Tag Archives: Louis van Gaal

Pep Guardiola vs. José Mourinho II – Barclays Premier League chapter

Oh, that rivalry smells good. After being head-to-head in Spain, one for Real Madrid CF and the other for FC Barcelona, the two master tacticians will do battle again, in the same league, this time in the Barclays Premier League, and this could mean fireworks all over the place.

Let’s be clear, even if these two were disciples of Louis van Gaal at FC Barcelona, knew each other very well and seemed to get along just fine, they have learned not to love one another over the years. Worse, they hate probably learnt to even despise each other over time, matches, altercations, etc. And this is what will make this derby even more exciting, even crazier.

Two giant clubs that have also issues in their level of performance on the pitch. Manchester United FC, since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of the 2012-13 season, is no longer a shadow of it former self, despite winning the FA Cup last season. Whereas Manchester City FC, constant Champions League qualifier, has not won the league since the 2013-2014 season despite several expensive transfer deals and huge transfer funds.

Throughout the season, we will have a weekly head-to-head matchup between José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola as both men will try to become not only the king of Manchester but also of Great Britain, football-wise. We shall see, as Mr. van Gaal used to say.

One thing seems set in stone: the city of Manchester will have a champion in the near future. The only thing that we are not sure of yet is which colour will reign supreme.

(Definitely stay tuned…)


José Mourinho & Manchester United FC – A match made in Heaven or Hell?

Louis van Gaal has been sacked as the manager of Manchester United FC.

David Moyes, “The Chosen One”, didn’t last one entire season with the Red Devils.

Now, the club has agreed to hire the self-proclaimed “Special One”, José Mourinho, as their new man in charge. The decorated manager, who was eyeing this position for a long time, gets his wish. What to think about this move, this career choice?

First, United fans will have to come to terms with a reality. Managers do not or very rarely stay 26 years with the same club anymore and with the success that Mr. Alex Ferguson has enjoyed, despite a difficult start to his career.

Second, he competition will be as fierce as ever before. Manchester City FC with Pep Guardiola, probably the best and most successful manager in football currently (along with “El Cholo” Diego Pablo Simeone, in my opinion). Chelsea FC with Italian manager Antonio Conte will come back and would want to regain the title as soon as possible and put the Mourinho’s era behind them. Arsenal FC have just added Swiss international, Granit Xhaka, to their lineup and would want to improve on their second place finish from last season.

And clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur FC under Mauricio Pocchetino, Liverpool FC with Jurgen Klopp, West Ham FC led by Slaven Bilic and a new stadium, the Olympic Stadium, and why not, Leicester City FC guided by Claudio Ranieri, the defending champions, will be a difficult opponent to play against, although few believe that they can actually repeat.

Manchester United FC will not feature in the UEFA Champions League this season. Instead, they will have to settle for the UEFA Europa League. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Mourinho manages his squad for this competition.

And finally, will the “Special One” finally settle in a club for more than three years and half or less? Will the native of Setúbal display more calm, cool and collected behavior as he has promised to do during his second press conference unveiling him as the Chelsea FC manager? Or will it be the same old song, played especially in London and Madrid, repeated all over again?

We shall see, as Mr. van Gaal, used to stay.

Say tuned…

Manchester United and José Mourinho

Manchester United have been looking at the past few years since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson with disappointments. “The Chosen One”, David Moyes, was not able to bring glory to the Red Devils. His successor, Louis van Gaal, the current manager, is struggling to win over the fans and the media on his side with the club not doing as well as expected despite the amount of money spent to bring back trophies at Old Trafford. Players such as Juan Mata (M), Angel Di Maria (M/W), Daley Blind (D/M), Anthony Martial (F), Memphis Depay (W/F), Marcos Rojo (D), Luke Shaw (D), Ander Herrera (M) and a few others have been brought in the past few years, but the club has not won a single piece of silverware since an FA Community Shield triumph over Wigan by the score of 2-0 in August 2013 (at the beginning of David Moyes’s era) thanks to a brace by former star striker Robin van Persie.

Here comes José Mourinho. The Portuguese manager has been out of a job since leaving or being sacked for a second time by Chelsea F.C.. The native of Setúbal, has not found work since and there is growing speculation that he might be the favourite man to take over Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford at the end of the season. With Manchester City hiring Pep Guardiola earlier this season, the Red Devils may feel like it has to respond and despite a club legend, namely Ryan Giggs, gaining experience on a regular basis next to the Champions’ League winning Dutch coach as his assistant, the hierarchy at Manchester United might find it tempting to respond to their arch rivals by renewing a past rivalry involving both managers once at Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

It should be an interesting story unfolding in Manchester and if the Red Devils decide to sign the Portuguese manager, it will surely set up some fireworks in months if not years to come.