JOSE Mourinho claims he was told by fourth official Lee Mason to “shut up” over his protests that Liverpool schemer Lucas should have been red-carded, a decision that the Chelsea manager felt ultimately cost his team dearly and continues to put him in the spotlight over his future at the club.
Graham Taylor infamously told a linesman that a decision would get him the sack as England manger…eventually it did.
Mourinho clearly thought that Lucas should have been dismissed for a second bookable offence – not given by the referee Mark Clattenburg – and while his rival Jurgen Klopp feels it would not be right to sack him, the media had suggested that the Chelsea manager would be axed if he lost to Liverpool. And lose he did.
When he protested to the fourth official during the game he was told to “shut up” or be sent to the stands, the fate he suffered in his previous game at Upton Park.
The Chelsea manager laboured the point that he will be punished by the FA if he says what he thinks. Instead of answering questions, he asked the gathered media to express their opinion, accusing the media of being “afraid” not to speak their minds. He suggested that they come back with a bit more character and vision – or he would supply them with spectacles.
Mourinho was asked by a journalist in the after-match media conference whether he thought he would have been allowed to berate fourth official Mason in the same manner as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
He replied: “I can’t say because I’m punished.”
Asked what Mason said when he raised the subject he added: “He told me to shut up or I will go out.”
Mourinho’s comments about the game were pretty stilted, though he thought the game was generally even but the late equaliser at the end of the first half – when ref Clattenburg played beyond the signalled two minutes additional time – had the “consequence” of Chelsea losing the game in the second half.
When it was pointed out to him that recently-retired top ref Howard Webb felt that Diego Costa should have been red-carded, he seemed to shrug it off as yet another pundit going against him and Chelsea.
Klopp clearly thought his team deserved to win, even if Mourinho did not.
Mourinho took his staff out to the centre-circle after finishing his press conference to conduct an inquest into the defeat.
Speaking at the news conference, the new Liverpool manager revelling in the team’s revival since he took over form Brendan Rodgers, commented: “We had not the best start, that’s the truth.
“We had our moments, our build up with short passes was very good. They tried to make pressure but we could play in the spaces in between.
“We had control of these situations. We made a goal and deserved the draw at half time. The second half was open and we made our goals at perfect moments for us. I feel it’s deserved. We have worked hard but it’s normal if you want to win in Chelsea.”
Mourinho took the unusual step of escaping to the privacy of the centre circle for an immediate post mortem with his entire backroom staff.
The under siege manager and his staff were on the pitch in a circular formation having what looked like quite an intense conversation, led of course by Mourinho.
Mourinho seemed to do the majority of the talking, if not all of it, and his staff listened intently, and some of the players warmed down on the pitch.
Rui Faria had his say, as did Steve Holland, but Mourinho was clearly the most vocal, and the lip readers will be busy trying to decipher was being said as Mourinho gave precious little away during his media interviews, and in fact completely blanked the live broadcaster, BT Sport, with whom he has a lucrative ambassadorial contract, with a series of bizarre answers, mostly “I’m not saying anything.”
It must rank as the most embarrassing after-match TV interview of all time, but at least the questions during the main media conference drew Mourinho into giving a little insight into his feelings. Clearly Mourinho is fed up with the TV pundits, and the media in general.
A section of the media insisted that if he lost to Liverpool he would be sacked, but Mouirnho told the main press conference that he didn’t think his situation had changed and that he was still the man to turn it around.
There was empathy from Klopp for Mourinho. “I feel for him,” said Klopp. “He’s a great coach. I don’t think anyone in this room doubts he’s one of the best in the world. Things like this happen. I had a similar situation at Dortmund last year.
“The good thing was no one in the club was in doubt of my situation. I feel for him of course but it’s work.”