Foot in mouth: Mourinho will make Pellegrini choke on his words

first_imgThis column appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app from the Apple Newsstand, and follow on [email protected] when Man City were stealing last season’s league title from Liverpool, I rather liked Manuel Pellegrini.The Chilean with one of the most high-pressured jobs in football has always seemed to go about his business with a relative insouciance, his watery eyes peering inscrutably out from under a forehead populated by more lines than an Ordnance Survey map.No matter that Alan Pardew thinks he’s an old chunt; no matter that half his team have been on a footballing vacation this season, when they should have been trying to make half a decent fist of their title defence; and no matter that he currently looks about as likely as Newcastle fall guy John Carver to be in his job next season. Pellegrini has always seemed to retain a quiet dignity.But then Chelsea, and his old La Liga sparring partner Jose Mourinho, won the league on Sunday – and the City manager finally snapped. “We did the same that Chelsea did this year, but we scored 158 goals last year,” he said after his side’s 1-0 win at Tottenham later that afternoon. “It is important for the fans to play attractive football.”And thus did Pellegrini – elsewhere more than gracious in his praise of the new champions – display the sour grapes that will have had Mourinho purring over a celebratory glass of red on Sunday. It also made little sense to remind Mourinho and Chelsea of how hard it will be to retain the title next season, bearing in mind that the same combination of manager and club did just that in the 2005-06 season.Much like his captain, Mourinho doesn’t meet with universal affection outside Stamford Bridge – but he is about to see off Pellegrini, continues to have Arsene Wenger in his pocket and will likely keep Brendan Rodgers firmly in the role of apprentice when Liverpool visit on Sunday.Louis van Gaal and Manchester United may fight back next term, but for now the Chelsea boss is sat comfortably atop the Premier League perch. He may be there for some time. ‘He’s behind you…’ 1last_img

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