The presence of the world’s two best-known football managers in Manchester this season has brought an unexpected role for the Department of Languages, Information and Communications.
Senior Lecturer in Spanish Karl McLaughlin, who is also a sports journalist, is keeping close tabs on the fortunes of Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho at Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively, for Spain’s top TV football show.
Karl has been signed up as a pundit by Estudio Estadio, Spain’s equivalent of Match of the Day, and is making weekly appearances live from Manchester throughout the season to give the latest news on the managerial pair and their clubs. The offer came from the programme’s director in September and was too good to turn down.
Karl, a United supporter since childhood, said: “Estudio Estadio is Spain’s flagship football show and has been an ever-present on nationwide TV since the 1970s. The chance to be a regular part as a pundit broadcasting live from Manchester is an absolute dream and, needless to say, I jumped at it. It involves a lot of research on aspects relating not just to actual matches but, more generally, all information concerning Guardiola and Mourinho’s high-profile presence in Manchester. The programme is particularly interested in what the fans in Manchester think of their new managers.”
Among the topics discussed on last week’s late-night show was Guardiola’s strict regime at City, including his controversial decision to ban wifi at the training ground to prevent his players from spending all their time on their phones and social media rather than talking to each other. Estudio Estadio invited a sport psychologist to the panel to discuss whether such measures help or hinder the relationship between players and their manager. Inevitably perhaps, this week’s attention focused on Guardiola’s Champions League return with City to Barcelona, the club where he made his name as a player and coach.
Karl added: “Given their well-documented past rivalry, Spanish interest in both managers is understandably massive and many of the country’s leading print and broadcasting media send journalists to cover the fixtures at Old Trafford and the Etihad. Manchester Metropolitan offers a final-year option in Sports Journalism so it is great that we have been given the opportunity to contribute to this unprecedented coverage.”