Manchester City have announced that manager Pep Guardiola has signed a contract extension keeping him at the club until 2021.
Guardiola, who joined City in the summer of 2016, has now committed his future to the English Premier League champions for the next three seasons.
This season has seen his team win the Premier League and Carabao Cup in record-breaking fashion. City became the first team of the Premier League era to earn the ‘Centurions’ tag, after registering 100 points with a thrilling 1-0 win at Southampton on Sunday.
During the course of an historic campaign, Guardiola’s Blues also set records for consecutive wins (18), total games won (32) and goal difference (+79), earning praise from many observers for their beautiful football philosophy. City also recorded the most goals scored (106), most passes in an individual game (1,015) and the biggest ever winning margin of any previous champions (19 points).
Having lifted both the Premier League trophy and Carabao Cup in his second season with the Club, Guardiola will now look to continue his success over the coming three campaigns on both the domestic and European stages.
He was rewarded for his efforts by landing both the Premier League and League Managers Association Manager of the Year awards at the LMA awards dinner on Tuesday evening.
“I am so happy and excited. It’s a pleasure to be able to work here,” Guardiola said.
“I enjoy working with our players every day and we will try to do our best together in the coming years. As a manager, you have to feel good to be with the players – and I feel good.
“I will focus on the desire of my players to become a better team and every day that’s what I will try to do – to improve on the pitch and improve our players. We have a young squad with an average age of 23 and we want to keep taking steps forward and maintain the levels we’ve achieved this season.”
City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak went onto say: “We are delighted to announce the extension of Pep’s contract through to 2021. In his two seasons with us, he has fostered an incredible spirit within the squad and significantly contributed to our progress both on and off the field. In doing so he has embodied the passion and commitment we all have for the Club.
“I am very much looking forward to the continued impact of his work and to fulfilling our shared ambitions in the coming seasons.”
Chief Executive Officer, Ferran Soriano, added: “Pep’s contract extension is fantastic news for Manchester City. We have all been privileged to witness how we have played beautiful football, won titles, broken records and reached the incredible mark of 100 Premier League points. Pep has shown this style can succeed in the Premier League in a way it has never been done before.
“This season has been another step of our strategic plan and the continuous effort to improve the football we play. We are very pleased with the progress. There is more work to do and having Pep committed to Manchester City for the next three seasons gives us the stability to be able to continue our journey to beautiful football and success for the Club.”
While the nation’s footballing thoughts were focused on England’s World Cup squad announcement, Everton and West Ham were embarking on searches to fill their respective hot-seats – the 12th and 13th managerial changes since the start of the top-flight campaign.
Crystal Palace sacked Frank de Boer just four games into the season and his reign and Craig Shakespeare and Ronald Koeman left Leicester and Everton respectively in October.
West Ham appointed Moyes to replace Slaven Bilic, West Brom sacked Tony Pulis and Swansea dismissed Paul Clement before Christmas.
January saw Mark Hughes and Marco Silva leave Stoke and Watford respectively, Mauricio Pellegrino left Southampton in March and the following month, Alan Pardew became the second West Brom boss sacked.
Arsene Wenger finally called time on his 22-year Arsenal reign at the season’s end before Allardyce and Moyes followed.
Uncertainty still surrounds the likes of Chelsea’s Antonio Conte and Swansea’s Carlos Carvalhal but, defining a season as the period from August 1 one year to May 31 the next, the tally already equals the record set in 2013-14 after a similar end-of-season flurry.
That campaign saw Manchester United and Norwich part company with Moyes and Chris Hughton respectively in April before at the end of the season, Pepe Mel left West Brom and Tottenham sacked Tim Sherwood before luring Mauricio Pochettino from Southampton to replace him.
It was Tottenham’s second change of the season after Sherwood had replaced Andre Villas-Boas in December, with Fulham also changing twice and Sunderland, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Cardiff and Swansea contributing to the total as well.
The 2015-16 season, when Aston Villa sacked Sherwood and Remi Garde, also finished with a bang. Everton’s Roberto Martinez, Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal, Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini, Watford’s Quique Sanchez Flores and Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink all left their posts in May, some having been announced beforehand, to take the season’s total to 12.
The 2008-09 season, which featured another short-term assignment for Hiddink at Stamford Bridge, and the final season of a 22-team Premier League in 1994-95 each saw 11 managers fall.
Since Wenger announced he was to step down after 22 years on the job last month, experienced managers from Juventus boss Max Allegri to young bucks such as the recently retired Arteta have been heavily linked.
Below, we whittle down the shortlist to five – and surely one will be in the Emirates dugout come August.