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Jose Mourinho Doesn't Need to Bother with David Moyes as He Ramps Up Mind Games

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 26:  Manchester United Manager David Moyes and Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho (R) look on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Paul AnsorgeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2014

LONDON - DECEMBER 18:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger (L) and Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho (R) give instructions from the sidelines during the Barclays Premiership match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Highbury on December 18, 2005 in London, England.  (Ph
Ben Radford/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has been in full mind games mode.

It is entirely unclear whether he is genuinely trying to unsettle his rivals or if, bored of simply winning trophies, he is doing it to amuse himself and live up to his public image.

Joking aside, snarky commentary on his rivals' abilities and personal characteristics have always been part of the Mourinho arsenal.

Arsene Wenger has been a target for many years. This week's "specialist in failure" jibe, as noted by BBC Sport, is the latest in a long line of attacks. The Mourinho of 2005 vintage called Wenger a "voyeur:"

He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.

LONDON - DECEMBER 18:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger (L) and Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho (R) give instructions from the sidelines during the Barclays Premiership match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Highbury on December 18, 2005 in London, England.  (Ph
Ben Radford/Getty Images

Given that this has been going on for the best part of a decade, it is not an enormous leap of logic to assume that Mourinho believes there is some mileage in going after Wenger in this way.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Manuel Pellegrini manager of Manchester City and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea give instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on February 3, 2014 in Ma
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Unless he really is only doing it for sport, he is presumably confident in his ability to have some effect on Arsenal, not a team who have demonstrated the most resilient mentality of late, by going after their leader.

Manuel Pellegrini has also recently come in for the Jose treatment. Mourinho described Manchester City as a "Jaguar," adding "you cannot put an 'L' plate on a Jaguar." It is hard not to infer an insult from this, given the car analogy necessitates a driver. 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 05:  Real Madrid Manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second leg match between Manchester United and Real Madrid at Old Trafford on Mar
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jon Super/Associated Press

Mourinho and Pellegrini have some history. Apparently disdainful of Pellegrini's choice of managing at Malaga after his dismissal from Real Madrid, Mourinho said of "The Engineer's" time at Real Madrid: "Second place is just first loser." 

Whilst Mourinho has been resuming old hostilities with two of his favourite targets from years past, David Moyes has been on the receiving end of something much worse.

In public, all that the Chelsea manager has for Moyes, and United, is pity: "I feel sorry for them, I never enjoy it when somebody is having some problems, like they're having." How the mighty have fallen.

Mourinho never turned his ire on to Sir Alex Ferguson as they clashed at the top of the Premier League table. There was the odd statement which could perhaps be seen as having an agenda beyond the obvious, but it was always couched in the language of compliment.

He is a great manager, he is clever and used his power and his prestige. The referee should not allow it. I have a lot of respect for Ferguson. I call him boss because he is the manager's boss.

The ultimate message of this quote is not dissimilar to Rafael Benitez's infamous "fact" rant—Sir Alex Ferguson wields undue power and influence in English football—but it was delivered in a much more measured way. Whatever the truth of their relationship, Mourinho has never been anything other than glowing about Sir Alex in public.

With Moyes, however, the lack of negative attention comes from a different, altogether less comfortable place for United fans. He is simply not a threat to Mourinho's side and so no energy is wasted in trying to undermine him.

With United languishing in mid-table, Mourinho can afford to focus his attention elsewhere. That Chelsea were prepared to sell Juan Mata to United is perhaps some indication of how the club's hierarchy perceives the level of threat but that Mourinho has not taken time out of his schedule to have a pop or two at Moyes certainly is.

If Moyes is ultimately to be a success at United, he will eventually face the Mourinho mind games. United fans should be hoping this starts happening sooner rather than later.

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