Everyone has it wrong about Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho - he is not the master of the mind game. If the objective is to wind up a rival manager to make him lose his focus, then surely Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is the real master.
Wenger's Friday press conference was a masterclass in subtlety. It was a classy lesson from the wise and experienced Frenchman.
While the media and most everyone else was busy reporting on Mourinho and the little 'Chelsea horse', the Arsenal manager knew exactly what buttons to press to get the reaction he sought from his rival.
Wenger calmly talked about the Premier League race, rationally outlined how it was Chelsea's to lose, and set-up Mourinho to put his foot-in-his mouth and come across like a rambling fool. And, perhaps more importantly, Wenger also managed to deflect attention away from his Arsenal team - who face a difficult FA Cup tie with Liverpool today - and even successfully distracted Mourihno from his main task - which was to get a result at Manchester City Saturday.
And the great thing about the set-up was that there were no fingerprints - Wenger orchestrated the whole thing so well that no-one could point the finger of blame towards him. In fact, the Arsenal boss came out of it all as an innocent victim, with the Chelsea boss perceived to have once again crossed the line, and painted as a victim.
Mourinho may well have picked up a lot of silverware in the last 8 years, but he is still in a novice when it come to mind games, as Arsene Wenger is clearly in a class all of his own.
image: © dyobmit