Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2014 Contents A57
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“Changing the way we interact with people!”
LONDON—Job done, Jose.
In a classic diversionary tactic, Chelsea manager
Jose Mourinho has successfully shifted the Premier
League agenda onto the “campaign” by referees—in
his mind at least—against his players.
With the conveyer belt of Premier League contro-
versies stopping again at players who dive, few are
discussing Chelsea’s comparative struggles on the road
in the Premier League.
the end of
match at St
Although it’s nine wins out of nine at Stamford
Bridge, Sunday’s 1-1 stalemate at Southampton was
Chelsea’s fourth away draw—as many as the entire
2013-14 season when Mourinho’s homecoming ended
in third place.
Chelsea does head into the second half of the season
at the Premier League summit. But the lead is flimsier
than some pundits anticipated when imprudently
issuing premature predictions a month ago that the
Blues would run away with the title without losing—
just before they did just that at Newcastle.
Mourinho won’t tolerate another season without a
trophy. Perhaps owner Roman Abramovich will also
grow restless again with the Special One.
So an enemy appears useful for Mourinho to create
a siege mentality at Chelsea: It’s us against the world,
or referees at least.
What set Mourinho off this time? Referee Anthony
Taylor booked Cesc Fabregas for simulation when the
midfielder went down in the penalty area after being
caught by Southampton’s Matt Targett. It came weeks
after Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Willian were booked
for apparently diving in a win against Hull, whose
manager Steve Bruce drew comparisons with the Lon-
don club and “Swan Lake”.
“There is a clear campaign against Chelsea,” Mour-
inho grumbled on Sunday, believing Taylor was influ-
enced by the previous simulation sanctions.
Expanding on Fabregas’ booking, Mourinho said:
“In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow
in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal
because it is a scandal.”
It was very different in April 2013 when Mourinho’s
reign as Real Madrid coach was ending in acrimony
and he openly flirted with Chelsea just before sealing
“I know in England I’m loved,” the Portuguese said
in Spain after another Champions League campaign
ended prematurely. “I’m loved by the media that treats
me in a fair way, criticising me but giving me credit
when I deserve it.
“I know I’m loved by some clubs, especially one
(Chelsea). And in Spain, the situation is a bit different
because some people hate me. Many of you are in
Now the fights are being picked again in England—
with referees. When it’s convenient he is their arch
In August 2013—at the start of his second spell at
Chelsea—Mourinho lavished praise on “English referees,
people who love the game and who love to commu-
nicate” following the team’s UEFA Super Cup loss to
Bayern Munich so as to make his case against a Swedish
official seem less vindictive.
Jonas Eriksson is still officiating—unlike compatriot
Anders Frisk who retired after receiving death threats
from Chelsea fans in 2005. Mourinho had accused
the Barcelona coach of trying to influence referee Frisk
during halftime of a Champions League game. Along
with a touchline ban, Mourinho was accused by UEFA
of being “the enemy of football.”
Mourinho has mellowed slightly. While lambasting
Taylor’s “big mistake” at Southampton, the denun-
ciation was followed by an insistence the referee is a
“good guy, an honest guy.”
If the outcome is referees become wary now of
booking Chelsea players for tumbling in the penalty
area, and more likely to award penalties instead, Mour-
inho will undoubtedly deem his outburst a success.
If only referees could defend themselves, with the
lifting of the Premier League vow of silence.
“Perhaps it would serve a higher purpose for the
referee to attend a press conference with his supervisor
alongside him,” former Manchester United manager
Alex Ferguson wrote in his recent autobiography, which
complains on the next page how he lost European
matches against Mourinho’s teams “not because of
performance but because of the referee.”
Mourinho picks fight
with familiar enemy
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