Jose Mourinho lets rip at referees, racism, Sky and Arsene Wenger
The Chelsea boss ranted and raved for almost half an hour during a TV appearance that was candid even by his standards
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made what the Guardian described as an "extraordinary appearance" on television on Sunday morning, and the self-styled Special One turned Seething One as he "railed for 27 minutes against perceived injustices".
Mourinho's unscheduled appearance on Sky Sports' 'Goals on Sunday' programme came at his own request following Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Burnley the previous afternoon.
The Premier League leaders were held at home thanks in part to some highly controversial refereeing decisions that went against Chelsea, including two strong penalty appeals that were waved away by referee Martin Atkinson and a shocking tackle on Nemanja Matic that went unpunished.
Mourinho described Ashley Barnes lunge on Matic as "criminal", and few who saw the appalling tackle would disagree. But Barnes got away with it, and instead Atkinson sent off Matic after the Serbian reacted violently to the tackle.
"Football is about emotions and clearly Nemanja Matic had a reason to lose his emotions," Mourinho said on Sunday morning. "What are the consequences of his push? Nothing. The consequence for Matic from the tackle? It could be the end of his career…the minimum you have to say is this is a criminal tackle."
As for the penalty decisions that went against Chelsea, notably when striker Diego Costa was clearly bundled over in the box, Mourinho said it was symptomatic of the poor officiating that has dogged the club this season.
"I am risking my place in the dugout…by having this discussion," he began. "I cannot go too far, but the reality is that week after week we are having these decisions [against us]. Football is football, but I think it is too much. I think my players don't deserve that. Yesterday I was calm in the press conference but my players are not getting the respect they deserve."
Stressing that he was not impugning the integrity of Martin Atkinson or any other referee, Mourinho added: "I am not attacking the honesty, the dignity of anyone. I am trying to be honest…this gentleman [Atkinson] is one of the top referees in European football, he can also make mistakes. He clearly made four important mistakes yesterday. He is like the lawyer who is consistent because he lost 15 of 15 cases. You don't want that lawyer."
Having finished criticising officials, Mourinho then turned his wrath on Sky Sports themselves, laying into them for the way they covered an incident last month in which Costa stamped on Liverpool's Emre Can, an action for which he was handed a retrospective three-game ban.
Sky Sports repeatedly flagged up the incident under the strapline "Costa's crimes", and Mourinho at the time accused the broadcaster of a campaign against his side.
He returned to the theme on Sunday, telling his hosts: "I don't like the fact you start immediately, in that moment, the public judgment of the player… as an institution, Sky is so important in the Premier League [but] you never apologise."
Mourinho issued an apology of his own during his half hour harangue when asked about the racist incident in Paris last week. "I am very sorry to be connected to this," he said of the video footage purporting to show a group of Chelsea fans preventing a black man boarding a metro train. "Chelsea's reaction as a club was fantastic, we could not do more than we did."
And before he left the Sky Sports studio, Mourinho took the opportunity to have a dig at his arch-rival Arsene Wenger. The pair have never seen an eye to eye, with the Chelsea manager labelling the Arsenal boss a "specialist in failure" last season, and Mourinho couldn't resist another playful put down as he declared: "I don't understand why they are not up there with Chelsea and Manchester City," he said of the side currently 12 points below his own.
"[Wenger] has a dream job. Everyone would love to have the security he has of being manager year after year after year. He won so many titles in a certain period and that gave him that credibility he deserves."