Ian Hart: Jose Mourinho or Chris Hughton? Who would you want in your dugout?

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

So that’s two Amex wins out of two against Manchester United in the Premier League, I doubt many would have predicted that back in April 2017 when the Albion realised the Premier League dream.

As with the 1-0 victory at the end of last season, Sunday’s win will live long in the memory for Albion fans everywhere.

Since the weekend I’ve heard a number of fans complaining that the media haven’t given Brighton the credit they deserve for their performance, instead concentrating on the obvious issues at Old Trafford.

Unfortunately, that comes with the territory, we’re in the big league now, playing against a number of clubs who are a global product. United are one of the biggest football clubs in the world, their problems are well documented and clearly ongoing, and I do wonder who will be in the home dugout for the return fixture at Old Trafford. Never mind the national media, locally we can celebrate our emphatic victory, did 3-2 flatter United?Absolutely.

Glenn Murray provided a striker’s masterclass up front, and perhaps the most puzzling aspect of the afternoon was when the match sponsors, American Express, gave their man of the match award to Davy Propper. What Sunday did yet again reiterate are the man management skills and the tactical nous of Chris Hughton, who is fast becoming, if not already, the greatest manager in the club’s history.

There’s no way of dressing it up, the week before at Watford the Albion stank Vicarage Road out.

The ‘lowlights’ on Match of the Day confirmed this to anyone who didn’t make the trip to Hertfordshire, but a couple of friends who did go said the performance resembled a group of individuals who had met for the first time in the car park about 1.30pm. Hughton rightly criticised his side publicly after the game and then allegedly read the riot act behind closed doors last week before having a clear-the-air meeting when the floor was open for everyone to put their opinion over.

Prior to Sunday a number of fans were predicting an Albion defeat, and the continuation of the pointless start to the campaign. So just how those same fans felt when, with the exception of the injured Bruno, Hughton went with the team who had been humbled at Watford?

Clearly it turned out to be a tactical masterstroke, Albion shot out of the blocks, attacked, or as some media outlets reported bullied United, and were well worth the three points.

It also throws up the question, especially with a large number of United fans living locally, who would fans of either side rather have in the dugout? Mourinho or Hughton?

Obviously the Albion faithful would come back 100 per cent in favour of Hughton, but how many United fans in the current situation would rather have Hughton as their manager?

Granted Jose is good value, his media sound bites have been the stuff of legend down the years, but is he a busted flush now? And perhaps more the question for the United faithful, has he already lost the dressing room two games in?

But frankly it doesn’t affect the Albion. Now all attention turns to the trip to Liverpool on Saturday. A game in all honesty Albion cannot really expect anything from, but in light of the respective performances against Watford and United, could be a real barometer for the season.

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