Chelsea boss Mourinho starts his mind games
Will Chelsea Boss Jose Mourinho's Comments Play a Role in Manchester United Match?
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Jose Mourinho is back in England, and with the return of "the Special One" comes the return of the verbal games the English media became all too accustomed to in his first stint as Chelsea's tactician.
Mourinho and his Chelsea army visit Manchester United and Old Trafford on Monday in what will be the season's first blockbuster battle of the giants.
The summer has seen various angles taken on the transfer window, with David Moyes struggling to land a big target up there as one of the most intriguing. While a majority of the press has focused on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger's inability to confirm a new signing, David Moyes has failed in his attempts to sign Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas and also missed out on Thiago Alcantara and Kevin Strootman, who made summer moves to Bayern Munich and AS Roma respectively.
Ahead of Monday's match, Mourinho has increased the stakes even further, saying the only reason United won the league last season was because their rivals were so weak.
Manchester United defender Jonny Evans says his side aren't effected by Mourinho's comments, however, and that the Portuguese manager is only trying to shake up the Red Devils ahead of their massive Premier League clash.
"It's all just mind games, really. It's maybe his way of trying to unsettle us," said Evans to Sky Sports.
"We don't read too much into that kind of thing and, as players, we laugh that kind of thing off."
Chelsea are off to a solid start in their domestic campaign, having won both of their opening matches, one against Hull City on opening day and then again midweek against Aston Villa. While six points from two games back may make things look rosy at Stamford Bridge, the fact that none of the three strikers Mourinho has played - Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, and Demba Ba - has scored a goal yet is cause for concern.
Mourinho is after United striker Wayne Rooney, but Moyes and Manchester United have made it clear that they do not want to sell the England international.
The return of Mourinho may have pleased the majority of Chelsea's fans and convinced them that success is guaranteed, but Evans doesn't believe it is that easy.
"Everyone is saying that now Chelsea have Mourinho back, it will make a big difference to them but we will have to wait and see whether that will be the case.
"I am sure he will have an impact but we might have to wait a month or two before you realise who is going to be challenging for the title.
"Mourinho had that spell at Chelsea when he gave his players a lot of confidence but it remains to be seen whether he can have that impact again."
Many think this year may be the most exciting Premier League campaign in the history of the competition. With the top four slowly expanding into more of a top six, the title, as well as Champions League spots, are far more open. The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham have spent well this summer, while top four veterans Arsenal find themselves on the other end of the spending gauge. Whether or not they end up bringing in several players before the window closes could play a huge role in determining their season's fate this year.
"It's not just us three," Evans said. "There are other teams around who can have a big impact on the league and, you never know, another team could surprise us.
"There's a lot of competition out there and every team has a lot of quality. Spurs have spent a lot of money, so it's going to be a good, open season."
Who do you think will win at Old Trafford this Monday? Will Mourinho's men continue their winning ways or will Robin Van Persie and his United teammates defeat the Special One?