Jose Mourinho called upon the Football Association to punish players who cheat to get opponents booked or sent off, accusing Alvaro Negredo of trying to do just that to Nemanja Matic during Chelsea’s win over Manchester City on Monday night.
The Chelsea manager has appointed himself as the new crusader against simulation in recent months and says his admission that Oscar was rightly booked for diving by referee Martin Atkinson against Southampton last month proves that he is the most open when it comes to criticising his own players.
Mourinho was scathing about the actions of Negredo, deciding to name him having at first been reluctant to identify a player who he said had deliberately tried to earn Matic a second yellow card on Monday. Mourinho said that at the time he had protested to the fourth official about Negredo’s simulation during the second half.
Mourinho said: “I think that simulation has to be punished the same way the aggression is punished. I don’t know if you noticed that but, in the game of Man City, I had an exchange of words with one of the City players. I was not happy because he was trying to get Matic sent off.
“He [Negredo] knew he [Matic] had a yellow card. Matic jumped just in front of me in a very clean way, and the other guy immediately [holds his face]. He knew Matic had a yellow card already. [Referee] Mike Dean, the fourth official and the linesman were all there. They decided between them no yellow card.
“But if it is no yellow card for Matic, then for me [it is a] yellow card for the other guy. He deserves the punishment if he’s trying to get the guy sent off. I’m speaking generally, not about [Andy] Carroll. You have to attack the guys who try to get people sent off.”
Mourinho’s comments came after a question on the Carroll case, before West Ham learned that the independent tribunal had ruled in the FA’s favour. His new position can be difficult to reconcile at times, given the behaviour of Mourinho’s teams in the past, not least the memories of his 2003 Uefa Cup-winning Porto side. But he is adamant his players will not try to get opponents unjustly punished.
As for the Ramires penalty against Derby County in the FA Cup that stirred such debate, Mourinho is still clear in his own mind that was the correct decision. “I’m the one that said lots of penalty deserved a laugh [to be laughed at],” Mourinho said, “but no other managers said that. Maybe I’m the naïve one. No mind games.”
Fernando Torres is training again after his knee ligament injury, though he will not be ready for the visit of Newcastle to Stamford Bridge today. Instead, Mourinho said the striker could be back in contention for Wednesday’s visit to West Bromwich Albion.
Mourinho was non-committal on the possibility of Chelsea signing Edinson Cavani in the summer from Paris Saint-Germain, saying he had “no idea” whether it was being pursued.
Asked again about the future of Ashley Cole and the possibility he might join former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry at the New York Red Bulls, Mourinho initially bridled at the suggestion, saying that if there was a “better proposal” then Cole should consider it. Later he said that he wanted Cole to stay despite the fact he could not get in the Chelsea side.
“That [Cole’s plans] is another story that I cannot control. I like the player, I trust the player, I want him to stay. The club is happy with that, so we don’t have a problem. That [Cole’s decision] is another part of the story that doesn’t depend on us.”
Mourinho said he had a good relationship with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, the two men becoming friends after they got to know one another through Brendan Rodgers. Asked how he rated Pardew, Mourinho said: “He was the manager of the season two seasons ago, so do I need to rate him? I don’t.”