The Differences Between José Mourinho At United And Pep Guardiola At City

Posted: April 17, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Jose Mourinho, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Pep Guardiola, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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Manchester City have been confirmed as Premier League champions with five games still to play. After just a few games of this season it was pretty obvious that they were the favourites to win it and it really shouldn’t come as a major shock to anybody that they have.

What has been disappointing is the gulf in class between them and the rest. Only Liverpool have tried to challenge them on an entertainment level and Jürgen Klopp seems to have the edge over Guardiola when their two teams meet.

The expected challenge from Chelsea never materialised, Mauricio Pochettino is not yet at the same level and Stubborn Old Man is just past it.

The one manager who was expected to provide some serious competition was José Mourinho but even he couldn’t raise either his own or his teams performances to match those of Guardiola and City.

Here, we take a look at the differences between the two and wonder if anything can be done to address the balance.

1 – Loyalty to players

Guardiola, generally speaking, will always protect his players even to the point of praising them when it has been obvious to the watching world that they were awful!

Mourinho, on the other hand, is quite prepared to throw them under the bus often preferring to blame the failings on the team HE has picked rather than on himself for picking them!

2 – Style of play


Lionel Messi was the star during Guardiola’s time at Barcelona

Manchester City, Bayern Münich and Barcelona will always be remembered for their style of football first and their coach second. Attacking, incisive football is what the Guardiola teams are known for and it is this philosophy which has brought him and his teams success over the years. They are and were the “great Guardiola teams”.

Mourinho is more pragmatic and has a “don’t lose the game” approach to his football. That isn’t to say that his teams never play attacking exciting football, they just don’t do it very often. The Portuguese is remembered for what HE has won rather than for what his teams have won. People will never be heard talking about the “great Mourinho teams” despite the fact that, because of their achievements, some of them were great teams.

3 – Introvert or extrovert?

Pep Guardiola is the epitome of an introvert. He comes across as shy and nervous at his press conferences and displays all the normal characteristics of this in the way that he constantly fiddles with his beard or wipes his hand across his face.

He always stresses the team ethic and is quick to point out that it is the players who bring trophies to the club. He tends to scoff at suggestions that it is he who is responsible for any success and always has the look of one who is slightly embarrassed by his stellar career in management.

His favourite topics of conversation would be anything that doesn’t include himself!

José Mourinho, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. Forever reminding people, just in case they have forgotten since he last did so, what a winner HE is and how many titles HE has won. How his players let HIM down when they lose a game or how they disobeyed HIM in another.

When anything goes wrong Mourinho looks for blame everywhere except in the mirror. He is arrogant and boastful in the extreme and should be the perfect fit for a club like Manchester United. He is certainly, irrespective of what the “fans” think, the best man for the job at present.

4 – Success


Mourinho fell out with some players whilst at Real Madrid although Ronaldo, reportedly, wasn’t one of them

Both managers have enjoyed incredible success during their managerial careers and Guardiola was also a top player at Barcelona, giving him a better understanding of how to deal with other top players in his current role. Players are less likely to question the decisions of a manager who has “been there, done that”.

Mourinho never played his football at the highest level and this, some believe, is what has led to fall-outs with the some of the best players at Real Madrid and, latterly, at Chelsea.

5 – And finally…..players loyalty to the manager

Neither of the two really seem particularly bothered about whether or not they are liked or respected by the players. They both, quite rightly, have the attitude that it is they who are in charge and, if somebody doesn’t like it, they are free to leave.

The deciding factor here is which of the two possesses the superior man-management ability. Both clubs are successful yet there are more reports of unhappy players at United than at City. Why is this?

They are both “carrot and stick” managers. the difference being that Guardiola favours the carrot whereas Mourinho prefers the stick.

When dealing with super rich footballers who can join another club virtually whenever they want, threatening them is not a policy which will have much effect. They are spoilt kids and, unfortunately, sometimes they need treating like so. Guardiola has it off to an art, Mourinho doesn’t.

So who is the better manager? That is difficult to answer as they are two very different human beings but, at the moment, unless Mourinho updates some of his philosophies to be more in keeping with today’s football, it is Guardiola who will end his career with the better record.



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