5 reasons why Jose Mourinho has the edge over Pep Guardiola
It may have come a season later than expected, but early indications are that it will be worth the wait. Manchester United and Manchester City are currently tied at the top of the English Premier League, and not only does this title challenge divide a city, but it rekindles the rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.
Not since Real Madrid and Barcelona were slogging it out for La Liga bragging rights five years ago have pair found themselves head-to-head, and their experience and history only adds to the sense of excitement and anticipation over what is to unfold over the course of the next eight months. There is respect between both managers, but also a fierce rivalry and competition, and neither has the character to accept second place in this particular battle.
But while the pundits were swooning over Guardiola's Manchester City and their free-flowing perfect football last weekend, there is a solid resilience and determination in Mourinho's Manchester United side that suggests they are more suited for the varying challenges of the English Premier League. Both managers have invested heavily in their teams, and it is clear that neither is willing to fall behind the other.
Both managers have had a full season and a couple of transfer windows to fine-tune their squad into their respective visions, and having watched both sides objectively over the last couple of weeks, it is clear to see that both managers have implemented their respective recognisable styles. This is clearly now a title race that will decide which philosophy and approach is the most effective, and at the moment, Jose Mourinho has the early advantage for the following reasons.
#5 The level of expectancy
Although he will privately have a different ambition, Jose Mourinho is still repairing the mistakes of his predecessors, and providing his side continues to make progress under his guidance he will be credited with moving the club closer to former glory whatever they achieve. A sixth-place finish last season was boosted by success in the UEFA Europa League, and it was the subsequent qualification for the UEFA Champions League that took precedence over league placings.
Meanwhile, Guardiola was tasked with bringing the Premier League trophy back to the Etihad Stadium from the time of his arrival, and while a third-place finish confirmed Champions League football for a side finishing nine points ahead of their city rivals, it was not considered a season of success in the same way that it was for United. Guardiola's status in the game has come under scrutiny after he failed to bring Champions League glory to Bayern Munich, and he can only live off his Barcelona success for so long.