The Battle of Special One pretenders

John Brewin of has a great article contrasting the performance of two managers of legendary British soccer clubs, both proteges of the Special One, Jose Mourinho.

Read here.

Some choice quotes:Image

Since 2004, there have been many imitators: urbane and earnest young managers clad in expensive clothes who would like the media to know that they too are special.

Both expound their footballing philosophy freely and in deep technical tones while favouring bespoke tailoring, though Brendan Rodgers’ trench-coat was far more ruffled than Andre Villas-Boas’ slim-fit number.

Neither shirks from a soundbite either, though both have a propensity to misfire their bon mots.

Neither is a man to embrace simplicity where jiggery-pokery is possible.

Rodgers’ attempt to reinvent the wheel of Stewart Downing bore unfortunate fruit in Tottenham’s opening goal. Gareth Bale’s afterburners had already taken Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson out of play, and he played the ball across the box. Downing’s lack of defensive instincts cost Liverpool….

Luis Suarez was as lively as ever, and made his requisite penalty claim after being tackled by William Gallas.

Rodgers stood brooding throughout on the touchline, barking the odd instruction and showing off a first-rate and voluminous whistling that could win him a career as a shepherd if all should fail in football.

At one point, as the final whistle drew close, no less a diplomat than Jermain Defoe was to be found telling the bench and Villas-Boas in particular to calm down.

Rodgers then delivered a couple of his own standards. “The model of our game is very good…we’re at the beginning of a cycle,” he reminded.


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