Premier League press conferences over the years have produced some absolute gems as well as toe-curling performances that are still ringing in our ears today. From Cantona’s seagulls following the trawler to Nigel Pearson’s bizarre ostrich rant, thousands of column inches are devoted to the innermost thoughts of managers and players, every week. So what did we learn from this weekend’s offerings? Well, nothing about our ornithological friends unfortunately.
Jose’s copy and paste performance
If you were feeling shades of deja vu from Mourinho’s post-match presser on Saturday, you certainly wouldn’t have been alone. A carbon copy of his post-match remarks from when his Chelsea side lost at St James’ in 2013, the ‘Special One’ could not put his finger on why his charges were so poor in the first half. Could it be because you used the exact same team talk Jose?
While we’re on the topic of Mr Mourinho and his groundhog-style proclivities, another familiar refrain was raised by the Portuguese before Saturday’s match. Yes, you guessed it, Wenger copped it, again. Faced with sensitive questions about Diego Costa’s three match suspension, before the assembled press could say ‘change the record’, Mourinho had turned on Wenger. Only one manager in the league can criticise referees and push fellow managers in the dugout, he said. Only one manager in the league is under absolutely no pressure, regardless of results, he said. Mummy, go and tell the nasty Mr Wenger to leave me alone, he said.
It was quite a week for Jose looking back at the past. Perhaps he would be better served looking at the future and working out how he can get the intensity back into a group of players that have allowed games to wash over them all too often this season.
Once a Tinkerman, always a Tinkerman
Away from the cloak and dagger mind games of west London, the loveable Claudio Ranieri was plotting a revolutionary method by which Arsenal could finally win back the Premier League title. Talking of the array of options that Leicester’s opponents had at their disposal, the Italian claimed ‘Arsene can put Alexis Sanchez in goal and Petr Cech up front and Arsenal will still have a great team.’ Whether or not Mr Wenger will take heed of this counsel is yet to be seen but Sanchez clearly seemed concerned by the comments. So worried was he that a pair of goalie gloves were awaiting him in the changing room, that he promptly went and scored a hat-trick at the King Power stadium in an attempt to convince Wenger he still has a future as a forward. You can’t help thinking, ‘what if’ though…
Pushing the envelope
It wouldn’t be a proper round-up without a dose of the Premier League’s very own David Brent, Mr B Rodgers. Poor results against West Ham, Norwich and Man United in recent weeks, have put the Northern Irishman under pressure. But fair play to Brendan, if there’s one thing he excels at, it’s drawing positives from almost any situation. Referring to the ‘hysteria around the club’, Rodgers backed his Liverpool side, claiming that they have ‘lost fewer games than Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in all competitions.’ While he may be right, factually, we’ll see how long this particular record lasts. Oh, and I don’t think those teams had to rely on penalties to sneak through in the League Cup against a League Two side. Keep that glass half full though, Brendan, you chilled out entertainer.
MICHAEL CREANE – You can follow Michael on @MichaelCreane