How did the Premier League's 'super managers' fare this weekend?
Published 16/08/2016 | 00:01
The Premier League's so-called 'super managers' led their teams into the new season this weekend.
Here, Press Association Sport analyses how Pep Guardiola , Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte fared.
Pep Guardiola - Manchester City (won 2-1 v Sunderland)
The Spaniard strives for style as well as success but he will probably be pleased to settle for just the latter on his English football debut. City's win over Sunderland was not pretty and it took an 87th-minute own goal from a former Manchester United player to prevent a disappointing opening-day draw. Guardiola's team is still in transition and, while he continues to put his stamp on it, it is vital that his players grind out victories to put points on the board and keep them in contention for the time when everything finally clicks.
Jose Mourinho - Manchester United (won 3-1 v Bournemouth)
The Special One is back and he could not have asked for much more from his first United league game. Some may say it was 'only Bournemouth away' but the Vitality Stadium was the scene of one of Louis van Gaal's dark days last season. Securing the three points was obviously the most important thing but goals from much-criticised captain Wayne Rooney and league debutant Zlatan Ibrahimovic were also big pluses and should prevent early pressure building on the high-profile forward pair.
Arsene Wenger - Arsenal (lost 4-3 v Liverpool)
The Frenchman could be forgiven for experiencing a feeling of deja vu. Then again, so could Gunners fans. A year on from a humbling 2-0 home loss to West Ham on the opening weekend, Wenger faced boos at the final whistle from sections of disgruntled supporters following another disappointing defeat. While the other title contenders have been splashing the cash, Wenger has, aside from the big-money arrival of Granit Xhaka, once again refused to follow suit despite admitting his side are severely lacking at the back. He appeared visibly downbeat after the defeat and undoubtedly endured the worst weekend of the 'super managers'.
Jurgen Klopp - Liverpool (won 4-3 v Arsenal)
It started slowly and finished poorly but an away win at Arsenal is not to be sniffed at regardless of the circumstances. At 4-1 up the Reds were cruising and Klopp will no doubt be concerned by the ease at which the Gunners were allowed to come back into the game and set up a nervy final 15 minutes. Liverpool scored some fantastic goals - and a debut strike from multi-million pound signing Sadio Mane was also a big positive. That said, their overall display suggested they may slip into the category of entertainers rather than genuine challengers for silverware.
Antonio Conte - Chelsea (won 2-1 v West Ham)
Similar to the start made by Guardiola, Conte saw his new side rely on a late goal to sneak a slender victory. The Italian celebrated wildly following Diego Costa's winner but, once the euphoria died down, his overriding feeling must surely be that there is a lot of work to do. The impressive performance of Eden Hazard will have pleased the Italian, even more so given that the Belgian winger, who struggled to find the back of the net last year, is already in the scoring charts following his expertly taken penalty. Despite firing home the decider, Costa continues to play on the edge and his discipline - particularly given the new rules on dissent - could give Conte a few headaches over the coming months.