Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 0: Jose Mourinho says it would be 'helpful' if Chris Foy stops refereeing Chelsea games

Manager says his players believe the official has ‘problems’ with them

Jose Mourinho has said it would be a “good decision” and “helpful” if Chris Foy does not referee any more Chelsea games after Saturday’s controversial 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

The Portuguese manager also claimed he would have to prepare his team differently in anticipation of a match involving the official and said his squad had previously been discussing the fact they frequently have “problems” with Foy.

Chelsea had both Willian and Ramires sent off along with Mourinho himself at Villa Park, and lost to an 82nd-minute Fabian Delph goal after Nemanja Matic had had an earlier effort ruled out for an adjudged handball.

Despite a result that could deny Chelsea the Premier League title, Mourinho said he did not want to offer the kind of direct criticisms of decisions that would cost him money. It may not help, however, as the Chelsea manager made heavy implications about Foy.

“Maybe it’s helpful that the [referees’] committee doesn’t send him to our matches,” Mourinho said. When asked whether he would specifically request that, he said: “No, I don’t have the right.

“It’s just, I think they have to analyse the situation and see if every time he has Chelsea – or not every time – but many times he has Chelsea and problems are there. I think maybe it would be a good decision but I don’t care with referees.”

His players, however, evidently do. Mourinho made a pointed reference to Chelsea’s notorious October 2011 match at Queen’s Park Rangers and, despite claiming he “didn’t know” Foy was in charge of that game, admitted his squad had discussed the referee.

That match was the second – and most acrimonious – of an eight-game sequence in which the Lancashire referee has now sent off six different Chelsea players. When Mourinho was asked whether discussing that history might result in his squad developing an “issue” with Foy, the manager said: “They have a reason.

“The players were speaking about it during the week. My philosophy is that I never care who the ref is. I don’t want to know. And, if for some reason I know the referee is Mr Anthony or Mr John then, OK, Mr Anthony, Mr John. I always think that the referee is a good referee and I look always positive and I never carry... but during the week the players were speaking about the situation and I think from now on the next time we have Mr Foy I have to work my people in a different way because I don’t want [more controversy].

“I think Chelsea normally is very composed, not just in this season with me... the last time I remember something similar was in a match at QPR’s stadium.”

Saturday’s defeat at Villa marked the first time since that Loftus Road game that Foy sent off two Chelsea players, having also been the referee who dismissed Eden Hazard for kicking a ballboy at Swansea City last season.

One issue with Mourinho’s analysis, however, is that at least half of those previous decisions were either borderline or simply fair, and it was the same in Saturday’s game.

While Chelsea could quibble with the calls to rule out Matic’s strike, as well as the fact that Foy gave Joe Bennett just a booking for hauling down Ramires in the 45th minute, there was sufficient room for interpretation to justify Foy’s decisions. The only incident that seemed indisputably wrong was a harsh second yellow card for Willian after Delph fell to the turf in a chase, but Mourinho could have little complaint with Ramires’s disgraceful late stamp on Karim El-Ahmadi.

Mourinho said he “didn’t see” the incident so did not condemn it. Goalscorer Delph did see it, but was unwilling to criticise Ramires too much.

“I’ve seen it. I think he might have got a rush of blood to the head. I don’t think he’s meant to hurt him. We’ve got nothing against Ramires, he’s a great player.”

Instead, Delph was far more forthright about Willian’s red card and insisted it was deserved. “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it usually is. Let’s just leave it at that. He’s grabbed me and he’s caught me and I’ve gone down. I only weigh about 3st 2lb so it was a bit difficult for me to stay up.”

Delph also stated he felt that Villa’s tight approach had made Mourinho’s side especially tetchy.

“A team like Chelsea, with the quality they’ve got, if you manage to keep them quiet, it’s going to frustrate them. It happens with the top teams, they can get frustrated. I think we managed to do that. They tried to chase the game. It could have gone either way. We were well organised, had a good game plan.”

Mourinho insisted he was “angry, but calm”.

He added: “I don’t want to throw money away because I don’t control my emotions and my words, so I keep quiet and no comments.”

Jose Mourinho says Chelsea often have “problems” with Chris Foy since the referee has sent off six of their players in the last eight games involving  them he’s taken charge of. But how many of those were unfair?

Ref justice? Chris Foy v Chelsea

Chelsea 0-0 Fulham, League Cup, 21 September 2011

Red card: Alex sent off for professional foul on Kerim Frei in 18-yard box, although may have touched ball.

Verdict: borderline

QPR 1-0 Chelsea, Premier League, 23 October 2011

Red card: Jose Bosingwa sent off for tussle with Shaun Wright-Phillips, with winger falling when through on goal.

Verdict: harsh

QPR 1-0 Chelsea, Premier League, 23 October 2011

Red card: Didier Drogba dismissed for reckless tackle on Adel Taarabt.

Verdict: fair

Swansea 0-0 Chelsea, League Cup, 23 January 2013

Red card: Eden Hazard sent off for kicking a ball boy.

Verdict: fair

Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea, Premier League, 15 March 2014

Red card: Willian sent off for second yellow card after Fabian Delph falls in chase for ball.

Verdict: harsh

Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea, Premier League, 15 March 2014

Red card: Ramires dismissed for dangerous stamp on Karim El-Ahmadi.

Verdict: fair

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