It’s quite possibly last week’s news, but you’ve got to admit, the spat and potential bust up between Everton’s David Moyes and Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini was a little taste of some quality entertainment. EPL Talk has never condoned football related violence by any means, but the occasional scuffle between two passionate managers, in this case, one of them Scottish and the other Italian, definitely made an intense moment into a lasting and enjoyable memory.
In the end, the altercation that never amounted to much besides handbags, resulted in an FA charge against Mancini for his instigation while the incident resulted in a warning for Moyes for his supposed retaliation. The scuffle really was minor in it’s own right as both managers showed respect for one another after the dust cleared, and were even reported to have shared a drink in Mancini’s office after the match. But the clashing of managers raises an interesting question as to who would have emerged victorious had the situation escalated to blows and or a full fledged fight.
I’ll now attempt to break down both opponents strengths and weaknesses to allow you the reader to predict a winner if ever the two meet again.
- David Moyes, Scottish – Aged 46, (6 ft 1 in). Former center half for Celtic. Enjoyed a journeyman-type career appearing for some seven different clubs before working his way up to manager for Preston North End.
Let’s face it, the Scots are a brave and fiery lot. They “get stuck in” with the best of them. I’ve seen Moyes more times than I can remember on the touch line at Everton getting into a player or ref with enough passion and heart to scare off the toughest of would be opponents.
Moyes has a mostly working class background hailing from Bearsden, a suburb of Glasgow, where oddly enough, fellow countryman and Premier League manager Alex McLeish and Alex Kapranos (lead singer of indie band Franz Ferdinand) also hail from.
Obvious Strengths– A natural born Brave-heart, Moyes could take a few shots and keep coming at you. He’d most likely get hit in a fight first, but wouldn’t be phased, and the first punch would probably fuel him on. Could also trade verbal tirades with the best of them. So if you’re easily intimidated, Moyes could have you shaking in your boots before you worked up the courage to strike.
Weakness– Emotions could cloud his vision and judgement. Could be dominated by a more patient and technical fighter.
Secret Weapon – The headbutt
- Roberto Mancini, Italian– Aged 45, (6 ft 0 in). Striker for Lazio and Leicester to name a few. Great playing career and so far, very good managerial career.
As fiery as the Scots can be, so too can the Italians. Known more for their smarts and organization in a fight, what Mancini would give up in sheer brawn, he would gain back in street smarts. Don’t let the long, well-maintained hair and scarf fool you, Mancini has been around the block and faced some of the toughest center backs in Italian and English football in his playing days.
Obvious Strengths– Some would say Mancini would fight dirty, I disagree. I think he would fight smart and defensive (Catenaccio anyone?). He’d allow his opponent to make the first move or two and counter attack to fit his fighting style. Whether or not this tactic would be enough to win over his opponent is yet to be seen, but it would allow Mancini the vital few moments needed in combat to gain a read and understanding of his opponent. This very characteristic could give Mancini the edge to win in a close fight.
Weakness– Hot temper could be his undoing if he let it get the better of his intellect. Also, fighting the smart fight doesn’t always work. Would have to be on his toes if he let his opponent dictate the pace of the encounter.
Secret Weapon – Shin rake
The Verdict– For me, it’s too close to call. Both men are very close in age, height and weight. Both are of a passionate manner with Moyes probably gaining the slight edge when it comes to getting himself all hot and bothered, while Mancini seems to play it cool most of the time.
If it ever kicked off between the two managers, it’d be an interesting contest. Let’s hope it never does, but thanks to the both of them for giving us that unforgettable moment last week when we just thought it would.