Wednesday, 13 July 2016

STAR WARS TRILOGY Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte ready for galactic battle on Premier League benches

We look at how superstar bosses will have Chelsea, Manchester United and Man City lining up this season  

ALEX FERGUSON sat on the bench at Wembley, utterly helpless as his side was taken to pieces.

He had long given up on the technical area and trying to change things.
Antonio Conte Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola
Antonio Conte Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola will battle for Prem crown
It was the 2011 Champions League final and Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona were putting on a masterclass as they won 3-1.

It was a night which remains locked in the memories of those on both sides of the Manchester divide — and has City fans licking their lips.

But Old Trafford supporters have a gleam in their eyes, too, seeing in Jose Mourinho not just Guardiola’s psychological and footballing nemesis, but also the first serial winner at United since Fergie left three years ago.

And down in the capital, there are hopes the Chelsea lion will roar again under Antonio Conte.

At Euro 2016 Conte’s Italy ended Spain’s reign with a tactical straitjacket that would have seen off world champions Germany as well had they struck their spot kicks with the same determination.
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola 

Pep Guardiola…will he retain his magic touch at The Etihad?

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho 

Manchester United fans expect…can Jose Mourinho deliver the Premier League title, just like he did in his inimitable style at Chelsea?

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte ANSA

Antonio Conte is here from Italy to rev Chelsea up into champions again
For all the money being lashed out on players, the real stars of the Premier League will be in the dugouts this season.

Welcome to England, Senor Guardiola and Signor Conte. Welcome back, Senhor Mourinho.

Now you get the chance to show us all why the supporters want to believe you will make the difference this season.

Three kings after one crown.

That sultry night at Wembley five years ago was not just an evening of exemplary tiki-taka football — an expression Guardiola cannot stand to describe his teams because they are much more than that.

The basic principles behind the Spaniard’s sides are not based on possession and passing. They are far more basic than any intricacies drilled on the training ground.

When asked last week at The Etihad Campus about his style of play, Guardiola said: “At the end what we want is so simple — when the opponent has the ball, take it back as quick as possible.

Guardiola is thrown in the air by Barcelona players
Happy Guardiola is thrown into the air by his Barcelona players after their 2011 Champions League triumph over Manchester United at Wembley

Mourinho is a serial winner...just like Sir Alex Ferguson
Mourinho is a serial winner…just like Sir Alex Ferguson

Antonio Conte head coach of Italy es)
Doesn’t seem like the quiet type…Chelsea’s new manager Conte

“When we have the ball try to move as quickly as possible, to create as many chances as possible. That’s all. And good team spirit.”

Wembley 2011 was a classic example of what he was saying as Ferguson’s players were hounded off the ball all over the park, even deep in their own half.

It was as if Barca had two extra men and their energy levels were incredible. You cannot get a team to play like Barcelona without Lionel Messi, Xavi or Andres Iniesta.

But you can certainly get them to hassle and harry and move the ball swiftly, which is what Guardiola’s sides do.

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