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Tevez: Fergie mind games .. ?

Davey Baby
Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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"I think that Roberto Mancini has come out and shown his strength of character, his strength of management and I think that is important," said Ferguson.


Well folks, what do you think, famous Fergie mind games or something more sincere?

Personally, I have no doubt it's the latter.

Why would he come out and say this unless he has something to gain?

He hates Tevez, hates City, and they are his direct rivals, level with them on points.

Does he really think Mancini has shown strong management or does he just want Mancini to think he has shown strong management, therefore encouraging him to carry on in the same vein?

Is that what he's trying to do?

What would Fergie have done in the same situation? I think we can rest assured he would have shown strong management, but how? More than likely, he wouldn't have spoken so emotionally after the game, when feelings were raw. More than likely, he would have dealt with it in-house, rather than feed a media frenzy. More than likely he would have banished the player, forever, but he would have done it privately and without explanation, thus showing his strength, letting his players know who's boss, that he's in control.

Or would he have kept him, got him onside again, in which case how can he endorse Mancini's words, that he will "never play" for him again?

Mancini has gone to the HR department, he has lodged a complaint, he has gone to the chairman, he has asked for support. Can you imagine Fergie doing this? Tevez is his player, he should be able to deal with it himself, without asking the help of anybody, and certainly not so publically, thus risking appearing weak to his players.

Are Fergie's words designed to encourage this, knowing the impact of Mancini's actions will be negative upon his squad?

I make no excuses for Tevez. I understand Mancini's anger. I'm just not sure he's handled it very well ..

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Have to say you've fallen for the Fergie myth. That he is somehow this master manipulator whose every spoken breath is all part of a carefully planned out strategy to help his team.

He's an excellent motivator certainly but I don't buy it for a second.

Spiller Spiller Spiller, he's more than an excellent motivator, surely?

He's a conniving, mischievous, cynical, controlling curmudgeon.

And that's just his good points.

He'll seek an advantage wherever he can.

These are your options ..

1. He's impressed by Mancini and is praising Mancini to make him think he isn't impressed thereby hoping to make Mancini think again.

This is popularly known as the "double bluff".

2. He's unimpressed by Mancini and is telling him he's impressed only to encourage him to carry on.

This is known as the "hoodwink" .. or just the plain old "bluff".

3. He's impressed by Mancini and is telling him so, thereby encouraging Mancini to carry on, thereby helping his rival.

This is known as the "Spiller, are you seriously suggesting this?".

4. He's just shooting the breeze with journalists and just speaking his mind, happy to be on the telly and have his words quoted in all the papers.

This is known as the "Harry Redknapp".

Take your pick ..

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You make him out as if he has the mind of a high level QC.

I'm gonna pick option 4. He got asked the question, and without giving it too much thought he answered with some sort of reference as to what he might do in that situation.

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I would say he is being honest. I think Fergie is just old and old school. He sees something he doesnt like, he is going to speak his mind on it whether it helps him or not. He has played so many mind games over the course of his career, and his legacy is in no way in doubt

You said it yourself, in the same scenario, Fergie wouldve brought the hammer down on that player, albeit behind closed doors. Look what happened with Keane. Spoke out against his own team, caused an uproar in the media, and as I recall Ferguson didnt speak a word on it. He just shipped him off and that was the end of it. In doing so he seemed to solve the crisis, because the very players Roy Mental was deriding went on to be the spine of a league winning side three years in a row.

But if it were any of the above options, I would say its no. 2 because lord knows there are many out there who still doubt Mancnini's credentials. Or Ferguson might know that the board isnt going to just kick Tevez out or ship him off. So by giving Mancini support, he might just be adding fuel to the fire when they try to persuade Mancini to take Tevez back into the fold.

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