As arguably the most bitter and storied rivalry in all of sports, Liverpool and Manchester United certainly do not require much in the way of fuel to keep the bad blood roiling at a healthy boil.
The addition of the chronically-antagonistic José Mourinho to the mix as United manager therefore has ensured that the cup of enmity will undoubtedly runneth over between the two English giants for years to come.
In one of the first clashes between the two managers, the Portuguese coach took a typically Mourinho approach in responding to Jürgen Klopp’s recent criticism of the Manchester club’s world record (re)signing of Paul Pogba.
In an interview with MUTV, Mourinho retaliated saying that, "[S]ometimes in football, things happen and the club breaks the record, but this is only possible at clubs like Man United."
He made sure to part with a trademark petulant Mourinho dig, remarking, "When I heard some of the comments and heard some of the managers criticising that, I don’t think they ever have this problem because, to have this problem, you need to be at one of the top clubs in the world. So at Man United it can happen."
The transfer for the former United youngster, which, at an eye-watering £98.3m, amounting to essentially the most expensive buyback clause in history, has been roundly derided by most outside of northwest England as a gross overestimation of value and a sign of an expanding Galactico-zation of football that had formerly been limited to the La Liga shores.
Klopp had expressed his disdain for the nauseatingly-drawn out transfer a few days prior when the move was still a ‘rumor’, commenting, "The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore, because the game is about playing together.
"Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players. I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money."
The big German has walked that talk in his first summer at Liverpool, spending big when needed, just not in the self-aggrandizing, landscape-altering manner of their Mancunian rivals.
And as it stands, it now would seem that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is the only one of big club managers not in direct conflict with the ever-combative Mourinho, as Klopp joins new Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger on the Portuguese coach’s well-documented sh*t list.
Either way, you can’t have drawn up a better script for the newest phase of this ancient rivalry if you had overpaid a Hollywood screenwriter to write one.
The principled charismatic hero, heart-pounding rock and roll football in tow, up against the glowering, defensively petulant antagonist, founder of the School of the Parked Bus.
I don’t know about you but October 15th can’t come fast enough.