By, Kyle Gibson
Normally, refusing to shake a manager’s hand is an Arsene Wenger move. Wednesday night, however, it became a Pep Guardiola move.
Guardiola, the Bayern Munich coach, was spotted on the sideline loudly arguing in MLS All Star coach Caleb Porter’s direction in the 2-1 MLS win in Portland.
Guardiola was apparently upset with what he thought was a string of hard fouls on his team.
After the match, Guardiola would not shake Porter’s hand, waving him away with this index finger.
In some ways, I can see where Pep is coming from, especially with the players he brought on. Most World Cup stars that play for Bayern entered the game and some of the harsh fouls occurred after those players (Lahm, Gotze,Boateng etc.) checked in.
For Bayern, this match was a way to increase US exposure. Nothing more. Nothing less. You don’t want to see your star players go down in a preseason friendly.
However, it is important to keep in mind that Guardiola is under enormous pressure at Bayern, after falling off the rails late last season. Even though he brought home silverware, that’s not enough at a club like that. It will not look good to Guardiola’s bosses that he handled himself in this manner, especially since Bayern Munich is making American growth a big focus for its brand.
To throw a fit on the sidelines is ridiculous. He could simply have handled the issue by maybe casually demonstrating to Porter, but he went for the dramatics instead. I could not be more shocked by this reaction from Guardiola. A man who normally handles himself with class and grace coughed it up big time.
It is part of Bayern Munich’s global strategy to gain supporters in the United States. Because of its manager’s reaction, that strategy has probably taken a temporary blow on a night that could have been huge.