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Mourinho has an early mind games advantage over Moyes after antagonistic Rooney bid

1.48K   //    22 Jul 2013, 18:40 IST

Winning while talking…

If there’s one thing that Jose Mourinho excels at above tactical preparation and instilling discipline in a squad it is in his mind games. He is a skilled communicator, something he was trained in even before becoming a football coach, and his ability to get at his opponents has added to his mystique and helped build his success.

He is a veteran at media manipulation and deflecting any negative criticism of his team on to himself. However, his more overt ‘mind games’ tactics have been used to destabilise other clubs and referees for his own gain. The famous incidents with Barcelona over the years, ruffling Rafa Benitez’s feathers in an exchange which made the Spaniard so unpopular and winding up Martin O’Neill before the Porto Celtic UEFA Cup final all resulted in positive results for his teams. But the other thing he never really did, was engage the master of the mind games, Sir Alex Ferguson. But now that he has left Manchester United, Mourinho has immediately begun the games with his successor David Moyes.

Chelsea will know that Manchester United won’t sell them Wayne Rooney, but that’s no reason for them to not bid for him. In the age of Twitter, newspapers and 24 hour news looking for ‘stories’ at all costs Jose Mourinho has fed them a tidbit which they have feasted on.

In an instant, all the focus was taken off his return to Chelsea and focused squarely on David Moyes and new executive vice chairman Ed Woodward. If Man United had signed a Cesc Fabregas or Gareth Bale, Chelsea might not have gotten involved in this, but the timing is very indicative of exactly what Mourinho is up to.

Wayne Rooney expressed his desire to leave Man United to Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season and Chelsea have done nothing about it. You could say that this was because they were apparently involved in trying to get Cavani, but according to Mourinho, and take this with a pinch of salt, they only want Rooney at Chelsea. He’s said he’s very happy with his squad and sees Rooney as a bonus. But, he only chose to say that when Moyes was going through a little sticky patch in the press and with some less patient United fans.

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