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Guardiola taunts certain to increase Mourinho's ill will


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: PA

Manchester City's behind-the-scenes, club-approved documentary will stoke the flames of the rivalry between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, portraying the Manchester United manager as a defensive-minded, negative coach during last season.

The Amazon Prime series 'All Or Nothing' had its premiere in Manchester last night, with Guardiola and some of his players in attendance and the first of eight episodes will be available on the subscription streaming service from today.

Viewers will see Guardiola telling his players to "play with f*****g character" and raucous post-match dressing-room celebrations, but it will be the treatment of Mourinho and United which will raise most eyebrows.

City say that they did not have editorial control over the final cut, although they had the right to veto scenes which were potentially slanderous or which divulged commercially sensitive information or personal details.

The £10m deal with Amazon Prime has caused anger at Sky Sports, who believe that the billions they have invested in English football should entitle them to similar access.

The second episode focuses on the club's record-breaking 14th straight Premier League victory at Old Trafford in December of last year's title triumph - a game which ended with a brawl in the tunnel between the two sets of players.

There is no mention of those events, which were subject to an English FA investigation. Neither is there any footage of it.

Instead Guardiola tells his players in the aftermath of victory: "You killed them (United) while playing football and even in the bad moments you were there, guys. You were outstanding.

"We travelled there to our neighbours and showed what we are. You did it, guys. That's why you deserve all my respect."

The narration by the actor Ben Kingsley leaves viewers in no doubt as to how the club view the clash with their rivals.

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The game last December is described thus: "It is Guardiola versus Mourinho once more; possession versus defence; attacking football versus park the bus."

Afterwards the camera lingers on City fans singing their favourite song about Mourinho's 'park the bus' style - cut in with clips of the United manager in his post-match press conference rejecting the notion that the statistics backing up City's dominance of possession have any relevance.

In the build-up to the game, Guardiola and his assistant coach Domenec Torrent discuss how United are vulnerable from set-pieces.

Both City goals at Old Trafford that day, for David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, turn out to originate from set-pieces.

The first episode also analyses Mourinho's rejection of Kevin De Bruyne when the pair were at Chelsea together.

Describing his time at Stamford Bridge, De Bruyne says: "I was only 20 years old when I decided to sign for Chelsea, I got my chance in the first team in the first few games and I thought 'OK, everything is going well, played OK and won the games. One day it just stopped."

The documentary series, with what is described as a crew "embedded" with the squad for nine months, captures many pivotal moments of City's 2016-17 title-winning season.

There are intense team-talks delivered by Guardiola (left) with the Catalan favouring a particularly ripe tone of language given his reputation for a cerebral approach to the game.

One of his typically frenetic pre-match team talks is an impassioned appeal for the players to embrace the unshakeable principles of his passing game.

"I know it's difficult, guys," he says. "I know you want to win, but you have to learn to play football with courage."

Later Guardiola exhorts his players to be more ruthless in taking their chances. "If you want to be a top, top, top team," he says, "you have to score the f*****g goals, guys."

In a candid moment, Guardiola concedes there are times when he deceives his players that he has all the answers in order to sustain their confidence.

"Often when I don't know something I act in front of the players as if I do. I do it so they believe I have the answers and that gives them the confidence to play.

"Sometimes they ask you things and then you must adopt the role of a father, brother or son. I try to give them the best advice." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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