As the Premier League title race begins to heat up in England, much has been made of the top sides’ managers heading into the campaign.
Here, we take a look at what makes some of them so unique in terms of tactics or personality.
MANCHESTER UNITED – JOSE MOURINHO
New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is perhaps one of the most controversial and successful managers in the world.
However, there is so much more than just his trophies that make him stand out from the rest – none more so than his ice-cold personality.
Mourinho has a habit of making controversial statements in the media that many people disagree with, and he uses this to his advantage in making people dislike him in order to get his players fired up.
The Portuguese tactician knows what to say at what time to motivate his players, and has an unmatched ability to make his squad fight for him and stand on the front lines in battle on the pitch.
Out of every manager in the Premier League, and perhaps the world, Mourinho is the best at making decisions that others won’t like. If he has to shut up shop and play “anti-football”, he’ll do it, and he’ll enjoy it as well.
The desire to do whatever it takes to win is what makes Mourinho the man he is at the moment, and that doesn’t have to be necessarily within the lines of sportsmanship.
He has a demeanour and swagger that is arrogant and classy at the same time, something no other manager in world football has.
MANCHESTER CITY – PEP GUARDIOLA
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is perhaps the complete opposite to his United counterpart, as he has one style of football that he drills into his team.
The Spaniard plays a patient, possession-based game, but encourages his team to move the ball quickly and accurately.
It’s this brand of football that revolutionised the sport, as he turned Barcelona into the ultimate football team, and became the measuring stick when it came to beautiful football.
Guardiola has such a confident nature about him, and his classy attitude at media conferences and on the touchline makes him all the more likeable.
He doesn’t worry too much about the opposition, as he makes it his priority to focus on his own team’s strengths.
He does this as he believes he’s developing something unique into his team with his possession style and has a strong belief that no other team can match that level of football.
City have already reaped rewards under this attitude so far, rattling home five goals at Steaua Bucharest and showing a massive improvement in their football than what they looked like under Manuel Pellegrini last year.
Guardiola’s main feature is his vision of perfect football as well as his ability to pull it off, and this makes him one of the most unique managers in world football.
CHELSEA – ANTONIO CONTE
The Italian perhaps isn’t on the same scale as Mourinho and Guardiola when it comes to his uniqueness, but you can’t fail to notice several features of his management skills.
The first being his passion. The former Italy and Juventus manager wears his heart on his sleeve and kicks every ball on the touchline. He also encourages fan interaction and is often seen going into the crowd to celebrate vital goals.
Despite perhaps agreeing with it, Conte will always aggressively bat away criticism of his players from external sources.
However, he’s similar to many managers that way, and it doesn’t necessarily make him unique.
What makes Conte stand out on his own is the demands he puts on his players. At Juventus, he famously lambasted Milos Krasic for a single lapse during one of his first games in charge.
He doesn’t have the same football ethic as Guardiola and believes his teams must battle for every point.
That’s not a dent on Conte’s style of play, as it helps drill a belief into his squad an attitude that is second to none and a level of hard work that helps dig out extra points throughout the season.
LIVERPOOL – JURGEN KLOPP
The first thing you notice about Jurgen Klopp is how much you like him.
His personality is second to none, and he tries to make his players feel as if he is their friend as well as their boss – which is noticeable during goal celebrations.
Klopp loves to put his arm around his players and believes in being congratulated for every little piece of hard work. It’s this attitude that gets his players on his side so quickly.
Players want to play for Klopp for being an honest, happy man, and it’s that honesty that really makes him stand out.
You won’t see Klopp shirk his media duties after a defeat, or get overly angry at a probing question by a reporter. He knows he has a responsibility to his fans and the media to give his honest opinion.
His personality is refreshingly unique, and his energy and drive are transmitted through to his team on the pitch.
This season, Liverpool have developed a real energy about them, with Klopp bringing in pacey players to help with the Reds’ speed in counter attacks.
His team really is a reflection of his happiness and positive energy, and this makes him perhaps the most unique manager in football in that respect.