With Liverpool tantalisingly close to league leaders Chelsea and having gained maximum points mid-week while others in the top four stumbled, a few days of pony and chihuahua measuring was bound to follow. While fans dream and the press salivate over grand mind games hiding in the simplest of statements, a few whispers in London turned into grand propaganda that will ferment a crisis of confidence in changing rooms across the England, for the most part it's business as usual and players just trying keep confident.
"All the lads are just looking for the top four and if we're in and around there with five games to go, then maybe," was Jon Flanagan's seemingly measured and uncontroversial response when the young fullback found himself drawn into the great Premier League title debate of 2014. "We're just concentrating on trying to get top four, so anything above that would be great for us. No one is expecting us to go and win that title, so the pressure is less on us than the other big teams around us."
Business as usual, then. Only business as usual is boring and bullshit when you get down to it, so how about take those mind games, Jose? We at the Liverpool Offside can just about imagine Chelsea's manager reading Jon Flanagan—Jon Flanagan—has said the pressure should be on his side as long-time favourites and crumbling under its added weight. It might seem a ridiculously silly idea, one deserving of derision and completely asinine, yet a great many real, live, paid-up journos are looking to embrace the equally silly reverse.
In that light, it seems prudent to state for the record that if Chelsea lose the Premier League title this season—be it to Manchester City, Arsenal, or even to Liverpool—we are certain it will be in large part thanks to Flanagan's brilliant mind games having undone the great and glorious and grand and unquestionably special one, Jose Mourinho. Because that's not at all ridiculous. Or at least not any more ridiculous than the shit shoveling being done by the mind games worshiping wing of the Cult of Jose.
So let it be written. So let it be done. Once the J-dog gets inside your head, there's no getting him out, Jose. You've been warned.