Pep Guardiola suspended from today’s FA cup finals against Man Utd for a very minor offense as his inexperienced assistant will be in charge 

Pep Guardiola suspended from today’s FA cup finals against Man Utd for a very minor offense as his inexperienced assistant will be in charge 




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Leagues & Cups




Guardiola: Ten Hag at risk if Man United lose FA Cup final


Guardiola: Ten Hag has suffered a lot with injuries (1:33)


Rob Dawson, Correspondent




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Pep Guardiola said on Friday that Erik ten Hag that he could be “in trouble” if Manchester United do not win the FA Cup final.


The Manchester City boss, who will line up against Ten Hag at Wembley on Saturday, sympathises with the Dutchman’s injuries problems this season. But Guardiola insists that managers of clubs like United, who have had a miserable season, are always vulnerable when the team is not successful.




– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)


“In big clubs like United or City, when you don’t win, always you are in trouble,” Guardiola told a news conference.


“I would be in trouble if we didn’t win. He has done many good things, I have huge respect for his job in the past and now at United.”


Ten Hag’s future as United boss is in doubt, even if he wins the FA Cup on Saturday. Sources have told ESPN that the club are assessing other candidates including Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Frank and Kieran McKenna after a season which has seen United finish eighth in the Premier League and miss out on a place in the Champions League.



Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United lost 2-1 to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the FA Cup final last season. Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Ten Hag has blamed a lot of his problems on injuries which have decimated his squad and Guardiola insists the most pressing issue for United is to work out why they have had so many issues.


“I completely agree when I listen to him [Ten Hag] when he says they have not had a full squad this season and had a lot of injuries,” Guardiola said.




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“I think this is the most important thing they have to think about because I am always focused that we have to be fit, fit, fit. Otherwise we cannot use the players.


“They had a lot of problems and when that happens the manager suffers a lot. The squad is really good but the problem is when you cannot use them. This is a big disadvantage.”


City finished a mammoth 31 points ahead of United in the league and beat Ten Hag’s team at the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford on their way to a record fourth successive title.


They also beat United 2-1 in last season’s FA Cup final but Guardiola has warned his players not to take their Manchester rivals lightly.


“We respect United a lot,” he said. “Always it has been like that. In the last decade we have been better but in terms of history they are the best team in England so you have to respect them massively.”


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Barcelona sack Xavi; Hansi Flick ‘on course’ to replace him


Are Barcelona looking for a ‘fresh start’ by sacking Xavi? (2:48)

Sam Marsden

Moises Llorens

May 24, 2024, 10:45 AM



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Xavi Hernández will leave his role as Barcelona coach after Sunday’s final game of the season, the club said in a statement Friday.


A source told ESPN that former Bayern Munich and Germany coach Hansi Flick is “on course” to replace him.


– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)


Barcelona president Joan Laporta met with Xavi after Friday’s training session to confirm the club’s decision on a change of direction.


The move comes just one month after Xavi and Laporta announced in a joint news conference that the Catalan coach would fulfil his contract, which runs until 2025, despite having previously planned to step down this summer.


“Barcelona president Joan Laporta has communicated to Xavi Hernández that he will not continue as coach for the 2024-25 season,” Barcelona said in a statement.


“The meeting took place at the training ground in the presence of vice president Rafa Yuste, sporting directors Deco and Xavi’s assistants, Óscar Hernández and Sergio Alegre.


“Barcelona want to thank Xavi for his work as coach, which adds to his unmatchable career as a player and the captain of the first team, and wish him all the best in the future.


“Xavi will take charge of Sunday’s game against Sevilla in what will be his final match as coach.


“In the coming days, Barcelona will reveal the new coaching structure for the first team staff.”



Xavi Hernández was appointed as Barcelona coach in 2021, but is now set to leave the club he made more than 700 appearances for as a player. Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images

Flick, 59, has been out of work since leaving the Germany job in 2023 but has impressed the Barça hierarchy in talks, with ESPN reporting this week he had emerged as the leading candidate to replace Xavi.


Barça B team coach Rafa Márquez and outgoing Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel were also considered, but a source said negotiations with Flick’s camp were now advanced.




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Xavi announced in January he would step down at the end of the season, although he performed a U-turn in April, revealing he would stay and fulfil his contract. That decision was reached after a meeting with Laporta, but the Barça president has since changed his mind and decided to seek a change of direction.


Laporta was annoyed by remarks made by Xavi last week about the financial difficulties facing the club in the transfer market, although sources added the president has never been fully convinced by the former Spain international.


Sources repeatedly told ESPN this week that Xavi and his staff had not received any official information about his future, although they had suspected for a while that they were living out their last days at Barça.


It remains to be seen how Xavi will part ways with the club. He was previously willing to forgo the final year of his contract, but given the change in circumstances, sources have neither confirmed nor denied whether he will ask to be paid for the remaining year of his contract.


Xavi, who made over 700 appearances for Barça as a player, took over in 2021 and last season led the Blaugrana to a first LaLiga title since 2019.


“It is never easy to leave the club of your life, but I am very proud after two and a half years at the head of a dressing room that has been like a second family,” Xavi said in a post on social media.


“From Sunday I will be another fan in the stands… Because before being a player or a coach I am a Barcelona fan and I only want the best for the club in my life, which will always have me at its disposal.


“This season things have not gone our way, but we have let it go and helped to grow a new generation of young footballers from La Masia who inspire all Barcelona fans… I wish the best for the club that I hold dear to my heart.”


Meanwhile, Flick has long been admired by Laporta. In May 2021, ESPN revealed that Barça contacted Flick’s camp to find out his availability but the then-Bayern coach had already committed to the Germany national team and the club therefore decided to keep Ronald Koeman.


The situation is different this time, with Flick out of work since being sacked by Germany in September 2023. Before managing Germany, Flick led Bayern to a Treble in 2020, beating Barça 8-2 en route to winning the Champions League.


A large part of his coaching career was previously spent working as assistant to Joachim Löw with the German national team, a role he

held when Germany won the World Cup in 2014.


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