Sometimes, when players come out in public to slate upcoming opponents or state to anyone who cares enough to listen how unafraid they are of the task ahead of them, the impression it provides to football fans is precisely the opposite of what was probably intended, and the same applies to the potential consequences of such comments.
It would seem that this rule applies no more closely to a team than Manchester United, who seem to be doing all they can to prove, despite their apparent intentions, that they're not looking forward to facing Arsenal at Old Trafford on Monday night whilst also providing the Gunners with all the motivation they need to put on a decent display against the Red Devils, who are very narrow favourites right now on odds comparison sites.
Chris Smalling, a man who can't exactly call himself a United legend after mainly appearing in Cup competitions for the club since his arrival at Old Trafford, has revealed that Arsenal should feel "intimidated" ahead of their trip to the home of title-chasing United, who in all fairness hold a formidable record on home soil so far this season.
With Patrice Evra going slightly further in his bid to unsettle the Gunners by ridiculously stating that Arsenal is nothing more than a "football training centre" and, what's more, a side in "crisis" after such an extended trophy drought, it seems that whilst United are focusing upon instigating a war of words, Arsenal are quietly getting on with their match preparations and hopefully laughing off these comments as proof that Sir Alex Ferguson's men need to engage in psychological warfare in order to try to derail a side that has the potential to inflict a massive blow to their title hopes.
Arsenal will do all their talking on the pitch on Monday night and hopefully the faithful Gooners who make the trip up to Old Trafford will themselves be provided with plenty of ammunition to taunt the home fans as the Gunners upset the fixed odds in style.