Optus Sport expert Michael Bridges gives his thoughts after an unbelievable week of European football.
For a manager, if you lose the dressing room, you’re finished. Even in my time in the A-League I had a manager at the Jets who tried to empty the club of all its senior players. The dressing room unsurprisingly didn’t like it and the manager quickly became isolated. It’s not a strategy that works anymore.
In my opinion that father-figure style of management was pioneered by Sir Bobby Robson, developed by Pep Guardiola and replicated by Klopp and Pochettino, with the result manifesting most obviously in the past two weeks of incredible football.
Yet if you would have told me at the start of the season that England would have four teams in the finals of the Champions League and Europa League (and Manchester City wouldn’t even be one of them!) I would have laughed you out of the room.
Even without Guardiola, it’s an outstanding result for Australian viewers. I’ve always been very aware of how big these four teams are in the UK but to be over here and see how many Australians are equally as passionate about these teams, is an incredible thing.
Almost every football fan in Australia will have some sort of affiliation with one of the teams involved in the two finals, and I, like many, just can’t wait to see what those amazing managers deliver in that last week of may.
The UEFA Champions League and Europa League is live and exclusive on Optus Sport, as well as every match of the Premier League and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup live and on demand.