Mourinho on the defensive over treatment of club doctor

Press conference will see Chelsea boss fielding tricky questions over Eva Carneiro

 Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro: has felt the wrath of Jose Mourinho this week.  Photo: Mike Egerton/PAgerton/PA Wire.

Chelsea team doctor Eva Carneiro: has felt the wrath of Jose Mourinho this week. Photo: Mike Egerton/PAgerton/PA Wire.

 
ChelseaManchester CityJose Mourinho

It is not that the Chelsea manager’s public briefings are normally tedious or uncomfortable affairs, they just tend to be one-sided. Mourinho usually has the answers, can pick the questions he wishes to engage with and has the sort of achievement record that brooks little argument.

This time, as a result of his needless monstering of his own medical staff following two dropped points against Swansea on opening day, Mourinho can expect some pointed questioning indeed and he will have to supply some answers. He has not made any comment since the allegation on Saturday evening that Eva Carneiro needed to understand the game more, though subsequent developments within the club have seen a petty row escalate into something approaching a witch hunt.

Explain himself

Was Ms Carneiro supposed to realise, for instance, that Eden Hazard was not really injured and was just buying a little time at the end of a game?

In which case might it not have been a good idea to include the club medical staff in what was evidently a ruse? Ought Hazard to be congratulated for feigning injury so convincingly it fooled both the referee and the club doctor?

Was Mourinho aware the referee had signalled for the medic to go on to the pitch, and if so what would he rather have had her do instead of running on to attend to Hazard? Shake her head and politely decline, on the grounds that she knew Hazard was milking it? Pretend she had not seen Michael Oliver’s signal? Is Mourinho even aware that referees, rather than medical staff, make decisions about when doctors can go on to the pitch?

Mourinho’s best policy when confronted with such a minefield may be to reinstate Carneiro to her matchday duties, sit her at the table next to him at the press conference, offer a profound apology and admit he got a few things wrong.

If the Chelsea manager is big enough to accept a portion of blame for a public relations storm that blew up out of nothing the matter may be put swiftly to bed.

That is not normally Mourinho’s style, however. He does not backtrack, fondly nurses grudges and is perfectly capable of making the situation worse rather than better when he meets journalists whose tone is confrontational. That in itself may not worry Roman Abramovich though Mourinho’s history of falling out with his employers could do.

Big game

Chelsea did not need the distraction of an internal squabble in the first week of the season. Mourinho and his players are now under a certain amount of pressure to show on Sunday that discord has not spread through the playing ranks. Mourinho suddenly has a ship to steady and he has no one to blame but himself. Guardian Service

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