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3 Tips For Jose Mourinho To Succeed In His First Season At Manchester United

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Manchester Derby is going to be fierce encounter come September 10th, when Mourinho’s Manchester United team welcome Guardiola’s Manchester City to the Old Trafford. An old feud igniting the already intense Manchester derby.

Pep was announced as Man City manager in February, while Jose is to take the top job at Manchester United after Louis van Gaal’s shown the door.

Guardiola’s first public appearance was on Sunday at his club’s Citizens Weekend where he spoke but did not field journalists’ questions while on Tuesday, at Old Trafford’s Europa Suite, Mourinho did answer inquiries during a half-hour press conference.

They were two disparate events but it still gives us a chance to assess what these touchline superstars have in mind for the coming season.

Here are areas Mourinho needs to get right to beat Pep in the upcoming season:

Keeping Touchline Theatrics to the Minimum

Hate is an exceptionally strong word, but there are few who these two despise more than each other. Box office personalities sparring weekly, and producing winning teams too. It would almost certainly revitalise north-west football as well, recently knocked off its entertainment perch by London. But in order to not overstep it with further suspensions and touchline antics, Mourinho would do well to avoid unnecessary skirmishes and let the football talk. Guardiola himself being a relatively composed personality would make things easier and let Mourinho focus on getting United back in the top four and chasing the title as soon as he can. The recent transfer acquisitions prove United mean business this summer and Mourinho is being allowed to build the team he wants, with financial backing to the tilt. He would want to get ahead and have a good start before Guardiola settles in at the Etihad.

Get Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Martial ticking quickly

United over the last season displayed persistent inconsistency with good performances fleeting few and far between. But from whatever was on display last season, the defence had sorted itself out with a few tweaks needed, with an efficient passing mechanism established in the team as a whole. The signing of Eric Bailley is promising purely on the potential this guy has exhibited. What was sorely missing was an out and out number 9 to pump the goals in on a regular basis. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic on board for a year, United seem to have dealt with in it in the short term. What will be essential would be to quickly gel the trio of Rooney, Martial and Ibrahimovic, get them to know each others’ movements, so that a regular source of goals is assured as soon as possible, with a healthy support line from Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Fellaini if he gets a run upfront.

Sort out the United Midfield

Having iterated his claim to ‘kick arse’ from the go at United, Mourinho will know his most effective way of beating City would be to mobilise the United midfield to the tilt. The pursuit of Paul Pogba ongoing, Nemanja Matic has also been linked with the Old Trafford club as they bid to shore up the central defensive midfield area. With Bastien Schweinstieger slowing down, Mourinho will need a runner in the hole, in the mould of Matic or Xabi Alonso, to keep things moving and sit back when required. The prevalence of a well oiled passing mechanism at United means they need someone who would shield the back four well and be the initial point of attack upfront too. Guardiola’s teams tend to play with possession and attack when given an opportunity. Mourinho’s defensive nous should help shore up the gaps in the defence and a screener in front of the back four would help spray the passes and keep things neat at the back, something which Mourinho’s teams are known for. Sorting out the defensive midfield thus helps a long way in stabilising the United setup and work as a potent support system for the attack.

Guardiola has won six league titles – three times with Barca in Spain and three times with Bayern Munich in Germany. Mourinho has gone one better. He has seven league titles to his name – with Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Porto.

When it comes to the Champions League, they’ve both won twice. Guardiola won with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011. But he missed out in 2010 because of Mourinho, when his side Inter Milan beat Barca in the semi-finals.

The Battle shifts to Manchester now.