Is Mourinho losing the plot?


But it is not going to be easy for Chelsea’s manager. The release of a video by Sky yesterday reveals him delivering an explosive, foul-mouthed tirade after seeing Dr Eva Carneiro and head physiotherapist Jon Fearn run on to the pitch to assist Eden Hazard during last weekend’s encounter with Swansea. The footage will lead to yet more questions.

Something appears to be eating away at Mourinho and the evidence goes beyond his treatment of medical staff that invited criticism from FIFA’s chief medical officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak yesterday.

Sources at the club say he has been in a foul mood for some weeks now, berating staff members, barking at players and working them hard even by his own demanding standards.

He surprised his players by responding to Saturday’s disappointing draw against Swansea by giving them two days off. He welcomed them back — after some players had taken brief trips abroad — to a series of punishing, back-to-back training sessions that kept them at Cobham late into the afternoon yesterday. It was said to have felt like a form of punishment to his squad.

A smouldering, seething Mourinho is nothing particularly new to seasoned observers of the often petulant Portuguese. Particularly when a poor pre-season is followed by a performance as unimpressive as last weekend’s.

But he was compared yesterday to ‘a steaming cauldron’, with a growing concern that something deeper is troubling him.

A shortage of summer signings, perhaps. Or maybe even a fear that they are not ready to face their main title rivals at Manchester City on Sunday. Insiders at the club say they have not seen Mourinho this unhappy since the final days of his first term at Stamford Bridge.

The video that Sky put out yesterday is one of a man responding irrationally to a match situation that was far from critical. He turns and shouts ‘son of a bitch’ in Portuguese — ‘filho da puta’ — continuing to rant and rave as he marches back towards his seat.

Sky pixelated the images of his face at one point because he was so clearly using foul language. And he is seen not only barking his disapproval at Carneiro but Fearn, too. Both deserve credit for remaining calm in response.

Just as irrational was the thought process that led Mourinho to criticise his senior medical staff on television and radio. He accused Carneiro of lacking a basic understanding of the game despite her considerable experience and expertise, then branded his medical team ‘impulsive and naive’.

It was a decision that stunned Chelsea officials and left Roman Abramovich, an owner never comfortable to see the image of his club tarnished, most unhappy.

The problem is escalating. Yesterday, lawyers representing Chelsea asked that the media make no attempts to contact Carneiro or her family, even though Sportsmail can reveal Carneiro has contacted a separate legal firm to discuss what could well amount to a constructive dismissal claim, given that she has been stripped of most of her duties.

The 41-year-old doctor has hired Mishcon de Reya — the prestigious law firm which famously represented Diana, Princess of Wales during her divorce from Prince Charles and has also given advice for women facing discrimination — to look at her case.

This heightens the need for Mourinho to navigate his way carefully through this afternoon’s media briefing.

There was yet more criticism for Mourinho yesterday, having already had his behaviour described as ‘appalling’ and ‘unjust’ by senior medical figures in sport this week.

FIFA’s Dvorak told Sky he fully supported Carneiro’s actions, arguing that Mourinho had no right to question when a doctor chooses to rush to the aid of a player.

‘In medical aspects, in medical diagnosis, the manager has nothing to say,’ said Dvorak.

‘This is our professional law and our ethical duty to look after the players’ health.’

Asked if a manager had the authority to tell the medical team not to enter the field, Dvorak said: ‘I can’t see such a situation and we have to defend the position of the doctor. Everyone involved has to respect the fact the doctor is in charge.

‘I don’t want to interfere with the club as such, but I would endorse clearly what the team doctor and the physiotherapist did. When they were asked, they had to come on to the pitch.’

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine echoed the sentiment.

In a statement they said: ‘A Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM) doctor’s duty is to the health and medical welfare of his/her athlete at all times and a doctor must be allowed to make a proper evaluation of the medical injury.

‘The SEM doctor’s duty to the health and welfare of the athlete should be determined on clinical grounds and not be influenced by third parties such as coaches and management.

‘A doctor’s position should not be subject to restrictions following the care of an athlete, provided the doctor has acted appropriately and in line with the GMC and FSEM code of practice.’

Presumably Mourinho needed the assistance of his medical staff to complete the signing of the Brazilian, Kenedy, yesterday.

Whether it proves to be the last time they work together — indeed whether it proves to be the last signing Mourinho makes at Chelsea — remains to be seen.

These are the members of Jose Mourinho’s backroom team at Stamford Bridge who support the Chelsea boss at every game:

Gary Staker — player liaison officer

Rui Faria — assistant first team coach

Steve Holland — assistant first team coach

Silvino Louro — assistant first team coach

Christophe Lollichon — goalkeeper coach

Eva Carneiro — first team doctor

Jon Fearn — first team physiotherapist – Daily Mail

Original source: Is Mourinho losing the plot?