Jose Mourinho: ‘Maybe I will sit on the street corner with my iPad’

Chelsea boss weighs up options for stadium ban at Stoke game

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during his press conference ahead of the Premier League game at Stoke. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during his press conference ahead of the Premier League game at Stoke. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

 

Jose Mourinho is still deciding what to do on Saturday after opting not to contest his one-match stadium ban when his team travel to Stoke.

Mourinho must stay away from the Britannia Stadium following his half-time dismissal at West Ham last month and is not permitted to have contact with his coaching staff during the match, although that is difficult to police.

The Blues boss admitted a Football Association charge of misconduct over his behaviour at Upton Park and was fined £40,000 (€56,000) alongside the stadium ban.

“Maybe I will sit on the street corner with my iPad,” said Mourinho, who says he was invited to speak to referee Jonathan Moss in the officials’ changing room at West Ham.

“You can imagine that it’s not easy. You can imagine how I feel. And I don’t want to speak a lot about it.

“I have no plans. Maybe I don’t even watch the game. I cannot (have) contact with the game, so what’s the point?”

Only an appeal would have allowed Mourinho to enter the Britannia Stadium, but he has accepted the sanction.

“It’s stupid to fight a fight that you know you have already lost,” he added.

If he does watch the televised game – and it is inconceivable that he would not – he has no plans to listen to the commentary or opinions of pundits and may use social media.

“Maybe. Live scores? Results? Maybe,” said Mourinho, gesturing to his phone, which rang during Friday’s media conference.

Mourinho failed in an appeal against a separate sanction on Thursday, a suspended one-match stadium ban and £50,000 (€70,000) fines for comments made after the October 3rd loss to Southampton.

That stadium ban will only be imposed in the next 12 months if he contravenes FA rules governing media comments on match officials.

Mourinho suggested he feels aggrieved at his current punishment and his relationship with the FA is fractious. But he is not planning to test it on Saturday.

Mourinho reportedly flouted a Uefa-imposed stadium ban by hiding in a laundry skip during his first spell with Chelsea.

He refused to confirm or deny the episode on Friday, but said he was not tempted to do something similar at Stoke.

“No. No temptation,” Mourinho added. “I travel with them (the team). And I will be with them until the moment somebody stops me.

“I have to get out (of the bus) before (it reaches the stadium).”

Chelsea, the reigning champions, are 15th in the Premier League after six losses in their opening 11 matches and their Capital One Cup defence ended in a penalty shoot-out loss at Stoke.

Mourinho’s position is under scrutiny and Wednesday’s Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev – amid a cauldron of support for the embattled boss – was Chelsea’s second in six games since the Portuguese was the subject of the first managerial vote of confidence in Roman Abramovich’s 12-year ownership on October 5th.

Mourinho believes he is being prevented from doing his job.

“One thing is not to be on the bench. Because against West Ham the referee told me not to be on the bench in the second half, but nobody told me to leave the stadium,” Mourinho added.

“In this moment I’m stopped not just to do my work, I’m stopped from going to a football stadium.”

He questioned whether the League Managers’ Association might argue the case against stadium bans for its members, except in more extreme circumstances.

“This stadium ban is connected to words, to complaints,” he added.

“The stadium bans should be related to something really, really serious, in terms of aggression (and) words I don’t want to use.

“In this moment it’s open in the future for a stadium ban to happen many more times, unless we have our association or other associations around Europe that question in a very serious and legal way about the rights of managers and having stadium bans.”

Assistants Rui Faria and Steve Holland will oversee the team from the touchline, furnished with plans for every event, with Mourinho taking ultimate responsibility despite being absent.

Mourinho said: “The game is unpredictable, you don’t know the direction of the game in every aspect, but we can try to reduce that (by preparing for) the most incredible scenarios that you can imagine.

“If after 10 minutes we are playing with seven men, it’s something my assistants have not prepared (for).”

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