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Bridge Banter: Was Jose Mourinho's Billy McCulloch masseur revelation just a bluff about Chelsea title chances?
You never know what’s going to happen in this beautiful game.
The Chelsea lads may have arrived in Manchester on a bus (OK, more likely a luxury coach) but it was parked in an allotted space outside the Etihad stadium.
Ask any self-important sports journalist, and they would have insisted that the bus was going to be plonked in front of Petr Cech’s goal.
Ask any pundit who graces a comfy chair in a TV studio because he used to play the game, and they would have told you the same.
Ask Jose Mourinho and he just tells you what he wants you to hear.
Then he turns in a performance of such tactical genius that those aforementioned scribblers and bawlers can be found quickly deleting their wayward predictions and whistling an innocuous tune.
Chelsea did not do a containing job on the previously invincible City, because they did not need to.
Straight from the off they went at the jugular and they were unlucky not to score more than Branislav Ivanovic’s decisively sweet strike.
And there is no denying that Mourinho played his mind games to the hilt – who was he kidding by calling his Blues outsiders for the title behind City and Arsenal?
And were his comments about West Ham’s “19th century” tactics a seed-sowing tactic of his own? There is no knowing.
Could telling the world that the pre-match team talk was delivered by a Scottish masseur called Billy be another “Don’t forget we’re not taking our title challenge seriously” bluff?
Ooooo, what a tangled, brilliant web he weaves.
Bottom line is, no one can predict what will happen in football, or sport in general, which is why we love it so very much.
This weekend the Geordies come to Stamford Bridge, and who would have foreseen Joe Kinnear leaving his post as director of football after just eight months in the role... OK, OK, we ALL saw that one coming.
Tim Harrison is on holiday for three weeks.
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