Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has given Jose Mourinho’s ego an almighty Kung-Fu kick by claiming he’d prefer City’s Pep Guardiola to manage his former club.
The Frenchman – who played for the Red Devils between 1992 and 1997 – had plenty of nice things to say about Mourinho, but claims his defensive style clashes with the club’s “identity”.
Speaking to BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, Cantona said: “He is playing in this defensive way, which is not the identity of Manchester United.
“Both Guardiola and Mourinho are great, but I prefer attacking football, when it’s more creative.
“It’s the way I tried to play all my career.”
No kidding, Eric.
Chipping into the debate further, King Eric added: “I cannot understand why United would take a manager who plays in a defensive way.
“I love Mourinho, but I prefer to watch Barcelona play.
“I prefer the way Guardiola plays, and I would prefer him as manager of Manchester United, it’s more logical.
“I don’t watch Man City because it’s Man City, but I would love to watch the team managed by Guardiola.”
These frank words from such a prominent figure of United’s past will likely irk Mourinho, who’s seemingly been in a career-long battle with Guardiola.
The pair have clashed many times and have a fierce rivalry, but are seemingly polar-opposites when it comes to philosophy and tactics.
To put it very simply; Guardiola is famed for setting his team’s up to play a possession-based, pass-pass-pass, style of football which is easy on the eye, while Mourinho focuses more on a team’s shape, strength and organisation.
Both have been successful over the years, of course.
However, in the Premier League this season – the second year the two have been face-to-face in England – United find themselves trailing their bitter cross-city rivals in the table by eight points.
City have won an astounding 17 consecutive matches – scoring 54 goals in all competitions – and have been universally praised for their attacking style of football.
Over to you, Mourinho.