We’re in the midst of that hectic Premier League holiday schedule. Games are coming at a frenetic clip and managerial excuses are keeping pace. We’ve already discussed how Manchester United’s Louis van Gaal explained away his team’s draw against Tottenham with tales of struggle and fatigue. But sometimes it’s the referee’s fault. Other times, it might be North Korea’s fault. At least that’s what I learned today from Chelsea’s official historian, José Mourinho.
The league leaders drew 1-1 with Southampton, which may seem boring, because WHY CAN’T SOCCER HAVE WINNERZ OR SOMETHING AND MOR GOALZ. But it wasn’t. There were incidents. Anger-inducing incidents. One moment in particular did not leave the Stamford Bridge historian chuffed:
“It’s a scandal. It’s not a small penalty; this one was big, like Big Ben.”
That was Mourinho’s reaction to the referee booking Cesc Fàbregas for diving.
It’s a fair point. But it wasn’t Mourinho’s only point. Mourinho also reasonably noted that “[the referee] made a big mistake, like I make, like the players make sometimes.”
Wait a minute, I thought. Who is this person? Who is this person reasonably absolving the referee from a life of shame? This is not the Mourinho I knew. His words were so reasonable they almost made me sad. I prefer my Mourinho unreasonable and mildly unpleasant. I prefer my Mourinho just a couple of notches below Alex Jones.
But then it got real. All we needed was a little patience. Asked if recent incidents involving other Chelsea players accused of simulation impacted the referee’s decision, Mourinho said this with his face:
But Mourinho’s actual mouth said:
“They are not incidents. That’s a campaign, that’s a clear campaign. People, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams — they react with Chelsea in a way they don’t react to other teams. They put lots of pressure on the referee and the referee makes a mistake like this. We lose two points, Fabregas earns a yellow card.” (via Google Mourinho face-to-words translator)
And there you have it. As Alex Jones would probably warn us, character assassination today, drone strikes and North Korean hackers tomorrow. It’s inevitable. We’ve seen this formula before, but hopefully Chelsea won’t back down to its enemies.
Chelsea is a club under attack. A coordinated attack. But thankfully for society, the club has a very reasonable Portuguese man at the helm. Jose Mourinho: He’s no Sony. Jose Mourinho doesn’t appease his enemies. Jose Mourinho calls them out for what they are: jealous.
Here are the great man’s full remarks: