'Nonsense’: TalkSPORT can’t believe what he’s been hearing about Chelsea after FA Cup final loss
Jamie O’Hara disputed suggestions made by a penalty expert that Liverpool won the FA Cup final due to having a psychological advantage over Chelsea.
Speaking on talkSPORT, O’Hara addressed the claims made by Geir Jordet, a professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and a football psychology specialist, following Saturday’s showdown at Wembley.
Did Liverpool win the battle of the brain?
In a thread on Twitter, Jordet detailed the methods of Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp just before the shoot-out.
Klopp had apparently already picked his takers whilst Tuchel was still deciding, with the Liverpool taking a more ‘intimate, safe, and loving’ approach.
Jordet then noticed how the Blues boss moved into the middle of the circle formed by his players, a sign of ‘not being ready’ and ‘what could have been a smooth final reminder to the team becomes erratic, rushed & stressed’.
As the Reds finished their penalty chat first, they took up a position in the centre-circle nearest to the bench, allowing further instructions to be passed on.
All these elements apparently handed Klopp’s men a mental lead against their opponents, one that was reflected in the final result.
Cesar Azpilicueta hit the post from 12-yards, but had Edouard Mendy to thank for saving Sadio Mane’s effort.
However, Mendy’s heroic moment was short-lived, as Alisson denied Mason Mount, teeing up Kostas Tsimikas to conclude the contest.
O’Hara picks apart FA Cup final penalty expert
Liverpool certainly won the FA Cup final, but not because of their psychological gains, according to O’Hara.
“This is the problem with football now. With have these sports scientists talking about psychological advantages,” said the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.
“No, it went to sudden death. Mason Mount misses his penalty, it’s as simple as that.
“It’s 50/50, it’s a lottery. All you have to do is go up there and believe in it.
“I’ve missed a penalty at Wembley, I’ve taken that walk. It’s the longest walk in the world and the last thing you’re thinking about his what the manager’s told you.
“All you’re thinking about is step up, pick your spot, stick to it and try hit it clean.
“At the end of the day, Mason Mount’s just been unlucky. He missed a penalty. Sadio Mane missed his.
“Honestly, we have to listen to this nonsense. People get paid for this. It’s ridiculous.”
In fairness to O’Hara, had Chelsea gone on to lift the FA Cup, then Jordet’s description would be rendered pointless.
It only required one more save from Mendy, or a miss-fire from Liverpool, to deliver Tuchel’s first domestic silverware in England.
Although, Gabby Agbonlahor argued that Mount didn’t look like he fancied taking a penalty, possibly a backlash from the process leading up to the spot-kicks.
We will never truly know how much the procedures from the respective managers impacted the final score.
All that’s certain is Chelsea lost and Liverpool won.