The best two managers of their generation, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will be looking to manage a new club in the next season. And if reports are correct, their preferred next choice will be in the Premier League. But which clubs will they go to? We look at the potential clubs and the likelihood of one of these super managers going there.
City have been the most dominant side in England in the past 4 seasons, winning 2 Premier League titles and finishing runners up in the other two. They have an ageing core group of players in Hart, Kompany, Toure, Silva and Aguero and have filled gaps in the squad previously with other ageing players like Fernandinho, Otamendi and Bony. However the purchases of Sterling and De Bruyne appears to be a step towards the refreshing of the squad.
In his two previous managerial appointments, Pep Guardiola has taken over sides capable of delivering domestic and European trophies and has added an extra dimension to their game. The best side in England right now is Manchester City, and it is here that Guardiola may just best fit. The City managerial job seems custom-made for Guardiola, with former Barcelona directors Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano already at City.
Would Jose Mourinho make sense for City? City do have a lot of money, a desire for trophies and a squad in a possible need of revitalizing, ingredients for Mourinho to be successful. However one thing that goes against Mourinho is City’s investment in youth. City have spent £200m building the ‘Etihad Campus’, a state-of-the-art training facility set up to provide the City youth with world-class coaching facilities, with the aim of bringing them into the first team. Mourinho has never been one to allow youth to shine, his recent spell at Chelsea a perfect example of failing to integrate players from Chelsea’s youth team who had been crowned best in the land. On the other hand, Guardiola has had experience bringing players through from Barcelona’s fabled La Masia into the first team, and if Guardiola does go to City, it is this experience that City fans will hope help change the way City’s squads are set up.
Despite the horrible predicament Chelsea find themselves in now, Chelsea fans should be happy with what Mourinho achieved with their club. Prior to his arrival in 2013/14 season, Chelsea had been mere contenders for the top 4 positions, nowhere near the Manchester clubs when it came to winning trophies. His arrival immediately changed that, a young talented squad suddenly playing like winners. Smart recruitment of players like Matic, Fabregas and Costa gave Chelsea the edge they needed to brush everyone aside in their journey to being champions last season.
How would Guardiola do at Chelsea? With the last of the old guard (Terry) appearing to be on his last legs, it is time for the new generation of players at Chelsea to rise. And what a generation of players Chelsea currently have, with players like Courtois, Hazard, Fabregas, Matic and Costa. Mourinho’s Chelsea played scintillating football during the first half of last season, and if Guardiola can get Chelsea back to that standard, Chelsea have the talent and resources to be able to make a real push in the Champions League. And with a youth squad who won the Euro Youth League and back-to-back FA Youth Cups last season, Guardiola would have all the tools he needs to wreak continental havoc with Chelsea.
A great club in the doldrums, Manchester United are in need of an immediate boost. Louis van Gaal has spent £250m to bring United back to the top where they belong, but the man who has achieved so much at clubs like Ajax, Bayern and Barcelona appears powerless to push United upwards.
United are a commercial and financial behemoth, and last season they had the second highest revenue of any football club in the world – despite not participating in the Champions League. The money is there for someone to come and take United back to the top. And the one man in world football guaranteed to bring trophies? Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho might not be every United fan’s pick for the managerial position. United do have a history and desire for attacking football which Mourinho does not subscribe to. They have a history of bringing youth through the club – a Manchester United squad has always had a graduate from the youth system in it for the past 75 years. Mourinho doesn’t have a legacy of bringing in youth players into his team.
But what Mourinho brings is success. United have tried to bring success back to the club and failed. Maybe it’s time to let the master do it.
In my eyes, Arsene Wenger is Arsenal. Just like Sir Alex Ferguson was Manchester United. After almost 20 years at Arsenal, Wenger has built a club in his own image. A club where beautiful possession football is the endgame and youth is afforded every opportunity to succeed.
But whereas Ferguson was a serial winner, a man who adapted to the ever changing times to continue delivering trophies to United, Wenger is more a football theorist, a man devoted in imparting his vision of how a football club should onto Arsenal. He has been derided at times for his lack of player purchases in an age where success is bought, Wenger sticking to his guns and insisting on managing his club his way, despite the lack of success he endured prior to his back-to-back FA Cup triumphs in the past 2 seasons.
Sooner rather than later, Wenger will feel his time is up and find someone to replace him. With Guardiola available, there may be no better time to move on. Despite his astounding success so far, Guardiola is a football theorist first, a man who reinvented tiki-taka with Barcelona to devastating effect and a man who has turned into the footballing version of a chameleon. Guardiola’s ideals are similar to that of Wenger, and could possibly turn Arsenal from mere title contenders to serial title winners.