Derby ninth round of the Premier League. Tottenham vs. Manchester City. Jose Mourinho against Pep Guardiola. Because there is no coaching duel in football that distracts more attention from the field to the out-line than the one we will watch today.
The rivalry will get a new, 24th episode (18.30) for more than ten years. The foreplay started already at the press conference held on Friday before the match. The first blow was dealt by Mourinho. "If I read correctly, and I think I did, Gareth Southgate said that some club managers put pressure on him not to use their players in the national team, which is why he sometimes feels he has to call those managers to reduce tension and try to controls the situation."
"I would like to say who it is. In addition, he has the right and power to invite the players he wants. And of course, we all know that Sterling will play tomorrow, while Eric Dier left the national team injured last month and did not play the next two matches for Tottenham."
" It took him a few weeks to recover and Rahim will play tomorrow. I have no problem with Kane playing against Iceland. I have a problem only with the fact that the treatment should be the same for everyone, not just for some ", said the Portuguese, alluding to the fact that City's players have a special treatment with the selector of the English national team.
Guardiola responded to Mourinho
Guardiola tried to restrain himself, but failed. "Mourinho has to talk to the medical staff of the England or Manchester City national team. He will have to go to the doctors, unless he is one too.
I do not know. Listen, I don't want to answer anything about Mourinho." "I said this because he accused us of something that is not true, so he will have to talk to the doctors about these things. "Don't question me about that anymore, I'm almost 50 years old, I'm old enough to be able to understand everything," said the Spaniard.
This was a special week for both managers. Guardiola extended his cooperation with Manchester City for another year, until 2023. If he completes the contract with the Citizens, he will spend seven years in the northwest of England, which was almost unthinkable at the beginning of his current term.
Because he has already spent more time in Manchester than on the benches of previous clubs. He stayed in Barcelona for four years, in Bayern for three. He has been spending his fifth season in City.