Gary Lim: Mourinho's playing mind games again with ref rant
He's at it again.
Jose Mourinho says there is a "diving campaign" against Chelsea and that's how the Blues boss likes it.
He uses anything, everything, to cultivate a siege mentality. He wants his players to believe it's them versus the rest of the world. He tries to deflect attention from a disappointing result.
He says referee Anthony Taylor made a mistake in booking Cesc Fabregas for diving in the 1-1 away draw against Southampton last Sunday, when he should have given Chelsea a penalty instead.
He calls it a "scandal". He says it's a big moment, and would you believe it, as big as "Big Ben".
Maybe he's right.
But it's an old tactic that he has perfected into an art. If there indeed is a scheme brewing, it's flowing the other way around.
As former Manchester United captain Gary Neville puts it, Mourinho has "planted a seed".
In one fell swoop, the 51-year-old Portuguese has put pressure on all the referees who will be officiating their games for the rest of the season.
So, was there contact between Matt Targett and Fabregas in the penalty box? Yes.
Did Fabregas intentionally reach out to make contact so that he could go down in the area? Only he knows. But to still be talking about this is missing the point.
The incident at the centre of the storm has taken a devious turn and charted a different course.
Mourinho plays a mean game in people's heads. He has grabbed the opportunity to twist their minds.
By claiming that there's a "campaign" against them, he has mounted his own movement.
Referees will now think twice before cautioning his players for diving. The uncertainties will lurk at the edge of their subconscious.
Mourinho can recall the opening match of this season against Burnley when Diego Costa received a yellow card for simulation. Replays show that the referee was wrong. But the mind remembers what it wants, or chooses, to.
Just recently, Costa and Willian were booked in the match against Hull City for the same offence.
And Gary Cahill, who was already on a yellow, should have received a second and thus his marching orders when he dramatically fell in the box in the same game.
He hasn't brought these up and he won't.
Neither can one expect him to bring up his past rants.
His simmering rivalry with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has seen him calling the Frenchman several things, including "voyeur" and "specialist in failure".
He insinuated something sinister, after a Champions League clash with Barcelona, by claiming he saw the opposing team coach enter the referee's room at half-time.
Look up the Internet and there is an entire catalogue of such examples.
Mourinho says what he wants, as a means to an end.
Just don't take him too seriously.
'Jose's planting a seed on refs'
Jose Mourinho has "planted a seed" and put pressure on referees after claiming there is a clear campaign against Chelsea, says Gary Neville.
Mourinho was left incensed when referee Anthony Taylor failed to award a penalty for a 55th-minute trip by Matt Targett on Cesc Fabregas in the 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday and instead booked the Spain international for diving.
Mourinho blamed the Fabregas booking on recent accusations of diving made against Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, who was named by Sam Allardyce in the wake of West Ham's Boxing Day defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Neville told Sky Sports that he believes Mourinho knows there is no campaign against Chelsea from referees, but insists he is planting a seed to put referees under pressure in the future.
"He has planted a seed for the rest of the season," Neville said.
"He'll probably take a fine for that.
"What Mourinho has done today is that he's drawing a line in the sand and said, 'I'm not accepting this any more', letting the referees know this is unacceptable for the rest of the season.
"The campaign bit is him saying he's not having this anymore."
Neville, an eight-time winner of the Premier League, says this is a clear tactic for teams gunning for the title.
He added: "It's what teams that are going for the title do. Historically, you put pressure on, you plant seeds, he won't think for one minute there's a campaign against Chelsea."
Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness agreed with Neville, saying there is nobody better than Mourinho at instilling pressure on officials.
Souness said: "He's drawn attention to it and is basically trying to put referees under pressure.
"And nobody does it better." - PA Sport.
Referee Anthony Taylor booked Cesc Fabregas for diving in Chelsea's 1-1 draw at St Mary's. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said: "In other countries where I worked before, tomorrow in the sports papers it would be a front-page scandal because it is a scandal.
"I think it is a scandal because it is not a small penalty - it is a penalty like Big Ben."
Striker Diego Costa picked up his fifth yellow card of the season for catching Sunderland's Wes Brown with a flailing arm.
Asked if Costa's feisty approach to the game was becoming a problem, Mourinho said: "Why do you speak all the time about Diego? I don't agree, I don't agree. We don't cry about injured or suspended players."
Mourinho described Arsene Wenger as a "specialist in failure" after the Frenchman claimed that other Premier League bosses were playing down their title chances because they "fear to fail".
After losing to Barcelona in 2006, he said: "When I saw Frank Rijkaard (then-Barcelona coach) entering the referee's dressing room, I couldn't believe it. When Didier Drogba was sent off (after half-time), I wasn't surprised."
Referee Anders Frisk later quit as an official, but Uefa denied it was due to Mourinho's comments.
Mourinho questioned the validity of Liverpool forward Luis Garcia's goal which put Chelsea out of the Champions League semi-finals.
He said: "I felt the power of Anfield, it was magnificent. I felt it didn't interfere with my players, but maybe it interfered with other people and maybe with the result. You should ask the linesman why he gave a goal."
Mourinho defended putting a finger to his lips during the Carling Cup final against Liverpool, an action which resulted in him being sent to the stands.
He said: "I don't regret it... I have a lot of respect for Liverpool fans and what I did, the sign of silence - 'shut your mouth' - was not for them, it was for the English press." - PA Sport.