Jose Mourinho over Pep Guardiola in big one-off games, says Danny Mills

6 December 2017, 22:49

Ahead of the Manchester derby, former City defender Danny Mills admits he would choose Jose Mourinho as manager over Pep Guardiola for a one-off big game.

United host City on Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 4.30pm, with Guardiola's side currently eight points ahead of their city rivals after 15 games.

Mourinho has been criticised for setting up defensively in bigger games since moving to United in the summer of 2016, but Mills said on The Debate - Live that he would opt for the Portuguese boss over Guardiola in this situation.

"I look at Mourinho sometimes and think he's equally as [much of a] genius [as Guardiola], but in a completely different way. He knows how to win one-off games.

"If the argument is: in a one-off game, who do you want as manager? I'd go with Mourinho, because he finds a way. Look at what he did at Porto, Inter, Chelsea time and time again.

"The players he has put together at Man Utd are enormous. It's like Land of the Giants! They could be bully boys this weekend and look to physically steamroll City that way.

"Mourinho has done it at more clubs, but in slightly different ways. Their records are equally as good, and it's very difficult to separate them. Mourinho sets up sometimes not to get beat, and it very rarely goes wrong for them."

Guardiola's first season in England ended in a fourth-place finish for City, but he has started this Premier League campaign unbeaten, seeing his side score 46 goals in 15 games and drop just two points along the way.

Mills is a keen admirer of Guardiola's management style, and says he looks to improve players gradually, while Mourinho picks ready-made players for tactical battles.

"You have to appreciate both styles. Pep's football is brilliant to watch, and you have to understand it takes an awful lot of intensity and preparation on the training ground.

"I spoke to a few people behind the scenes at City a few weeks ago, and they said sometimes it takes him three or four attempts to get his message across to the players, how he wants them to play, drilling them time and time again.

"The work rate they put in, the fear that they have that if they don't do it, they could get dropped. Not many managers can come in and do that.

"There is a subtle difference between the two; Pep will improve you as an individual, which will help you as a team. Whereas Mourinho's recruitment is: 'What do I need tactically to win this game? I'll go and buy him, and him, and him.'

"I'm not sure Mourinho has made players better like Pep has. Pep thinks about improving Raheem Sterling, De Bruyne, he has taken great players and made them better."

Regarding the contest itself, Mills sees it as a 'free hit' for City, such has been their dominance this season, and says if City win and open up an 11-point gap, there may be no way back for United.

"It's almost a free hit for City. If City were to lose, it's not the end of the world, such is the gap. If United were to lose, I think you've almost handed Man City the title, and that's a huge difference in mentality.

"And Mourinho will know that, if United lose, they could almost wave goodbye to the title."