Manager chat really is the worst, isn’t it? The mind games are fascinating and highly enjoyable in the early stages of the season, but now it’s just getting plain ridiculous.
Avoiding any sort of Mourinho-hating bias here, it always seems to be the Man United boss taking centre stage in this managerial nonsense. Whether it is his constant battle with the much more likable Arsene Wenger, or even his newly formed fight with Antonio Conte, Jose ALWAYS has something to say.
It was his post-match interview after the disappointing loss to Arsenal that particularly comes to mind, with Mourinho just slightly bitter towards the Arsenal faithful: “Finally today they sing, they swing the scarves. It’s nice for them.”
Combine this with the fact that he strongly believes United’s season is successful even if they don’t eventually go on to win the Europa League, and it just gets better and better. He has evidently focused all of his and his side’s energy on the tournament, just a few years after absolutely hammering Rafa Benitez for winning it with Chelsea in 2013…hmmm.
The words of Antonio Conte could yet be more frustratingly annoying, with the Italian recently claiming that Spurs have an advantage over Chelsea, just days before his side clinched the title. Perhaps his reasoning may have made since, such as an easier fixture list or fewer injuries to worry about, but nah, Antonio went for the classic ‘Pochettino has been there longer than me’. Surely not?
Moyesey now, ain’t no way he was getting out of this one. His ‘warning’ to Jordan Pickford of risking his development should he leave Sunderland for a bench role was classic manager nonsense, with the gaffer simply coming up with his best excuse so he doesn’t lose one of his best players. His treatment of Jermain Defoe isn’t much different, expressing his utter shock and disbelief that the striker has a release clause in his contract should the club get relegated…which they did. Surely he knew about this before the inevitable plummet, surely??
Even Eddie Howe is getting in on it, wishing on-loan midfielder Jack Wilshere ‘all the best for the future mate’, which really means ‘screw Arsenal and come and join us for another year’. In all honesty, I think Ronald Koeman has the right idea as the season winds down, with the gaffer somewhat oddly explaining to the media that Ross Barkley has until next weekend to sort out his plans. It’s a smart idea really, although one that could massively backfire. Either the fans will turn on the player who doesn’t sign a new contract, or in contrast, the fans will turn on the manager who failed to keep hold of an important player, either way, it’s a little bit dodgy.
Brendan Rodgers wins the managerial mind games for me though, claiming that he can understand his club’s links with Chelsea forward Dominic Solanke because he took the forward into the club when he was eight years old. Enough!
Let’s hope this magical yet utterly futile bickering continues as the Premier League is basically already over, with not much football of any interest really, although there is the tasty fight for Champions League football still to play for, so here’s to Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola getting in on the act as well!