Ron Atkinson runs rule over ‘unique’ Chelsea and Man United managers

Ron Atkinson speaks of his admiration for Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho ahead of Saturday's Stamford Bridge clash

Ron Atkinson believes Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal are two of just a few football managers who still have control over all aspects of their clubs.

The Premier League powerhouses are set to face-off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening as United look to extend their six-game winning run against the leaders.

These two are some of the most abrasive, if that’s the right word, because they are real characters

Ron Atkinson

Mourinho has guided the Blues back to the summit of the Premier League this season after the Portuguese returned to English football in June 2013.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, has led the Red Devils to the brink of Champions League qualification after he was appointed as David Moyes’ permanent successor last May.

Speaking to United’s website, Atkinson spoke about the qualities of two of football’s most successful managers.

“I think they’re somewhat unique in that respect,” Atkinson told United’s website. “A lot of managers are what you would call coaches at the majority of clubs but, by and large, these are two guys who control everything.

“You can put Arsene Wenger alongside them but these two are some of the most abrasive, if that’s the right word, because they are real characters.

“I think what’s happened now is there was a time when the manager would virtually control all of the club in conjunction with the chairman.

“Nowadays, there is a new brand of owner who has got people running all separate departments such as the Academy and the club is divided into an awful lot more components, whereas we had our hands on virtually everything.”

The Red Devils are eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea ahead of Saturday’s clash in west London.

The Blues were 1-0 winners against derby rivals Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, whilst United earned a 4-2 victory over Manchester City in the day’s late kick-off.

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