During his tenure there, outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that there’s a mole in the dressing room that passed juicy gossip along to the media. Following a leak after their loss to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League semifinal that he described as “damaging,” Guardiola has made it known that he has had it, had it, HAD IT with that gottang mole.
The latest scuttlebutt centers around a supposed argument between Guardiola and the club’s medical staff, on whom he blamed lingering fitness issues with players that may or may not have contributed to their exit from Europe. (Gee, haven’t we heard this story before?) The argument apparently nearly got physical as Guardiola accused the physios of taking too long to get his players match-fit, with key members like Arjen Robben struggling with lingering injuries.
When asked about the incident during a press conference earlier today, Guardiola did not deny that it happened but pivoted immediately to the alleged presence of the dressing room mole that has plagued his tenure at Bayern.
Usually what happens inside the dressing room remains inside the dressing room. Whoever has spoken has done it to hit me. But I’m not here next season anyway so it’s not my problem, but Bayern’s. It’s happened plenty of times over these past three years. It’s normal for me to talk to my players and staff and give them my opinion, but there are people here who are talking because they want to hurt me. Maybe this person will still be here next season and clearly they haven’t realised that they are not damaging me, but the club and the team. I won’t be here, so it’s the club’s problem.
We all know the saying, “it’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you.” While Guardiola is clearly overreacting, dressing room moles are a fact of life at football clubs. This tends to be the case where the relationship between the manager and the squad is becoming strained. You can see this with Liverpool in the last year or so of Brendan Rodgers’ reign, or near the end of Roberto Mancini’s tenure at Manchester City, or José Mourinho and… well, pick a team. There could well be a mole in the Bayern dressing room.
Die Roten travel to Ingolstadt tomorrow in the penultimate game of the league season. A win will secure the Bundesliga title. They still have a chance to do a double with a win over Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal Final on the 21st. But with the Champions League exit, Guardiola will be unable to match his predecessor Jupp Heynckes’ achievement in his last season with the club. For that, Guardiola openly mused, he will likely be viewed as a failure. “I’ve done my best here,” said Guardiola. “But if you say that I had to win the Champions League, then I have failed. Go ahead and write that I have failed.”