Chelsea manager José Mourinho has once again thrust himself into the limelight, but this time around, his bitterness has left the sourest of tastes. Using controversial or provocative statements to deflect attention away from a team's performance is one thing, but his latest outburst of criticism aimed at Chelsea's first-team doctors, Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn, is unprofessional at best and derogatory at worst. Now, just to top it all off, there’s talk of Carneiro being axed from the match-day medical team for, um, doing her job. Mourinho's constant disregard for decency begs the question: why should anyone respect a man who tends to thrive off his own lack of it?
Firstly, let’s assess what actually happened. In a moment of madness, Mourinho found his inner Jack Torrance as he reacted furiously to Carneiro (who had, in fact, followed Fearn) entering the field of play to treat Chelsea’s golden boy Eden Hazard. His physical movement in itself was representative of just how ridiculous and untamed Mourinho’s reaction was. Like a man possessed, he hurled his whole body forward, radiating rage and forcing fury through every little pore of his skin. Then he turned and, for good measure, squeezed out what one can only imagine was the angriest fart ever as he lost control of his inner-most functions. The cool and collected silver fox transformed into a bawling beast.
Post match, Mourinho said his medical staff did not “understand the game”, in reference to the fact that Chelsea were already down to 10 men and treating Hazard would temporarily reduce them to 9.
“I was not happy with my medical staff. Even if you are a kit man, doctor or secretary on the bench you have to understand the game”, said Mourinho.
“You have to know you have one player less and when you go to the pitch to assist a player you have to make sure your player has a serious injury.
“I was sure he hadn't a serious problem. He had a knock, he was very tired. But my medical department - on an impulse - was naive and left me with eight outfield players in a counter attack after a set piece.”
Mourinho’s attempt to justify his dissatisfaction is almost as irrational as the reaction itself. He’s complaining about staff, whose job it is to ensure the players are safe on the pitch, prioritising a player’s welfare over the tactical impact their actions may have. Of course, Mourinho claims he knew Hazard wasn’t actually hurt, which suggests he was aware that his player was purposefully making a meal of a situation and wasting time. But that’s fine.
Eva Carneiro took to Facebook to thank everyone for their support on the matter instead of stooping so low as to publicly criticise a colleague for his comments on her performance in the workplace.
Carneiro said, “I would like to thank the general public for their overwhelming support.
“Really very much appreciated.”
But her professionalism and humility may have been lost on Mourinho’s ego and probably antagonised the 52-year-old. This may well have been what’s prompted the decision to reportedly drop Carneiro (not Fearn) from the match-day staff, almost like a dictator trying to assert his authority.
Another hot topic of discussion surrounding Mourinho’s attack on his medical staff is the question of sexism with regard to Eva Carneiro being treated as such because she is a woman. His inclusion of “secretary on the bench” has become a flashpoint of the debate. Although I believe it’s up for interpretation, I personally don’t think that it should be regarded as a direct attack on women, for that in itself would be based on one of the very stereotypes that feminism is fighting against. It was both Carneiro and Fearn that Mourinho was referring to as “medical staff”, so I’d rather focus on his treatment of people in general than differentiating between sex.
Quite frankly, Mourinho’s actions are disgusting, but unsurprising. Last year, just before a clash with Arsenal, he infamously denied that there was racism in football with regards to the alarmingly low number black managers in the English game. He insisted that “football is not so stupid as to close doors to people”, and yet we find ourselves in a world where football’s most powerful figures are being investigated for corruption. The startlingly presumptuous and ultimately ignorant view was another example of something that Mourinho’s rival Arsène Wenger has brought up before: a lack of respect.
For far too long, Mourinho has got away with unprofessional and disrespectful behavior as a result of it being sugar coated with success, guile or simply because it makes good headlines. It’s about time that the media started taking a little more moral responsibility and actually questioned their darling Mourinho instead of satisfying his lust for power by cowering like loyal subjects.