The last time Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were in the same league as managers, it was not a pretty sight, with words being exchanged and even a brawl or two breaking out. It was an El Clasico of the managers when the two were at the helm of Real Madrid and Barcelona, and now, with Mourinho taking over at Manchester United, after Guardiola was confirmed as the new Manchester City manager, some of that ill-feeling is expected to spill over in the English Premier League next season.
However, Mourinho was quick to nip the chances of that happening in the bud, insisting he will not be expending energy on arguments, on or off the pitch, with Guardiola. As far as the Portuguese is concerned, the Premier League is a little too competitive to be just concentrating on one manager and one team.
"[What has happened in the past] does not allow me to be innocent. Forâ€‹ two years Pep and I were in a league where the champion would be either me or him, Real Madrid or Barcelona," Mourinho was quoted as saying by The Guardian while in Lisbon, where he was giving a lecture to students on coaching in football.
"In a situation like this,â€‹ individual fights make sense because they can influence things. But, in the Premier League, if I focus on him and Manchester City, and he on me and Manchester United, someone else is going to win the league."
Mourinho, when he was appointed the Chelsea manager three years ago, had said he was the "Happy One," insisting he would not get into arguments with any manager. However, that promise did not last too long, as the Portuguese's competitive spirits spilled out, leading to several issues with other managers, chief of them being Arsene Wenger and that infamous "specialist in failure" remark.
So, with the nature and competitiveness of the Premier League, and the fact that Manchester City and Manchester United are expected to be right up there fighting for the title next season, expect those ill-feelings to spill out again.
To what extent, remains to be seen.