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Friday, 2 August 2013

THE BATTLE OF THE MIND GAME


Since the emergence of current Chelsea manager Jose Mourihno in the premier league in summer of 2004, the term “Mind game” has become very common with soccer journalist and soccer followers worldwide.
Though the term “mind game” may have become very popular on the lips of many soccer fans but the truth remains that many if not all don’t even know what the word mean.

MIND GAME- is a largely conscious struggle for psychological supremacy often done by passive aggressive behaviour to specifically demoralize or empower the thinking subject, making the aggressor look superior. It can also be called power game.
 
Mind games appear in everyday life in the field of office, politics, sports, and relationships. It is usually played by the type A personalities.

However, mind games among managers in the top teams in the premier league is nothing new, and with the various changes that has taken place among the top teams recently most notable; Chelsea, Man Utd and Manchester City. It leads to the question of who will win the battle next season.


ARSENE WENGER

The Arsenal boss always rises to the challenge when other managers challenge him on a metal level, a feat which have earned him the name L’ professor.
He spent years trading blows like this with Sir Alex before the scot retired so it’s nothing new to him. Wenger knows how and when to respond, he always seems to have a firm grasp over his emotions.

 JOSE MOURIHNO

The “Happy one” seems to love a script of any kind. He will always stick up for his players and Chelsea as a football club, never afraid to pile the pressure onto his main rivals.
Mourihno will never resist an opportunity to use the media to his advantage and he has to be favourite when it comes to battle of the mind games next season because he is coming back into the premier league sharper in a mental capacity than when he left it.

 
DAVID MOYES

Moyes follows the master of mind games in Sir Alex Ferguson and he will always be very vocal against something he believes in or has a problem with.
Don’t expect him to start too many mind games but similarly to Ferguson he is a passionate Scottish coach who will react when he is provoked.
There have been various incident throughout the years when Moyes has reacted angrily getting involved in verbal confrontations on the touchline, allowing his emotions to carry over into post match interviews and press conferences.

 
Since the history of the premier league there have been numerous occasions where the top managers have engaged themselves in the mind game battle. Below are two unforgettable occasions;

1. During the 1995- 1996 season when Man utd were chasing Newcastle United managed by Kelvin Keegan. After a win over Leeds united, Sir Alex slammed his opponent saying he felt sorry for its manager, since it had played badly all season and had only tried hard against his team.
Guess what?
Rightly Kelvin Keegan and his team saw a 12points lead crumble and run through their fingers like dust.

2. In 2011, Sir Alex was involved in another mind game but this time with former Arsenal skipper Patrick Veira who was at the time a member of Manchester city front office.
Viera said that United’s decision to bring back Paul Scholes out of retirement at the age of 37 to bolster the team was a sign of desperation.
“If it’s desperation bringing the best midfielder in Britain back… then I think we can accept that” Sir Alex said. Then he added that Viera had been “programmed” to say that. Then there was this referring to city’s Argentine forward Carlos Tevez refusing to warm up during a September game, going AWOL until January and finally returning to the side months later. If you talk about desperation, they played a player the other night who refused to go on the pitch, the manager said he would never play again and he takes a five month holiday in Argentina….
What is that? Could that come under the description of desperation? And guess what…. Since then a single word have not been heard from Patrick Veira ever again concerning united.

This sort of stuff is all useful fodder for the media and we the followers of the game, but the question still remains does these mind games really impact on the players on the pitch?

 

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