Tim Sherwood famously called his team out after they capitulated against Chelsea last weekend. Speaking to the BBC after the game, Sherwood was brutal in his honesty:
There's a lack of character, too many of them are too nice to each other and you need to show a bit more guts.
You can't legislate for the capitulation—you can't have that.
It hurts me and I won't forget about this when we hit the motorway, but some might.
Sherwood was brave in his choice of words. He said everything that a fan or manager would want to say under the same circumstances. However, he was unwise to wash his dirty laundry so publicly.
He basically insulted every single player at Spurs, never mind the ones on the pitch. His reserves would have seen this interview and thought: "If he thinks that of them and they play, what does he think about me?"
His problems with the men on the pitch arise when he then goes to ask them for a performance. Memories cannot be washed clean and there is no such thing as a clean slate in football.
During the week, he added further fuel to the fire by saying that certain players were playing for their futures. Speaking to a Europa League press conference, as per Sky Sports, he said:
There are a lot of players here now who are playing for their future and I think they realize that. I will have a good look at the whole squad and see who I need to keep and who I need to bring in.
Considering that Sherwood might not be at the club next summer, and the players know this, this was strange in the least.
By contrast, Arsene Wenger has given an almost perfect performance in how to behave in front of the cameras over the last couple of weeks.
Arsenal were beaten by Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium and drew with them in Germany but ultimately went out to the far better team. Rather than turn on his team, Wenger turned the attention on Arjen Robben, who he said was a diver, as per Sky Sports.
Against Stoke, he claimed they only lost because the referee awarded a soft penalty, as per Sky Sports.
When his team were destroyed 5-1 by Liverpool, he said the result was an accident, as per BBC.
On each and every occasion, Wenger has enabled his team with psychological self-denial.
Ultimately, this tactic appears to have worked as Arsenal's players seem far happier with their recent performances than Spurs, who are constantly reminded of theirs.
This weekend, Sherwood and Wenger lock horns. No amount of psychology from the sidelines will work during the 90 minutes of action, but what they say in the build up to the game could shape the rest of their season and be equally as important as the tactics employed during the game.