Arguably two of the greatest managers the world of football has ever seen, Jose Mourinho’s Totteham Hotspur will take on his arch-nemesis Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in a Premier League fixture this Saturday.
The Spanish and the Portuguese managers not only differ in terms of style but also in their philosophy on man-management. But even if they have footballing values which are poles apart both of these men have numerous footballing honors a CV only few can dream of. The two have met 23 times with Guardiola winning 11, Mourinho winning six, with six draws. Neither man has faced a rival manager more often. But this season the ‘Special One’ seems to be way ahead of his arch-rival considering the Catalan born manager has the Premier League just one year ago.
Why is that?
- Man City have finished above Spurs on eight of the last ten Premier League campaigns and they have averaged 24 points more than the North London rivals. In the 23 meetings between the clubs in the last decade, City have come out on top on 14 occasions compared to six Tottenham victories. But this season, Tottenham are well ahead of Manchester City sitting in 2nd place just one point behind league leaders Leicester City while The Citizens sit in tenth place with a game in hand.
- Pep Guardiola look like a shadow of the team that won back to back Premier League and they had a forgetful 2020 conceding the title by 18 points and crashing out to Lyon in a really bad manner while Jose Mourinho has breathed a new life at N17 finishing sixth after the club sitting 14th prior to Pochettino’s departure.
- The Portuguese manager outsmarted his rivals even in the summer transfer window bringing in a long-awaited backup striker, new defensive midfielder, new full-backs, and the cherry on the top return of Welsh wizard Gareth Bale. City on the other hand looked quite confused bringing in Ruben Dias & Nathan Ake for a combined €110m whilst having Stones, Laporte and Garcia on their books. Also the outgoings of a world class talent like Leroy Sane and seasoned winner David Silva will also hurt them during the entirety of this campaign.
THE STRUGGLES OF MANCHESTER CITY
- Manchester City look at their weakest since Guardiola took over them and multiple stars have looked quite prone to injuries this year with Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus missing 23 matches this season. Everyone by this point knows about City’s defense issues but this season even their attack compared to Tottenham Hotspur looks like a problem with The Lilywhites scoring 2.4 goals to City’s 1.4 in eight Premier League matches and they have also let in 1.1 goals compared to Sky Blues’s 1.4 goals per match.
- The Blue side of Manchester has also struggled to convert chances on chances due to the absence of a No.9 as Aguero & Jesus struggle with fitness issues. Even last season’s POTY Kevin De Bruyne assist output has dropped from 0.66 to 0.3 due to the unavailability of a target man. Currently they have 60% of the ball which is the most in the league and take 14 shots per match but converting shots into goals has been a big problem. 44% of the attempts City players make are from outside of the box. This number is surprising for a team which was able to cut through opposition lines with relative ease in the three campaigns.
It is safe that Tottenham look more likely to challenge for the Premier League and are one of the favorites to win it as things look right now (whether Jose likes to admit or not), but all this analysis is made based on eight games of 20/21 season if City players find their form and mojo back we might talking about a different thing on February 13th that is when these sides meet again at Etihad Stadium.