This week saw what is expected to be the first of many managerial verbal bouts this season. This particular one between Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez got personal, with the former suggesting the latter's wife needs to watch her husband's diet.
This was in retaliation to Mrs Benitez stating that her husband was 'constantly clearing up his (Mourinho's) mess' at clubs.
Mourinho the catalyst
Earlier in the week, Mr Mourinho passed comments suggesting Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have spent much on transfers over the past 24 months or so. What underlined this 'outburst' is the fact that Mourinho's Blues have actually spent a significant net amount more.
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Whilst the statement was unfounded and incorrect, it can only be assumed Mourinho is getting his retaliation in in advance. The mind games have well and truly begun.
An underlying subtext
Historically, Jose has had run-ins with Sir Alex Ferguson, Man City's Manuel Pellegrini and ex-West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, so in this respect his dig at Messrs Wenger and Benitez is nothing new.
But the subtext is clear to those who are paying attention: Mourinho is worried. Arsenal have accumulated a significantly sized squad that is now more competitive than even six months ago.
The addition of Petr Cech from Chelsea has added considerable depth and satisfaction to a defence that has been accused of being fragile and found wanting, especially in the bigger games.
Mourinho know that his Chelsea side are maybe one player short of the perceived 'perfect' squad, and he also knows Arsenal are not far behind him.
Some might say these outbursts are an early tactic, others a clear sign of stress. All of this raises the vital question, do managers need a manager?
Who manages the managers?
Managers have multiple responsibilities; they need to lead by example, they must personify the true values of their club and ensure professionalism is represented in everything they do. With all of this taken into consideration, is it time for managers to be managed themselves?
Traditionally, the manager is seen as a lone wolf, with all of the responsibility of a club on its shoulders. He or she is the main person at the club and the perceived focal point, the main decision maker, they are in charge.
But moving further into the 21st century, can a manager really handle all of the weight that goes with the job? We need to at least discuss the possibility of managing managers, surely we can manage that.
Football fans, do managers need more help? Are Mourinho's comments indicative of a worried man? Let us know in the comments box below.
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