Is there anything more irritating than football mind games?
OK, once upon a time it was amusing particularly way back when Sir Alex Ferguson wound up Kevin Keegan to the point where the former Newcastle United boss was screaming: “I'd love it, love it if we beat them.”
It was one of the greatest public rants of all times and since then, love him or hate him, Fergie has probably earned a Masters Degree in the art of wind-up and many betting Premier League money will say it has given him an edge over the years.
Mind you, it's gone a bit tame since those heady days although there are some who discuss the game as though it's not so much a game as a political or military battle.
It becomes irritating, however, when such as Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech join in but can only repeat a line offered by someone else in different circumstances.
On this occasion he's virtually quoting Sir Alex who has been turning his attention to noisy neighbours City recently claiming they don't have the experience to win a title.
And he has clearly had an effect as the Blue Mooners slipped up in their pursuit of the big one. Whether they can recover we'll know by May, although the Premiership betting suggests their chances are slim.
Fergie, however, clearly has a very unsettling effect on opposition players but when the same lines are used in a different form by such as Petr it just sounds tired
The Blues keeper has been using precisely the same line towards Spurs claiming: “We seem to cope with the difficult situations quite well so, hopefully, this experience we’ve got throughout the years will help us reach our target of the top four.”
Unfortunately for him Spurs are managed by a man who has recently gone through a difficult court case and minor heart surgery.
That's all a tad bigger than a game of football and thus any words anyone may want to direct towards them – original or used – are likely to slide off them like the proverbial duck's back.
Doesn't make them any the less irritating for those who simply see football as a form of entertainment though!