Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has taken aim at Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho ahead of the teams’ clash on Saturday.
Koeman and Mourinho were both part of Louis van Gaal’s coaching staff at Barcelona in the late 1990s and have since gone on to become respected managers.
The Dutchman acknowledged that Mourinho has been the more successful of the two and is an example to others, yet also feels the Chelsea boss is in no position to be calling himself “the special one”, irrespective of his successes.
“Jose went his own way as a coach and he did things much better,” Koeman told the BBC.
“He is a winning coach. I like how he has done, he’s an example to all managers.
“In some things, he’s special, but what’s a special one?
“It is someone who has a good mentality to be the best, but it’s not for yourself to mention that.”
Koeman and Mourinho went head to head twice in 2014-15, with both Premier League encounters ending in a 1-1 draw.
Southampton, who defeated Swansea City 3-1 at home last time out, hold a one-point lead over Chelsea in the table going into the game at St Mary’s Stadium.
Koeman’s men occupy 10th place with nine points from seven games, while Mourinho’s reigning champions are in unfamiliar territory in 14th spot, having dropped points in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle last weekend.