Wednesday 24 January 2018

Roy Keane was blunt when picking a side in the Pep Guardiola v Jose Mourinho debate

Pep Guardiola (right) and Jose Mourinho
Pep Guardiola (right) and Jose Mourinho

Jack de Menezes

Roy Keane has insisted that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is not the “special one”, but rather his nemesis Pep Guardiola.

Despite captaining United for eight of his 12 years at Old Trafford, Keane has backed the Manchester City manager in the wake of the 2-1 victory last weekend in the Manchester derby as well their impressive 4-0 Champions League victory over Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday night.

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With Mourinho and Guardiola’s long rivalry brought back into the headlines due to the Manchester derby, the pair have been widely discussed over the course of the last week, and Keane waded into the argument to surprisingly back the City manager.

“Mourinho reckons he’s the special one, to me this guy (Guardiola) is,” Keane said on ITV’s Champions League highlights show.

“I think what was important when he first went in there, the decision to get rid of two or three really important characters from Man City – Hart, Toure – he made the decision, 'you're not for me'.

“He says he's a challenging coach and he doesn't look like he's messing about.

“They're playing with a lot of confidence, he's rotating the squad, the players are playing with a lot of confidence after a decent start. I wouldn't like to mess with him.”

Despite the opening match of City’s Champions League campaign being delayed by 24 hours due to a fierce thunder storm that left the Etihad Stadium pitch waterlogged on Tuesday, Guardiola’s side made an emphatic start to join Barcelona at the top of Group C with three points each. Along with their 100 per cent start in the Premier League, City look a completely different team than the one than laboured last season under Manuel Pellegrini, and Keane’s fellow pundit Lee Dixon believes it is the impact of Guardiola’s tactical awareness that has led to the marked improvement.

(© Independent News Service)

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