Thanks to the managerial tension between Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini, and Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho, City vs Chelsea clashes this season will be much more heated and exciting than they have been in recent years.
For the first time since being fired by Real Madrid in favour of the Portuguese tactician, Pelligrini finds himself in command of a team and resources of equal, perhaps greater footing than Mourinho’s team, and thus will be eager to show off his tactical prowess when their two sides meet.
Upon taking over the reigns from Pellegrini at Madrid, Mourinho was quick to say that he was not impressed by the work his predecessor had done by amassing a then Madrid record of 96 league points. “Second place is just the first loser”, were the words Mourinho had chosen to describe Pellegrini’s one season spell at Madrid in which he couldn't stop Guardiola's brilliant Barcelona from claiming the league title.
While Pellegrini must have been fuelled by the “loser” comment to try and exact revenge on Mourinho, he didn’t exactly have the resources at Malaga to match Mourinho’s Madrid, let alone beat them.
This upcoming season however, will be a completely different story, as not only is Pellegrini at the helm of a team of similar calibre to Mourinho’s Chelsea, but with Sheikh Mansour personally bankrolling Manchester City, Pelligrini arguably oversees more resources than Mourinho, and this has been highlighted by the recent transfer market activity which has seen Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo, and Stevan Jovetic all move to City.
Jose Mourinho has already got his signature mind games going, by insinuating that given the amount of spending Manchester City has done in the summer transfer window; they should come nothing short of winning the league.
While this is a calculated move that is surely meant to pile pressure on Pellegrini, and take some off Mourinho himself, do not expect Pellegrini to respond kindly. Pellegrini, a more calm and composed tactician, will be keen to avoid getting into a war of words with Mourinho.
He will however, be dying to make Mourinho eat his words; to make him the “first loser” at best.
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