Jose Mourinho: Robin van Persie would not have escaped punishment for elbow if he was a Chelsea player

Mourinho appears convinced of a media campaign against his players

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Jose Mourinho does not believe that Robin van Persie would have escaped with his elbow on James Tomkins on Sunday had he been a Chelsea player.

Mourinho raised his new theory at his press conference yesterday afternoon, ahead of tonight’s game against Everton. He has spent much of this winter on the defensive, insisting there was a media ‘campaign’ against his players, describing Sky Sports’ coverage of Diego Costa as “nuts” and even not holding his press conference the week before last.

Clearly, the retrospective decision to ban Diego Costa for three games for stamping on Emre Can still rankles with Mourinho. He said, stewing in the perceived unfairness of it all, that he was still coming to terms with why his player was banned when others are not.

But if Mourinho was looking for a counter-example, of violent conduct remaining unpunished – and it would be surprising if he was not – then he has found one.

On Sunday, at Upton Park, Robin van Persie elbowed James Tomkins in the face. Referee Mark Clattenburg gave a free-kick, but nothing more. As Clattenburg saw it and dealt with it, there was no scope for retrospective action under Premier League rules.

For Mourinho and his cultivation of a public sense of grievance, it is perfect bait. “I need a little bit more time to forget why my player was suspended, to understand why some people are punished and others are not,” he said yesterday afternoon. “I need a little bit more time to process that.”

Mourinho never mentioned van Persie by name but it was very obvious about whom he was talking. Of course, whether or not van Persie is banned will make no impact on Chelsea’s season. The two teams are 12 points apart and will only meet once more, in the Premier League on the weekend of 18 April. But for Mourinho, the van Persie situation validates his own theory of uneven treatment.

“Somebody who did this in the face of somebody, and nothing happened,” said Mourinho, making an elbowing motion with his arm. “I know that if it was one of mine…”

Mourinho referred to the crucial end of last season, when Ramires was given a four-match retrospective ban for hitting Sebastian Larsson, while Manchester City’s Yaya Toure remained unpunished after kicking Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

“Last season, the same thing happened when Ramires was suspended [through retrospective action] and, one week later, a Man City player kicked a player at Norwich who was on the floor and nothing happened,” he said. “I'm used to it.” The fact that Everton’s Kevin Mirallas stood on Cesc Fabregas when Chelsea and Everton met at the start of the season, and was unpunished, has not gone unnoticed at Stamford Bridge either.

Mourinho has attributed Costa’s ban to the insistence of Sky Sports’ coverage of the Capital One Cup semi-final with Liverpool. Sunday’s game between Manchester United and West Ham United was also on Sky Sports, and Mourinho joked about the lack of replays of van Persie’s elbow. “I was told they had a technical problem,” he said. “The replays were not coming. The problem was not the pundits.”

If the van Persie incident was not convincing enough, Mourinho referenced his technical area confrontation with Arsene Wenger in October, another example of the anti-Chelsea bias he is now seeing almost every week.

“If I push a manager in my technical area, you know that I will be stadium banned,” Mourinho said. “You know. We all know. You can’t say we don’t know why, but we all know. If I do something like that, I would be in serious, serious trouble. But there is no point to think about it too much because we don't have an answer.”

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