Arsene Wenger defends Eva Carneiro in row with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger offered his support to Eva Carneiro in the row with Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho, The Guardian reports. The Frenchman believes that the Blues medical staff were only responding to the referee's call, and he aimed a jibe at Mourinho claiming that unless a club is united and has solid trust within, it would make things really difficult.
The situation at Stamford Bridge escalated quickly after Mourinho criticised the club’s medical staff for attending to Eden Hazard during injury time of Chelsea’s Premier League season opener against Swansea which finished 2-2. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off just after the interval and the medical team’s intervention meant they had to play with nine men for a short period of time.
This enraged Mourinho, who criticised the medical staff as “naive and impulsive” and added that even the support personnel “have to understand the game.”
The Portuguese manager’s comments had drawn widespread condemnation from various quarters, including Chelsea fans whom Carneiro thanked for the support. Former Liverpool head of medicine Peter Brukner also criticised Mourinho for “humiliating” Carneiro and stated that she was 100% correct.
Wenger, who has a long-standing rivalry with Mourinho, has now voiced his opinion on the matter but was understandably reluctant to turn it into a controversy. He, however, made it clear that Carneiro was not at fault as it was the referee who had called the medical team onto the field of play.
“Firstly I have not followed that as you know I do not have great interest about what is going on at Chelsea,” he said. “Secondly the rules are quite clear that when the referee gives an indication that the medics can come on they come on. It is the referee who makes the decision.”
The Frenchman then took an indirect jibe at Chelsea by indicating that things were not well behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge.
“It is a problem inside the club that if you are not united it is more difficult,” Wenger said. “It is the trust and unity that makes the strength.”
Wenger urges Arsenal to focus on their strengths
Arsenal suffered a surprising 2-0 loss at The Emirates against West Ham United in their Premier League opener on Sunday but Wenger called upon his side to respond positively by focussing on the club’s strengths.
“Every defeat makes you a bit smaller,” he said. “But it is our job to take it into perspective with 37 games to go. We have the history behind us in the second half of the campaign last year that we have the quality to respond always and to be consistent. Let’s focus on our quality. Defeat is part of the season and of course that was not planned but we know it is how we respond to these kind of things that will make our season.”
“It always hurts. We have analysed what happened to us but we don’t have to go overboard with what happened. It is a defeat and it hurts but that shouldn’t take our belief in our potential away,” he added.