The manchester derby is arguably the biggest derby in english football ,and on Thursday night all eyes will be on the etihad stadium for the 174th Manchester derby.What a time to be alive!
Interestingly during the summer these two manchester clubs acquired two of the best managers in europe’s football,Pep guardiola and Jose Mourinho.Mourinho’s and Pep’s rivalry dates far back in the years when one of them coached Real Madrid and the other Barcelona,the two spanish giants.And for the second time this season they meet again managing two of the biggest clubs in this premier league era.Coincidential isn’t it?.To add more spice to the soup the two of them have two different conflicting styles of play.
At the beginning of the season the focus was on the manchester clubs.Most of the pundits argued that the two spots of the premier league but to their shock these clubs are in fourth and fifth spot respectively and trailing premier league champions in waiting,Chelsea by a huge gap.Its a shock considering the amounts of cash they splashed during the summer to acquire new signings.With the premier league title race all but over the top four race is heating up and the their two philosophies will play a huge part in this mouth watering clash.
Pep guardiola came to the premier league with two goals,To return city’s status quo among premier league elites and to prove to the world that his style of play can also succeed in the premier league which is considered one of the hardest leagues in the world.But in his first season in charge of the citizens his credentials are in doubt after a horrible season.This style of play worked well in La liga when he coached barca and won alot of trophies .It also worked at Bayern but considering the clubs in the bundesliga,any managed Can coach Bayern and win the bundesliga.
The problem with Guardiolas style of play is that he puts a lot of pressure on the Defenders and Goalkeepers to pass the ball around before passing it in the mildfield.This type of play made him part ways with Joe hart and instead go for Claudio Bravo who he considers a better passer,but truth be told Bravo is no where near the hype he was given at Barca.With the kind of pacy wingers in the premier league it is hard to pass the ball around your box without the opposition winning it.Many City fans will argue that the players Pep took over were used in Pellegrinis reign and are also old considering many are over thirty.Nonetheless can pep prove the doubters wrong at Premier league biggest Showpiece?
Jose Mourinho on the other hand is one of the most respected managers in the whole world.Remember him converting Porto into one of the most feared teams in Europe?Remember him making chelsea premier league champions for the firsr time in over 50 years?Mourinho has done all this with one style of play,the defensive attribute.This style of play has succeeded many times in the last years,We all remember the greece team who were underdogs and still won Euro 2004 and also Portugal who won Euro 2012 with this kind of play.Do you know who was the manager of greece and portugal during this time?Fernando Santos.Fernando Santos is also a portuguese and a friend of Jose.So you can see where Jose acquired this kind of play.
In his first season in charge of manchester united Jose has had a better season than pep.He has won the carling cup ,Man united are in the Europa league semi finals.Last time out at the manchester derby Pep had the say because Pep’s tikitaka style shred United’s defense into ribbons.His style has worked to perfection at time but failed miserably at other times.
When they played against Chelsea he proved his haters wrong when Man utd covered at the back and Herrera marked Hazard until the end.In fact chelsea has no shor on target.We all know Mourinho has proved the critics many times wrong when he was an underdog at a particular match.But can he use that style against Pep on a thursday evening at the etihad.
Will it be Mr tikitaka or the tactical genious?Well all these will be answered at the Etihad.