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MISSING INGREDIENT

One of the most exciting seasons in years is being let down by a lack of managerial rivalry

It's been a season to remember on the pitch but there's a certain fire missing off it

On paper, this is the most exciting end to a Premier League season for years.

There’s a genuine title race, the top four battle is wide open and that last relegation spot could go to one of five teams.

But it does feel like there is something missing, doesn’t it?


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Mutual respect? Not in my league

Action Images via Reuters
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Mutual respect? Not in my league

Where’s the bad blood? The rivalry? That sh*thouse pettiness between managers?

Over the past two decades, the Premier League has hosted some memorable clashes in the dugout.

Kevin Keegan was somewhat of a trailblazer when it came to publicising a feud.

His 1995/96 season monologue directed at Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man United will live long in the memory.

Only half joking

PA:Press Association
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Only half joking

Having swept aside the challenge from Keegan, Fergie’s next nemesis was to be Arsene Wenger.

His battle with the Frenchman went on for 16 long seasons and we loved every minute of it.

Their disdain for each other would often boil over into physical confrontations with the fourth official on the day having to play peacemaker.

No eye contact from Fergie

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No eye contact from Fergie

Possibly the Premier League’s most iconic rivalry was between Wenger and his Chelsea counterpart, Jose Mourinho.

The Frenchman claimed ‘the Special one’ was “out of order and disconnected with reality.”

Not to be out-done, the then Chelsea boss branded Wenger “a specialist in failure.”

Handbags at dawn stuff.

Argie-Bargie

Corbis - Getty
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Argie-Bargie

Their animosity hit breaking point in 2014 when Wenger shoved Mourinho during his side’s 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

What we witnessed on the touchline resembled the scenes you would see outside any Wetherspoons pub on a Saturday night.

Wenger’s face says it all

Getty - Contributor
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Wenger’s face says it all

Mourinho didn’t reserve his venomous wit and sass for his title rivals alone.

He once claimed Sam Allardyce’s West Ham played “football from a different century” following a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge.

Jose, perhaps wisely, never let the beef with Big Sam get physical.

Who’s your money on?

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Who’s your money on?

But this season the winds appear to have changed.

While Jurgen Klopp has all the traits to be a bull in a china shop, the German has proved to be, well, a bit too nice.

Despite lung-busting runs onto the Anfield pitch and a ferocious gurn all season long, Klopp has more friends than enemies in England.

*Yawn.*

Mr Nice Guy

Reuters
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Mr Nice Guy

The same can be said for Pep Guardiola.

The Man City manager heralded both Liverpool and Chelsea as two of the best sides he has faced over his career.

Magnanimous, yes, but where’s the fighting spirit?

He should be calling Maurizio Sarri a specialist in failure and insisting that Liverpool have to go to Southampton and “get something.”

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Getty - Contributor
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FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

The sombre atmosphere has filtered down throughout the league.

Long gone are the days of Alan Pardew headbutting players.

Instead, we have Eddie Howe and Nuno Espirito Santo embracing on the touchline like old school friends.

David Meyler got Parred

Action Images - Reuters
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David Meyler got Parred

Lets just be clear.

We’re not asking for WWE. We don’t need to see Guardiola throwing a chair at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s head for entertainment.

Nor do we need Mourinho to appear from a coffin, Undertaker style, to breath some life into the season.

Feel like pure sh*t, just want them back

Reuters
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Feel like pure sh*t, just want them back

But with so much to play for in the title race, the top four battle and the scrap to stay up, we should be witnessing bitter, underhanded interviews and fourth officials restraining grown men.

Even the war-torn Neil Warnock appears to have lost some of the fire from his belly.

We dreamed that Santo and Warnock would carry on their magnificent spat from last season’s Championship meeting onto the big stage.

Talks of wife-swapping are ongoing

Getty Images - Getty
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Talks of wife-swapping are ongoing

Warnock told the Wolves boss to f*** off following the Portuguese’s elaborate celebration last season.

Since then the pair have made up and Warnock has even described them as “good friends.”

The game has officially gone.


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