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Conte vs Mourinho and more: These top 5 manager rivalries have defined the last PL decade

Top five managers rivalries in the PL over the last decade

As football fans, we often romanticize Fergie versus Wenger for a reason, two men who disliked and respected each other in equal measure, both of whom were in charge of the Premier League’s best sides of their era.

Here are the top 5 managerial rivalries in the Premier League this decade.

Jose Mourinho vs Arsenal Wenger

In some ways, Mourinho and Wenger are quite similar. They both believe in their way as the way, generally refusing to compromise on their principles. However, these principles are extremely different.

Mourinho and Wenger have had their fair share of fights (Image credit: Getty)

While Wenger committed himself to individualism, Mourinho has always been a deeply systematized coach. The latter openly disrespected the former in February 2014, with his Chelsea one point ahead of Arsenal atop the Premier League table at the time. “He’s a specialist in failure,” Mourinho stated. “If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”

The two have always had a frosty relationship – one that perhaps climaxed when Wenger shoved Mourinho during a clash in October 2014. However, the Portuguese has unquestionably gotten the better of things on the pitch, winning nine of their 18 meetings compared to Wenger’s two.

Tony Pulis vs Mark Hughes

The dispute between the two former Stoke managers didn’t produce as many headlines as many of the other quarrels documented here but it was nonetheless very real. The antipathy dated back to 2010/11, when then-Fulham boss Hughes refused to shake Pulis’ hand after a League Cup tie. The latter then returned the favour a few months later, when the Cottagers visited the Britannia Stadium.

Mark Hughes - Stoke and West Brom managers Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis face mounting pressure as fan frustration simmers
Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes may have endured a fractious relationship in the past (Image credit: Getty)

The Welshmen renewed hostilities in 2017 when Hughes accused West Brom – the club Pulis was managing – of leaking the details of Saido Berahino’s failed drug test after the striker joined the Potters from the Baggies.

Antonio Conte vs Jose Mourinho

The feud began when Mourinho took offence to what he considered an excessive celebration from Conte during Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Manchester United in 2016, criticizing the Italian for whipping up the Blues support.

Mourinho and Conte (Image credit: Getty)

Conte brushed off that incident but the pair locked horns in mid-2017/18 when Mourinho insisted that he didn’t need to behave like a “clown” on the touchline to demonstrate his passion.

The Chelsea chief hit back by suggesting that the Portuguese was suffering from senile dementia (later saying he meant amnesia).

Jurgen Klopp vs Pep Guardiola

Unlike Mourinho vs Pep or Ferguson vs Wenger, Klopp and Guardiola always praise each other when they can. These are two of the greatest managers in recent history and they have nothing but respect for their trade.

Klopp and Guardiola have become today’s version of Ferguson v Wenger (Image credit: Getty)

In fact, their sportsmanship is one of the reasons football can be truly mesmerizing. No matter how much they succeed, the banter between the two will always remain.

Manuel Pellegrini vs Alan Pardew

In January 2014 – when the Palace boss was in charge at Newcastle – the pair exchanged words and Pardew bad-mouthed the Chilean.

The feud was revived in the 26th minute when Pardew was furious and entered Pellegrini’s technical area to protest about a challenge by Yaya Toure on James McArthur. That followed a poor challenge by Palace’s Scott Dann on Sergio Aguero.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew and Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini during a feud
Pardew had a go at Pellegrini (Image credit: Getty)

Pellegrini was visibly angry with Pardew’s encroachment and instructed him back to his technical area. The former had the last laugh over the latter as his side battered Palace 5-1 to reach the Capital One Cup quarter-finals in October.

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