Many of these managers did not like each other.
The Premier League is one of the biggest sporting competitions in the world. Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are some of the most successful teams in the competition. These clubs have enjoyed great success in England and have one thing in common, their need to win trophies. Such desire for success has seen them compete with each other for titles. Amidst this, many have developed intense rivalries with each other. But, these are not limited to the clubs, as many managers have shared strong feuds as well.
England’s top flight has been graced by several world-class managers over the years. Many have faded under the pressure of expectations. But, some managed to leave their impact in the competition. However, success breeds competition and rivalries. Several top coaches have shared rivalries with each other during their time in the Premier League and we take a look at them.
5. Antonio Conte (Chelsea) Vs Jose Mourinho (Manchester United)
The Italian took charge of Chelsea in 2018 as his Portuguese counterpart took the hot-seat at Manchester United. Conte replaced Mourinho at the Blues, as the Portuguese boss was sacked a season prior. The two shared an intense rivalry with during their stint in the Premier League.
It was clear that the two did not like each other. It can be seen in several press conferences. Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho had several goes at each other. They often had feuds in the media, criticizing each other.
However, Antonio Conte had the better of Jose Mourinho in their rivalry in the Premier League. The Italian led Chelsea to the league title in 2017, Something the Portuguese was unable to do with the Red Devils.
4. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) Vs Jose Mourinho (Manchester United)
The feud began when Mourinho’s Inter knocked out Guardiola’s Barcelona in the Champions League in 2010. The Portuguese celebrated the result in a wild manner. The rivalry worsened when they managed Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga. The El Clasicos of that era were some of the most fiercely contested fixtures ever.
Then the two best managers of their era crossed paths in England. They were the managers of two of the biggest clubs in the land. The two clubs were on different trajectories, but it didn’t stop the two from taking jibes at each other.
The two shared some serious bad blood. But, in the end, Guardiola managed to lead his side to a Premier League title while Mourinho couldn’t.
3. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City) Vs Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
This has been the managerial rivalry in the Premier League in recent years. Guardiola arrived in England in 2016, while the German came in a year prior. The two have converted their teams into well-oiled machines, competing for the league title every season.
Manchester City and Liverpool have won the last four Premier League titles between them. The clubs are again competing for the title this season. However, despite the competition, the two don’t share any bad blood. They have massive respect for each other. Unlike others, this rivalry is based on competitiveness rather than animosity.
2. Jose Mourinho (Chelsea) Vs Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)
Jose Mourinho led Chelsea’s emergence as a superpower in England following a takeover from Roman Abramovich. The Blues competed with city rivals Arsenal for the title on several occasions. The Gunners won in Mourinho’s first season in-charge, before Chelsea secured back-to-back successes.
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho had very different approaches to the game. Their teams competed to become the champions of England. This saw the emergence of one of the longest-running managerial feuds in the Premier League.
The duo would have numerous run-ins over the years, including one infamous pitch-side scuffle. They continued to exchange insults, with Mourinho calling Wenger a ‘specialist in failure.’
1. Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United) Vs Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)
This was arguably the biggest rivalry in the Premier League era. The two clubs competed for supremacy in England for nearly a decade. They shared nine league titles between them from 1996 to 2004.
Alex Ferguson’s United dominated the early years of the Premier League. But, Arsene Wenger’s arrival saw the rise of a new challenger. The two demanded perfection and took their teams to new heights.
Over the years, they never missed an opportunity to take aim at the other. The rivalry reached its peak in 2004 when United ended Arsenal’s 49-game undefeated run. This resulted in food being thrown at the Manchester United boss. Ferguson described it as ‘the worst thing he had seen in football,’ while Wenger also hit back.
The two would settle their differences as they reached the twilight of their careers. But, they genuinely disliked each other during the late 90s and early 2000s.