Sky Sports: Saints boss has ‘great respect’ for Manuel Pellegrini
- 07 December 2013 08:43
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
Mutual respect between rival managers is a commodity not to be taken for granted in the Premier League.
Bitter spats, Jedi mindgames and touchline bust-ups are more commonplace in this environment where three points are sought above all else on a Saturday afternoon.
Just don’t expect any fireworks on the sidelines at St Mary’s this afternoon when Manuel Pellegrini sits in the opposite dug-out to Maurico Pochettino.
The South American duo share a friendly rivalry which has spanned a quarter of a century, as revealed by the Southampton boss in his pre-match press briefing.
"I have many memories of having faced Manuel Pellegrini in La Liga, when he was at Villarreal, Malaga and Real Madrid," Pochettino said.
"I even knew him when I was with Under-18s in Argentina. He was managing the Chile Under-20s some 25 years ago.
"I have great respect for him. I wouldn't say that we were friends, but we have a great working relationship and he is someone I admire. We have a very good professional relationship."
...Pochettino on Pellegrini...
Pellegrini returned the compliment to his Argentine counterpart in his own press conference in Manchester.
“Mauricio is a very good manager and I think he is doing a great job with Southampton – as he also did in Spain,” the 60-year old asserted.
“I am sure we are playing against a strong team. I think playing against a team as good as Southampton, when they have lost the last three games, will be more difficult for us.
“I don't know what the reaction of Southampton will be. They are a young team, and they have a young manager. But he knows perfectly how he must manage this situation.”
Aww, it’s enough to make you feel all warm and gooey inside…
Ahem, where was I? Oh yes, it wouldn’t be a media round-up without some transfer conjecture and today’s comes from Eurosport, who reckon that Real Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo could be on Pellegrini’s shopping list.
Quoth Eurosport: “Pellegrini knows all about his countryman, who has been with the San Sebastian outfit since 2006 and told Mundo Deportivo last year of the respect there is for the current City boss.
"I’ve not had the fortune to meet him but as a Chilean I’m glad to hear that everyone who has shared a dressing room with him says marvellous things about his coaching ability,"
...Claudio Bravo - Real Sociedad goalkeeper...
“Even so, with a contract at Anoeta until 2017 that contains a buyout clause of €30m, it could take an offer of sizeable proportions to prise Bravo away from northern Spain.”
Of course, nothing’s official until you read the confirmed transfer story here on mcfc.co.uk.
Elsewhere, in a Premier League season which has seen strikers flourish for the first third of the campaign, the debate continues to rage on who the best forward on these shores is.
Luis Suarez put forward a convincing case for the title with his four-goal haul against Norwich in midweek but Manuel Pellegrini revealed that he wouldn’t swap Sergio Aguero for anyone else.
“I never said he’s the best striker in the Premier League,” Pellegrini is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. “I said he’s the best player in the Premier League.
“Of course I still think that - there may be better strikers, but not better players.
“He’s the most complete player. He’s different [to Suarez]. Suarez is a very important striker, but I think Sergio has more parts to his game.”
Finally, City legend Uwe Rosler is reportedly set to take a step up the career ladder by becoming Wigan Athletic’s new manager.
According to today’s reports which appear in most newspapers, Rosler be given permission to speak to the FA Cup holders (sigh) at some point this weekend after Owen Coyle was relieved off his duties last week.
All the best (if it’s true), Uwe!
Join me in the Match Day Centre here on the official site this afternoon where I’ll be bringing you live text updates from St Mary’s.
It’s the next best thing to being there...
Unless it’s on the telly.
Which it’s not.
In the UK, at least…