Sir Alex Ferguson could write a book on sports psychology, including an extensive chapter on mind games. On this front, the Manchester United boss is probably best renowned for getting the better of then-Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan during the 1995/6 season, when his team overhauled a ten-point deficit to pip the Magpies to the title.
Since then, it’s become an annual ritual for Fergie to pinpoint the team riding high in the Premier League. How long do you think it took him to come up with the following ‘thoughts’:
“Arsenal are playing well, but it’s a long season and they know that, too,” he said. “They will drop points, there’s no doubt about that.”
But isn’t it also a long season for the Red Devils? Surely that can be the only reason why Ferguson thought it right that Ronaldo should have been rested against Bolton ten days ago? The Gunners tonight have a chance to go six points clear with a superior goal difference to United, thus ensuring the title is currently out of the Red Devil’s hands.