Roy Keane questions the Fergie mind games & Gary Neville says Chelsea are running on empty

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “It’s not a case of Robbie being too angry to talk, but he’s not happy at the moment and needs time to calm down. There’s not much point in Robbie not saying it and me coming up and having a go at the referee, is there? It’s nothing to do with mind games. Words won’t win the league, it’s all about points. If we have more points than United at the end of the season, people will perceive that Robbie has won the war.” – David Platt after Manchester City’s 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Runner-up: “We looked a wee bit tired. We gave the ball away quite a lot in vital positions and that’s not because the players can’t play it’s because of tiredness. You play on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday and it is going to take its toll. We’ve not had enough players at our disposal to give them adequate rest. That’s the problem put on the club by the television schedule and the fact that we’ve done well in two cups… There was no rhyme or reason why the second goal should have been chalked off, it wasn’t handball.” – Kenny Dalglish.

Today’s top stories

Mind games and the title race

You’re wrong about Tev, Fergie (Roy Keane, Sunday Sun) “Alex Ferguson is wrong to call Carlos Tevez’s return an act of desperation. It’s called good managementManchester United have more to lose than City do with Tevez coming back because Ferguson will know full well that he is the sort of player who can turn tight games in his side’s favour If he wasn’t worried about City, would he even be talking about them? Already, we have seen how Tevez set up the winner for Samir Nasri in City’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday at a time when they needed a spark. You don’t cut off your nose to spite your face and when you’ve a good player like Tevez you’d be crazy not to use him.”

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Mancini may be capable of matching master of mind games – but why try? (Ian Holloway, Independent on Sunday)

No chance for principles as City let the prodigal return (Patrick Collins, Mail on Sunday)

Manchester City were unlucky to lose Ryan Giggs to Manchester United. Danny Welbeck too? That’s careless (Duncan White, Daily Telegraph)

Chelsea 0 – Spurs 0

I fear for Chelsea players who are running on empty (Gary Neville, Mail on Sunday) “as yesterday’s can be enough to change the mood of a team and the momentum of a season. Harry Redknapp, despite not winning, can be proud of his players and will have gone home a lot happier than Roberto Di Matteo. Just at a point in the season when it looked like Chelsea’s season had turned, when it looked as though the impetus of a new manager had revived them, it is quite clear to me that what is costing them is energy in their legs. That’s shown this season already, as they have been conceding late goals. They have dropped nine points in the last 10 minutes of games, which is more than any other team in the Premier League. And they looked a tired team yesterday and finished the game badly, just as they finished Wednesday’s game against Manchester City badly. And now they have to go to Benfica on Tuesday before travelling to Aston Villa next Saturday.”

Benfica can rattle Blues’ old guard (Steve Tongue, Independent on Sunday)

Game that cried out for more than a glimpse of Luka Modric (Richard Williams, Observer)

After just six games, Roberto Di Matteo is making his mark as Chelsea’s interim manager (Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph)

Bolton win for Fabrice Muamba

Bolton climb out of drop zone on emotional day (Tim Rich, Independent on Sunday) “As Bolton’s footballers filed one by one into the London hospital where the stricken figure of Fabrice Muamba lay, some remarked that what had happened to him made the game irrelevant. It was an understandable statement, the sort of thing you say when words are superfluous. For the men and women who work in the ticket office, in corporate hospitality or the press office, who will be issued with redundancy notices if Bolton are relegated, this match was desperately relevant. While their young midfielder was making a scarcely believable recovery with a heart that at White Hart Lane last week had stopped for 78 minutes, Blackburn and Queens Park Rangers had both won and Bolton, laden with suffocating debts of £100m, had sunk further into the mire.”

No ordinary win for Bolton as they dig deep in Fabrice Muamba tribute (Daniel Taylor, Observer)

Sunday gossip

Capello wants to come back! Chelsea in pole position to snap up ex-England boss (Mark Ryan, Mail on Sunday)

Manchester clubs wage £25m war for Gaitan (Steve Stammers, Sunday Mirror)

Modric not signing until he knows who’s boss (Steve Stammers, Sunday Mirror)

Liverpool are preparing to buy another Suarez – after Anderlecht’s £20million-rated striker Matias Suarez (Simon Mullock, Sunday Mirror)

Rom will snub Mourinho (Paul Smith, Sunday Sun)

Sunday Specials

Dignity intact, Dimitar Berbatov heads quietly for Old Trafford exit (Daniel Taylor, Observer)

The king and I: meeting Eric Cantona (Julian Conman, Observer)

Mario Balotelli’s mum lives on Shameless estate (Sunday Sun)

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