Is Mourinho deflecting attention away from players and onto himself?

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Chelsea manager may be returning to an old tactic he mastered during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

Scrutiny of Chelsea's mixed start to the Premier League, combined with the loss in their first group game of the Champions League, has paled in comparison to the media coverage given to Manchester City's poor form and Manchester United's near crisis.

Former Blues defender Frank Sinclair, who featured in the club's rearguard for the majority of the 1990s, believes he knows why…

'The pressure is on and maybe that’s his way of taking the stress off the players,' the 41-year-old, now manager at Colwyn Bay, told TalkSport earlier today.

It is a tactic he engineered throughout his first spell as the club's manager as he diverted the press focus away from poor patches of form surrounding his players and onto himself due to either a: his own antics, b: quotable statements made, c: his own charisma or d: a mixture of all of the aforementioned.

See also: Senior Chelsea player alludes to Mourinho rift in dressing room

See also: Chelsea legend asks if Tottenham can handle title pressure

The club's away form in England is substandard as Chelsea are yet to record a Premier League victory on the road and have only returned one goal in three away games. The continual omission of Juan Mata in big matches seemingly offends members of the press and his decision to leave Kevin de Bruyne at home ahead of the upcoming Champions League tie with Steaua Bucharest has also come under the newspaper and broadcasting spotlight.

'He’s frustrated at Chelsea’s average start,' Sinclair continued, before making further notes on deflecting attention: 'He’s done that before. I’m a bit concerned about the reaction though [to Mourinho walking out of a pre-match press conference this week].

'He would expect those sorts of questions because he should know what the press is like. I think he’s just a bit annoyed.'

Chelsea take on Steaua this evening, Tuesday, at 19:45 at the Stadionul Steaua in Romania.

image: © Jason Bagley

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