philosophy.

Squad dynamics and player evelopment

Guardiola's possible departure will inevitably impact the squad, but Manchester City boasts a wealth of talent and a robust academy system. Key players such as Rodri, Phil Foden, and Ruben Dias will be crucial in maintaining the team's high standards. Additionally, the club's investment in young prospects ensures a pipeline of emerging talent ready to step up.

The new manager will need to integrate these players effectively while possibly making strategic signings to reinforce the squad. Continuity in player development and maintaining the club's competitive edge will be vital.

Tactical evolution

Guardiola's tactical genius has been a hallmark of his tenure. The new manager will likely bring his own tactical ideas, which could lead to an evolution in City's playing style. While the core principles of possession-based football and high pressing are likely to remain, subtle changes in formation and strategy may occur.

For example, Nagelsmann's preference for flexible formations and high-intensity pressing could add a new dimension to City's game. Pochettino's focus on dynamic attacking play and solid defensive organization might also provide a fresh approach. De Zerbi's philosophy could add something new to the team.

Financial stability and ambitions

Manchester City's financial strength and ambitious ownership ensure the club will remain competitive at the highest level. The City Football Group's global network provides additional resources and scouting capabilities. The club's commitment to investing in top talent and infrastructure, such as the state-of-the-art Etihad Campus, positions them well for sustained success.

The post-Guardiola era will likely see continued investment in marquee signings, coupled with the integration of academy graduates. The club's long-term vision remains focused on domestic and European dominance.

Fan expectations and legacy

Guardiola's legacy at Manchester City is secure, but expectations will be high for his successor. The fans have grown accustomed to a high standard of football and consistent success. Maintaining this level will be a significant challenge for any new manager.

Engaging with the fanbase and ensuring they remain connected to the club's vision will be essential. Transparent communication and a clear commitment to the club's values will help manage expectations during the transition period.


The possible departure of Pep Guardiola will mark the end of a remarkable chapter in Manchester City's history.

However, the club's strong foundations, ambitious leadership, and talented squad ensure a bright future. Identifying the right successor, maintaining tactical excellence, and continuing to invest in top talent will be crucial in sustaining the club's success.


While Guardiola's shoes are big to fill, Manchester City is well-positioned to navigate this transition and continue its journey as one of the world's premier football clubs. The future may hold new challenges, but with careful planning and strategic vision, the sky remains the limit for the Sky Blues.