Are José Mourinho And Pep Guardiola Happy Where They Are?

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Jose Mourinho, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Pep Guardiola, Premier League
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Is José Mourinho just flirting with PSG in order to get some attention from his current employers? It is reported that he has asked for a “massive” pay rise, whatever that is, in order to sign a new and extended contract with United and he could be using the fact that he is still able to command the top jobs in European football as leverage to get it.

He could also be seriously contemplating taking the PSG job, either at the end of this contract or the next one.

United fans need to remember that, for Mourinho, this may be his biggest job to date, but it is still just another in the line of big jobs he has already undertaken and doesn’t necessarily mean he is at the end of his nomadic wanderings.

He says he likes the idea of Paris. Quite what that means is debatable. Paris, to us Mancunians who have been there, is London with a tower. In other words it is big, cold and unfriendly. It probably isn’t quite as big, cold and unfriendly when you are a multi-millionaire, but it would still seem a strange choice for Mourinho.

He cites the “project” at PSG as being “intriguing”, although quite what is so intriguing about a club with a mega-rich owner trying to buy success, is anybody’s guess. Most of Mourinho’s managerial career to date has been spent at Chelsea, a club with a mega-rich owner trying to buy success with, it has to he said, a reasonable measure of success.

PSG is an upgrade on Chelsea as far as finances are concerned and they also seem to like to fly in the face of authority occasionally, something else which will appeal to Mourinho’s “naughty boy” side.

He would certainly not be short of funding should he want to buy top players. His management skills would be tested, however, because not every player is tempted by the biggest pay cheque and winning the French League is hardly the same challenge as winning the Premier League.

He will still find that the majority of players will opt for England, Spain or Germany before France and this, amongst other things, would quite quickly become a source of frustration and irritation to him.

So our best guess at the moment is that Mourinho is subtly reminding Manchester United that he has other options which, unlike Moyes or van Gaal, do not necessarily mean going downhill.

He will get his pay rise, sign his new contract and spend the next four or five years at United, then he will move on. This pre-supposes, of course, that he is successful and doesn’t get fired.

In the blue half of the city Pep Guardiola is making headlines for all of the right reasons. His team looks unstoppable in the Premier League and is doing quite nicely in Europe. He is privately targeting a double of Champion’s League and Premier League titles but would be happy with one or the other.

The problem is that things can change very quickly in football and, if City were to finish the season empty-handed, would Guardiola be retained? If they finished runners-up in both competitions the answer is probably yes, but who knows what would happen if they failed to reach the latter stages in both.

Unlike José Mourinho at Old Trafford, Pep Guardiola has no problems, of which we are aware anyway, with the hierarchy at The Etihad. He has worked with Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano at Barcelona so knew what he was coming to. On this basis it is unlikely that Guardiola would be tempted by another club, even one with the wealth of PSG. Pep prefers the challenge rather than the money!

Mourinho, on the other hand, whilst not needing the money, wants to be the highest paid manager in Europe because he thinks he is the best manager in Europe and wants his salary to reflect that. The worst that could happen is that Mourinho is given his pay rise and nobody leaks the amount to the press, meaning that nobody knows he is the highest paid coach in Europe. That would be very annoying to José.

So, for the moment, they are both happy where they are and, as we have said before, there are no bigger challenges than the two Manchester clubs. One is to restore a giant to it’s former glories and the other is to establish a modern giant and begin the path to wider glory.

They may be two very different challenges but the results, if achieved, would be remarkably similar.


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