Jose Mourinho’s interview with BT Sport after Chelsea’s controversial 2-0 win over Arsenal gave us some insight into the man and his philosophies about football. It seems like one of his philosophies may be to tell his players to cheat.
The interviewer started with what seemed an anodyne question which contained the phrase “won’t pretend there wasn’t controversy” and it was that last word which Jose latched onto with his answer:
“I don’t know where is the controversy? For me, no controversy. The game is about many different aspects: the tactical, the technical, the emotional… the physical. And through the combination of these factors you have the best team and normally the best team wins. We were the best team.”
Managers often claim ignorance of events in the game, Wenger even once famously said “I didn’t see it” and admitted in 2009 that he just says those kinds of things to protect his players. Jose probably knows that his player smacked Koscielny in the face, shoved Koscielny’s face with his hands, chest bumped Koscielny, and that he had a kick out at Oxlade Chamberlain right before Jose took him off. And comically, Jose even denied that he took Costa off because he looked like he might pick up a red card. Calling him the “man of the match” for a performance which included zero goals.
So, that is a normal answer from a manager who wants to protect his player, a playr he knows should probably receive a three match ban for his actions. But it was a completely left field answer to the next question which revealed that Mourinho might approach these games by telling his players to get involved in these kinds of events intentionally.
Asked “Arsenal are complaining that Diego Costa sparked the incident that led to Gabriel’s sending off, what’s your view?” Jose responded with a very typical “Arsenal always moan” preamble and then launched into a very odd aside:
“I played my first derby, as a manager, in September 2000 and I remember my words to my players from September 2000: ‘to win the derby, emotional control.’ I play in derbies in Spain in Portugal, in England, in… in Italy, and… I always repeat the same words before derbies: ‘to win derbies, you need emotional control’.”
It’s a strange rant and difficult to tell who he is talking to. There’s a sense that he’s accusing Wenger of naivete with his whole “I’ve played many derbies and I always urge emotional control” but there is ample evidence that is he does say “emotional control” (he and) his players don’t listen.
When Arsenal met Chelsea in the League Cup final in 2007 there was a clear lack of emotional control on both sides as Howard Webb issued three red cards after Arsenal’s Kolo Toure reacted to constant Chelsea kicking with a hard tackle. Both teams erupted and started a fight which saw Adebayor wrongly sent off when Eboue appeared to slightly touch a Chelsea player.
There was a lack of emotional control when Jose’s Inter saw two players sent off in a fiery Milan derby. After the match, Jose bragged that his team would have won with 7 men.
There was a utterly disgraceful lack of emotional control in the Classico when on field antics erupted into sideline antics and Mourinho stuck his finger in Tito Vilanova’s eye.
And of course, there was a lack of emotional control in yesterday’s match against Arsenal as Diego Costa smacked Koscielny in the face repeatedly:
How does the linesman not see this foul by Costa on Koscielny? pic.twitter.com/CsjaevQO6s
— 7amkickoff (@7amkickoff) September 19, 2015
then scratched Gabriel on the back of the neck…
got into a big war of words with Gabriel in Portuguese and then made a huge meal of it when Gabriel barely touched him in retaliation:
Remember when Cesc Fabregas was Arsenal captain and kissed the badge? Here, he begged Dean to get Gabriel sent off. pic.twitter.com/1IIJCIzWpA
— 7amkickoff (@7amkickoff) September 20, 2015
The player who showed cool emotional control in that situation was Laurent Koscielny, after being smacked three times and then shoved to the ground, Koscielny walked away from Costa.
Referees, the League, and players on other teams need to be aware that Costa and Chelsea are looking to wind them up. The point of the wind up is so that if there is any act of retaliation, no matter how minor like the Gabriel “kick”, they can then scream at the official, surround the official, and demand that the player be sent off.
Everyone has seen the replays of this match and what Costa and Mourinho have done. As a result Chelsea should carry a huge target on their back for the rest of the season or at least a target on their backs until they clean up their act and win football games through superior football rather than through trickery and thuggery.