World Football

What Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola Can Take from the European Super Cup Final

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - AUGUST 30:  In this handout image provided by UEFA, Manager Jose Mourinho of Chelsea talks to the media after the UEFA Super Cup match between Bayern Muenchen and Chelsea FC at Stadion Eden on August 30, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic.  (Photo by UEFA via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images
Guillem BalagueFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2013

The European Super Cup was a fantastic final, and one in which two managers with a long rivalry should take plenty of positives.

Newspapers like the Daily Mail will lead on the Jose Mourinho quotes that "the best team lost" in the European Super Cup between Chelsea and Bayern Munich, and the fact that he blamed the referee. 

That's a shame, because Chelsea played really well. They played to their strengths. Mourinho realised that Bayern are not quite settled with Pep Guardiola's approach of building from the back, and pressured well.

One side wanted the ball all the time, the other didn't. That's not a criticism of Chelsea, by the way, it's just a description of the style. Either could have won. 

Chelsea were aggressive without being over-aggressive. There were individual performances to savour, such as those from Eden Hazard and David Luiz.

I'm surprised Mourinho didn't focus on that.

On the other hand, it's quite clear that Pep Guardiola needed this victory. I had a chance to chat to him after the game, and while he didn't go into detail, it was clear that it was a big win for many reasons, not just getting one over Mourinho. 

Some people are doubting the changes that he's introduced to this Bayern Munich side, and while I sense that the non-German players are understanding the changes that he's trying to introduce, the German players in this Bayern Munich side are more hesitant. They've already won everything the old way, so they might need more convincing. 

The axis of Guardiola's Bayern Munich will really only emerge when he has Javi Martinez in central defence, Thiago in midfield, and Goetze in front of him along with Bastian Schweinsteiger in a triangle. It hasn't happened yet, so for now he's just trying to get a few of his ideas in play.

Most of all it was a fantastic final. These are two teams with a winning mentality, which I believe is the hardest thing to develop. 

They both won European silverware last year, and on this evidence they will be very strong contenders again this season.


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