Jose Mourinho rants a lot. He rants at anything and anyone that gets in the way of his and his club’s success. While it’s mostly to vent out his frustration, sometimes press and people end up thinking that it’s a mind game from the master to mislead and distract the media focus. I think this particular case of blasting his own medical team on and off the pitch is a beautiful combination of both.
I’m on Jose’s side. We have 9 outfield players playing against 10 for nearly 40 minutes on a day when the lack of fitness and match readiness from Chelsea players was quite visible. And on the third minute of the four-minute stoppage time, a very tired Hazard takes a knock and goes to ground. He certainly did not look injured. What happened was a routine knocked-down-get-up thing. Even if it was otherwise, he could very well have been treated 60 seconds later at the final whistle. But the medics run in to pull Hazard out and leave us with 8 outfield men versus 10 in the dying seconds of the first premier league game at home. Any which ways you look at it, Jose’s anger was justified.
Jose was right. Anyone who’s working for the club and particularly has an influence on the on-pitch proceedings should understand the game and be able to take calculated risks. But I don’t think it was just the medics at fault. What about Eden Hazard? Shouldn’t he have waved them away and got back up and got on with the game?
But one thing I wouldn’t know is why Jose would talk about this incident to the media, unless he was specifically asked to comment. Fortunately that incident didn’t influence the result and should have been dealt with internally at the club. The moment Jose mentioned this on the microphone, the media went mad – sexist Mourinho and all that. Jose was unhappy with both the doctor and the physio. He wasn’t singling out anyone. Jose would have had a go at anyone who would have made Chelsea to play 8 vs 10.
The most stupid thing that happened in this episode apart from how media chose to report this was Eva’s facebook update to ‘thank the support she received’. She let the club down with that post. Mourinho didn’t. Mourinho is the manager, not the first team coach. The medical dept has a responsibility towards the manager and when the manager is not happy, he’s going to let them know. Things always are said in the workplace – Jose’s workplace is not his air-conditioned office room. It’s the football pitch. Are we saying he’s the only manager ever to swear at anyone from the dugout?
The club doctor and the physio will have their roles curtailed we understand. I don’t think this incident had a role to play in that decision. Even if it did, as extreme as it sounds, it only goes to show how fine the margins are at Chelsea. You can expect Mourinho to know the details that wins you the league. Who else would know better than him.
As someone tweeted, if the club doctor was some bald headed 55-year old man, no media would have picked this up. They’d have just called this as another Mourinho excuse and moved on. What’s going on is a campaign. It’s a campaign to portray Jose as chaivinist and sexist. Once this image is established, this will then allow media a whole new spectrum of garbage stories. Some will write an article that Jose refused to attend the dinner to honour the women’s FA cup winners, someone will write about how he ignored a lady official in FIFA, and someone will write how he abused the lineswomen. This is a old and boring routine.
I hope Jose is at his dismissive best when this topic comes up in the media conference today. And I also hope the club does not make any statements about this. This is one of those non-events that only has media value. Hope the club doesn’t waste their time on this.
In summary, Jose was right to be disappointed with the medics running in. Medics were not wrong to go in for medical assistance. Eva was wrong posting that update in facebook. Hazard was not right in accepting medical attention for that knock at that juncture of the game.
Good thing about this whole episode is, not much has been written about Chelsea’s performance, Falcao’s quiet debut, Costa’s fitness, Ivanovic’s howlers or the impact of Chelsea’s general lack of activity in the transfer market. Whether it was intentional or not, yet again a Jose Mourinho rant has come in handy.