Two Ego`s And One Big Game
With one big game out of the way, another one approaches. Sunday`s game in Manchester between United and Chelsea will see two immovable forces come together.
Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho have already squared up this season off the field. Quite how the two react to each other prior to the game remains to be seen.
The war of words this season, saw the two initially squabble over each others mental and emotional state. Mourinho ramped the saga up by citing old allegations of Conte`s previous match fixing issues back in Italy. Something the Italian always denied and was later exonerated for.
Conte countered by calling the Portuguese 'a little man with a very low profile`. Whilst the furore has died down, the feud rumbles on, and will form a large part of tomorrow`s pre-match press conferences.
However, the game on Sunday, is much more important than the ego`s of the two managers. Chelsea are just three points behind second placed United. With City almost out of sight, whoever finishes behind them will almost be worthy an 'Arsenal stylee` open bus top parade.
Recent games between the two have seen Chelsea dominate. United`s victory last season, their only win since October 2012. The clever money, though, will be on a draw. Prior to that defeat last term, Chelsea haven`t won at Old Trafford since 2013.
Whilst the clubs leaders argue off the field, the thing both these current squads lack are leaders on the field. No more JT, Lamps, Didier Drogba Petr Cech or even Branislav Ivanovic. For United, gone are the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, and Nemanja Vidic. These players were all leaders of men.
Without players of that ilk, attention will inevitably focus on Conte and Mourinho on the touchline. It`s something they`ll both relish. According to The Mirror, Mourinho actually is going to be 'the big man` and attempt to shake Conte`s hand prior to the game. It`s likely to be a cursory acknowledgement though, which Conte may or may not reciprocate.
Once the game begins, attention must stay focused on the field of play. The nonsense between Chelsea`s current and ex-manager must forgotten. Whatever the outcome of the game, the result will be far more important historically, than whoever is in the dugout. Let`s hope they both appreciate that, even if the media vultures don`t.