Jose Mourinho has made no secret at his discontent with the current situation at Manchester United.
But a closer look at his body language as he faced the press after his side’s 2-3 defeat to Brighton on Sunday may well provide greater insight into the self-proclaimed Special One’s inner turmoil.
Judi James, an author and body language expert, said Mourinho’s demeanour, hand and body movements during his press conference suggested he was hiding something.
She also said there was strong evidence that he was desperate to lash out in anger.
Mourinho has cut a frustrated figure this summer, bemoaning his club’s lack of activity in the transfer market and the absence of first team players on the Red Devils’ pre-season tour in the US.
In his press-conference on Sunday, Judi said he was trying to ‘mask’ his usual open self.
She added: “Subdued, downcast and showing body language traits that would suggest he’s trying desperately to suppress his own natural emotions and intellectualise his team’s problems, this masked version of the normally open Mourinho might have been more at home at the poker tables.
“He arrived with his eyes down, adopting a light, partial arm fold with straight fingers that could easily be described as demure.”
According to Judi, it didn’t take long for Mourinho’s mask to slip – and his hands were key.
She said: “This stab at looking elegantly calm in the style of Gareth Southgate swiftly fell apart though in some powerful moments of non-verbal leakage.”
“The first hint of his utter discomfort came with a full-body fidget followed by anxious-looking thumb rubbing and fiddling.
“His hands rubbed over or scratched his face several times suggesting a desire to hide plus some confused thinking and his right hand kept balling into a partial fist, hinting at a desire for direct action based on irritation or anger.
“His arms folded in a barrier and his blink rate increased, again suggesting anger or anxiety.
“Each time he tried to return to his first ‘calm, demure’ pose and his chin scratching did hint at a desire to intellectualise the problems but the tongue-poke, sighing and mouth shrugs suggested the ‘calm’ front was just that, rather than the real deal.”
During United’s tour, Mourinho also publicly criticised France forward Anthony Martial over his failure to return to the US after the birth of his son, saying: “He should be here, but he is not here.”
And his relationship with star midfielder Paul Pogba has also come under the microscope, with rumours of a rift between the pair refusing to go away.
Sunday’s defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium further confounded his misery after a somewhat unconvincing 2-1 win over Leicester last week.
Manchester United entertain Tottenham at Old Trafford on Monday August 27.