Who Is The Better Manager, Mourinho Or Guardiola? Time Will Tell If Manchester United Or Manchester City Got It Right

Posted: March 23, 2017 in Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Pep Guardiola
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José and Pep

Let’s just assume for a minute that Manchester City win the FA Cup and finish in the top four. Certainly one of the two is a probability whilst the other is only a possibility.

Let’s also assume that Manchester United win the Europa League and finish in the top four. At present these are both just possibilities but, remember, they have already won the EFL Cup.

Given these two scenarios, who would be thought to have been the more successful? United or City? José Mourinho or Pep Guardiola?

This is a debate which has now been renewed thanks to their appointments in England’s unofficial capital city. The last time this pair were the subjects of any arguments down the local was when they were both managing in Spain, Mourinho at Real Madrid and Guardiola at Barcelona.

The debate then was which one would win La Liga and who would be second. Now it is simply a question of which will finish higher, at least until next season.

After a Summer transfer window in which both clubs are expected to strengthen their squads and, having had a “bedding-in” season, more will be expected of them next time out.

Antonio Conte has had little competition for the title this season, a little like Leicester City last year. He has also been lucky, in that he “fell over” a successful formation which he could perfect with no European distractions. He also inherited a very good squad of players and has had to make few alterations.

When considering what Mourinho and Guardiola inherited it is quite a feat that they are both vying for the top four positions!

Both teams have ageing players with the likes of Touré, Sagna, Clichy, Zabaleta and even Kompany and Silva all being on the wrong side of 30 at The Etihad, while Carrick, Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Young, and Valencia are in the same boat at Old Trafford.

Both teams have some excellent young prospects coming through and they are getting far more games in Manchester than their counterparts at Stamford Bridge.

The bottom line, however, will be how wisely money is spent at the end of the season. We all know that United and City can outspend virtually any club in the world but, judging by some of their relatively recent signings, they don’t always do it particularly well.

United first this time and Depay, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Di Maria and Valdes have left while the likes of Darmian and Shaw are hardly pulling up any trees.

City bought Sinclair, Delph, Bony, Navas and one or two others whose credentials at this level could be questioned but, in the main, they weren’t anywhere near as wasteful as United. Still they would both be advised to ensure they spend more sensibly in future.

So there are certainly similarities between the two teams but what of the two managers. They are not as alike as some people like to think. Yes, they are both winners and therefore, by definition, bad losers.

They both like to play attacking football but Mourinho is the happier of the two if games become a tactical battle. He will change formation, tactics and players so as to become defensive without batting an eyelid.

Guardiola hates to be defensive, as was proved in Monaco in the Champion’s League where, instead of a solid rearguard display to hold on to a two goal lead, City neither attacked nor defended in the first half. This resulted in them being two down at half time which forced them into the attacking game that Guardiola wanted from the beginning! Surprise, surprise, they lost and were knocked out. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour and defence is more appropriate than attack.

As to who is the better manager, that is one for the future. Let’s see how long they last in Manchester. When the time is right they will be judged on the number of trophies won whilst they were BOTH in England, that will be the decider.

  1. shotongoalx says:

    If everything pans out as you’ve claimed, there’s no doubt in my mind that Mourinho will have a more successful season that Guardiola. With a shrinking footballing reputation of the Premier League and FA Cup logic that causes some teams to field second-choice players – winning Europa League is surely a much harder and more prestigious challenge. Also, so far, Mourinho’s team had fewer straight-up embarrassing games (Watford, Chelsea) than City (Leicester, Everton, Chelsea, Monaco rematch). I just can’t see how Pep could get the nod here.


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