Jose Mourinho has been handed out another fine by the FA after claiming that officials were waging a “campaign” against Chelsea, in which they were denying penalties they deserved and ignoring dives. This of course ignores the fact no punishment was dished out to Gary Cahill for kicking Harry Kane in the back, or the numerous wrong-doings Diego Costa has got away with this season.
Following his fine and the charging of Costa for his two unnoticed stamps in Chelsea’s successful League Cup semi-final against Liverpool, Mourinho has cancelled his press conference. This is against Premier League requirements and will almost certainly result in another fine.
Paul Scholes has questioned the behaviour of Mourinho, particularly in the recent game against Liverpool, claiming that the Chelsea manager doesn’t know which battles to pick, unlike Sir Alex Ferguson.
There were many games over my career for Manchester United when Sir Alex Ferguson would get out of his seat and come into the technical area to have his say if he believed that an intervention needed to be made, or a point expressed to a referee. People like to think it happened all the time but, believe me, in 19 years playing for him you recognised that he knew how to pick his moment.
Watching Chelsea against Liverpool on Tuesday night, my feeling was not so much that Jose Mourinho was looking for the opportune moments to appeal against a decision or make his presence felt. Rather, for most of that 90 minutes – and the 30 minutes of extra time that followed – Mourinho seemed to be under the impression that it was him who was refereeing the game.
He appealed for cards, yellow and red. He threw his arms about in frustration at everything that did not go his way. He kept up a constant stream of communication with the fourth official, Phil Dowd, to the extent that he had his back to the action, and was busy telling Dowd what was what when Branislav Ivanovic scored the only goal of the game.
It is my view that Mourinho should stop doing it. His mithering of Dowd reached an extent when it would have been better all round just to put the fourth official in the stand, where he would get some peace to get on with his job of being the fourth pair of eyes among the officials. I have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official as some kind of alternative to the referee out there on the pitch. After all, what can he do?
Had that semi-final been against a United team managed by Ferguson, you can be sure that my old boss would have been across the technical area. He would have spotted what was going on a mile off, the blatant attempts to influence every single decision of a young referee, and put a stop to it straightaway. Brendan Rodgers decided to ignore the nonsense going on in the opposite dugout.
The funny thing is, the more Mourinho does it, the more referees will be inclined to ignore him. If you spend an entire game jabbering away at an official you will very soon acquire a reputation as an annoyance best ignored. The whole process is counter-productive.