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Darren Lewis: Mourinho is right about the FA’s inconsistency towards Wenger

22 Oct | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Darren Lewis: Mourinho is right about the FA’s inconsistency towards Wenger

The Chelsea manager's view is being buried below the belief that he is obsessed with the Arsenal boss, says the Mirror sports writer

So it’s Jose Mourinho who is obsessed.

Mourinho with the persecution complex.

Mourinho in the wrong even though most neutrals agree that he is right to ask how Arsene Wenger got away scot free with calling Mike Dean “weak” and “naive”.

Neither Wenger nor Arsenal or even the club’s fans would have had any complaints had the FA nailed him for his attack on one of our senior referees.

Because Chelsea are right.

If Wenger is calling Dean “weak” then he is, in effect, saying that the 47-year-old Wirral whistler is afraid to give a decision in Arsenal’s favour for fear of the consequences.

That is as much an attack on the integrity of an official as Mourinho saying that referees are “afraid” to give a penalty to Chelsea.

In both cases each manager is saying that a decision should be given but the referee is too frightened of the repercussions.

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Special One was out of order with those comments. He knows it.

The issue, however, is bigger than that. It is not even about Wenger and Mourinho – as enjoyable/tedious/(insert your own adjective) a joust that long-running saga may be.

It is about consistency.

The Chelsea boss is being panned left, right and centre for sticking to his guns.

Yet he is highlighting flaws in the FA’s decision-making process that are likely to affect almost every team in the Premier League during the course of the season.

This is far from the first time that the FA have been accused of making it up as they go along.

Yet Mourinho’s views are being buried below an assumption that he always has Wenger in his sights.

As a result the Chelsea boss is being seen as the JR Ewing to Arsene Wenger’s Cliff Barnes.

It is almost de rigueur to see Mourinho as the bad boy and Wenger as the sophisticated professor harassed by his opposite number.

In a country that loves the underdog, there has been a sense of schadenfreude at Mourinho’s worst start ever to a Premier League season and the threat he is under of the sack while Wenger pushes for the title.

But Mourinho’s team are recovering their form on the pitch and he is right about the FA’s inconsistency.

The Portuguese must wish, like Sir Alex Ferguson in the past, he had some promising young English talent that could benefit the nation.

Or a striker central to England’s major tournament ambitions (see Alan Shearer/Neil Lennon). He might then be able to get them to give his protests more consideration.

Paolo Di Canio was banned for 11 games back in 1998 for pushing referee Paul Alcock in that infamous game between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal.

Alan Pardew was banned from the touchline for two games and fined £20,000 for pushing assistant referee Peter Kirkup during Newcastle’s win over Tottenham.

Number of games for which Wenger was suspended for pushing Mourinho in the chest last season? Zero.

Even Wenger himself must have considered that one a result given that he’d been fined £10,000 by the FA for the same offence – pushing Pardew in that bad-tempered bust-up between Arsenal and West Ham – back in 2006.WengerAs well as the current suspended stadium ban for Mourinho, the Blues boss has also been told to pay £50,000.

In 2011, when Sir Alex received a touchline ban for five matches – the longest suspension any Premier League manager had faced at the time for comments about match officials – his fine was £30,000.

It was the fifth time in as many years that Manchester United’s knight of the realm had been in the dock for either criticising referees in the press or laying into them at games.

He was seen as one of the worst offenders in the country in terms of riding a coach and horses through the Respect campaign. He’d served two-match bans four times in the previous eight years.

The threat of a stadium ban? Never.

The Wenger-Mourinho feud is a red herring.

The Chelsea boss clearly doesn’t like his Arsenal counterpart and is fascinated that Wenger is indulged by his club and us in the media despite more than a decade of title failure.

But he doesn’t have an obsession with the Arsenal boss to the point of being a voyeur.

He is obsessed with the fact that it is indeed looking as though there is one rule for him and another for other managers.

Had Mourinho pushed Wenger the FA would probably have locked him up in a cage below Wembley.

And what if the Chelsea boss had said this?

“I’ve never seen a more biased performance from a referee in a long time. He gave the opposition everything he possibly could.”

They were the words of Bolton boss Neil Lennon, far from a stranger to the football authorities.

He’d been speaking after his team’s 4-3 defeat at QPR and was referring to referee Darren Drysdale.

Had Mourinho said those words the FA…well, you know by now. It is the reason why he appears not to care any more.

If the words “weak” and “naive” are indeed allowed as a description of an official’s performance then he intends to use them at every opportunity to show just how ridiculous the rules are.

An illustration of how far he has fallen? No chance. He is fighting for what he believes in. And so he should.

So expect to hear those words if Jon Moss makes a mistake at West Ham on Saturday at Upton Park.

Or if the officials get it wrong in the Capital One Cup next Tuesday night.

And most definitely if a decision goes against the Special One during the game against Liverpool on October 31.

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