Rodgers copied Mourinho mind games, now showing Wenger how it's done

Brendan Rodgers 2

Liverpool boss played media in much the same way Chelsea man had earlier in the season, now Arsenal boss is left in both their wakes.

Did Brendan Rodgers really fool anyone?

Just last weekend, following a 6-3 thrashing of Cardiff City, the Liverpool manager explained that he does see his side as legitimate title challengers - and eventual winners - he does not foresee that happening this season but, rather, next season.

"There is no doubt we are on the right road to winning a title here," Rodgers was quoted by Sky Sports to have said. "[But] we are nowhere near the finished article," he stressed in a caveat.

Sound familiar? It should - it is a paraphrased soundbite from a statement straight out of the Jose Mourinho mind-game playbook, as the Chelsea boss said near enough the exact same thing three to four months ago regarding his side's chances in the Premier League - fantastic; but for next season, not this.

Chelsea since stormed up the table and, with Liverpool's triumph over Sunderland last night, they too are now prominently placed at the head of the division.

Arsenal have fallen by the wayside, leaving the race for this year's crown to be contested between three equally-sized horses.

If anything, Rodgers and Liverpool are showing Arsene Wenger and Arsenal precisely how to close a 38-game campaign - by winning, relentlessly. The victory over the Black Cats was their seventh on the spin.

Judging by his latest quotes, Rodgers has abandoned the mythical playbook written by his one-time mentor at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho, as the Ulsterman provided a public rallying call for his Kop troops: "We are Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the world. We want to represent the club and be winners and we are on that path.

"We are one point behind Chelsea and still have to play them here - seven wins in a row is incredible at this level where teams are so competitive."

That anticipated showdown versus Mourinho's Blues is not until April 27, a home tie that could sway the pendulum of positional Premier League power, but, before that, Rodgers also has to navigate potentially tricky fixtures involving Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

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