So Pep Guardiola, the 45 year old managerial galactico, has landed in Manchester, having eschewed the WAG wonders of Prestbury, Alderley Edge and Wilmslow and opted for city centre living in Old Trafford territory, Salford.
He’s a multi millionaire – he could have chosen anywhere – but he’s picked cosmopolitan city centre living.
I applaud him.
Perhaps, too, there’s a cunning logic to his move – like Tevez before him, Guardiola will be perfectly placed perhaps to take over in his catchment stadium, at Old Trafford, when Mourinho, inevitably, implodes.
I can really see where Pep is coming from in his choice of home location.
City centre living, particularly in somewhere as vibrant (I avoided buzzing – just) as Salford or Manchester would be incredibly appealing – more so than the bijou boutique charms of those salubrious Cheshire towns, I think, don’t you?
Pep will be able to enjoy the glorious Manchester skyscape from his lofty penthouse apartment without the roar of the A34 or the fear of being upstaged by fellow millionaires in Alderley Edge.
At a time when cities are apparently seeing depopulation to rural areas and suburbia, it’s gratifying to see a celebrity flying the flag for a city (or two cities).
Did you know too that, unlike London or Birmingham or Leeds or Sheffield, all cities seeing outward drift, Manchester is growing?
You do now.
It’s not hard to see why.
I was reminded recently of the IRA bombing which I’d forgotten about until friends, Anne and Charlie, told me it occurred on the exact same day as I got my brand new Fiesta. I’ve no idea why I couldn’t remember that milestone in my life.
Apparently that day I went into Manchester from Oldham, and these friends of mine remarked on hearing the explosion that “Stuart’s new car has blown up.”
90’s banter – yes it existed back then.
We went back to Manchester last year and I wrote about it at length – it has been utterly transformed – for the better – as a city.
The Northern Quarter was a marvel and unrecognisable from the derelict abandonment that it was in the 1980s.
It’s become a shrine to fine eateries, independent bars and all things hipster.
Likewise the rest of the metropolis of Manchester – what a remarkable city it had become in the 20 years since I left there.
You know what too?
You may or may not agree.
If I had the chance, the money, the wealth of Pep Guardiola, I would choose the city centre of Salford Quays or Manchester, above Cheshire life.
I think Manchester and Salford have got the Pep talk they thoroughly deserve.