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Guardiola and Mourinho – The best of enemies clash for the European Super Cup



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Jose Mourinho is the sort of manager that people say could start an argument in a telephone kiosk. It’s probably true, so long as he had enough credit on his ‘phone card to call Pep Guardiola. It’s an open secret that the two are not exactly bosom buddies, being hewed from a different seam of trophy-winning substance. Although it’s pushing the caricature too far, Guardiola is the darling of the aesthetic open passing football genre, whilst Mourinho is the pragmatic coach dedicated to winning. Each clearly irritates the other. Friday’s Super Cup meeting between Guardiola’s Bayern Munich and Mourinho’s Chelsea is therefore imbued with somewhat more passion than the game that is broadly Europe’s Community Shield game, normally involves.

It’s often said that Mourinho needs someone to battle against to get the best out of him. When the Portuguese took over at Real Madrid, Guardiola ensconced at Barcelona, as the coach of the top club side in the world was an obvious target. Not only that, the history that Barca had with – or should that be against – Mourinho meant that this was a gauntlet that Guardiola could not pick up, no matter how often he tried to rise above his rival’s baiting.

Mourinho’s main stated beef was that the Blaugrana always seemed to get the good end of any controversial decision from the football authorities, especially UEFA. Often citing the club’s shirts carrying the UNESCO logo as a cynical attempt to appear as the squeaky clean club, there may have been a measure of logic in his approach. It was certainly a grudge that carried back to the first spell at Chelsea, and a certain incident with a referee who later retired after receiving death threats.  The worst incident probably came in the fracas of an El Classico game when Mourinho poked a finger into the then Assistant Manager, Tito Villanova.

Now with the chance to renew hostilities with his bête noir, Mourinho has already sought to stoke the fires. Speaking to the German press, he remarked that the team that won the European Cup, bestroying Barcelona on the way, was Jupp Heynckes’ team, not Guardiola’s and questioned whether the current team was as good. There’s no arguing that there’s truth in what he said, but there’s also no denying that he didn’t really need to say it.

Getting one over on your rival, especially when it’s someone that you really dislike is always a little bit more delicious in victory. Watching the dugouts for what will surely be a cursory handshake at best on Friday, will be interesting. It’s fairly safe to say that both managers will want victory in this otherwise fairly meaningless game, to a level more than the fixture requires. This is just what you do however when you’re the best of enemies.


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Football is a game of passions and opinions. If you’re a fan, it’s both your boon and your bane; the drug that you simply cannot live without. Your team will break your heart, make you despair and swear that you’ll give them up. Like some lovestruck fool ensnared by a femme fatale however, you’ll be back again next week. You know it. They know it. Just accept it and embrace it. The lows are bad, but oh, those highs….. Now in my sixth decade, I’ve been a football fan for over fifty years and a Chelsea fan for every one of them. I hold FA Coaching badges and have been a member of the FA Coaches Association for over 15 years, working with numerous teams of varying age and ability levels; it’s the next best thing to playing. That said, I still regularly don the guise of the ‘Panther’, and keep goal for our company team. I’ve written a number of articles focusing on Spanish Football for a different website, and welcome this opportunity to “call it as I see it, without fear or favour” about our game. As I said, football is a game of passions and opinions, so agree or disagree with what I write as you see fit, I’ll passionately tell you my opinion, you tell me yours. For more from All Blue Daze: Twitter: @All_Blue_Daze Blog: www.allbluedaze.tumblr.com. Facebook: Search ‘All Blue Daze’ and ‘Like’