Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho questions fitness of referee Phil Dowd after losing to Tottenham
Jose Mourinho has further widened talks of there being a conspiracy against his club Chelsea by stating that Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard could be thrown out of the Premier League eventually because he is unprotected by referees from opposition players who “kick and kick him”.
“If people are in love with football in this country then they must be in love with Eden Hazard. But the way, match to match, he’s being punished by opponents and not protected by referees … maybe one day we won’t have Eden Hazard. It’s one, two, three, four, five, 10 aggressive fouls against him. They kick and kick and kick, and the kid resists. He’s a very honest guy in the way he plays, but that’s another problem,” the Portuguese manager said.
The Blues were hammered 5-3 by Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day and this was only the second instance in his 14-year long managerial career, where any team managed by him had conceded five goals. The defeat leaves Chelsea level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table and nine points ahead of third-placed Manchester United.
While the 51-year-old did say that defensively, his side had more work to do, he did come down heavily over the non-award of the penalty for Jan Vertonghen’s handball when his side actually had a 1-0 advantage.
“I could go in two directions and say we made some defensive mistakes and that every rebound and deflected shot they had went in. We conceded five goals, which is something out of our context. But I can go in another direction and say what we all know, which is, with the result 1-0, one clear action could make it 2-0. Normally, at 2-0, the result would be completely different and the history of the game would be different,” he said.
Mourinho also criticized referee Phil Dowd, saying that he was “40 yards” off the pace when Federico Fazio challenged Hazard, a tackle that the Belgian later said was allowable. He also said that the Blues have been the most attacking side in this season so far.
“In the 20 league matches we have played we have been the most offensive team, the team with more creative players in attacking areas,” he said.
Not impressed with some of the decisions: Mourinho
He also added that more than the scoreline, what concerned him more was the quality of refereeing that have been on show in his side’s previous two encounters against Spurs on Thursday and against Southampton last Sunday.
“I’m more shocked with other things than us conceding five goals. That can happen. But where I am shocked is that, in three days, we’ve had two incredible decisions that punished us in a very hard way. Two matches where we’ve come away with one point when two crucial decisions would give us six points. There are things in the game that are becoming predictable.”
“After that there is an action on Eden Hazard which, honest as always, he tells me in his opinion was not a foul or a red card. So that is good, in spite the fact Mr. Dowd was too slow to follow that ball. He was 40 yards away but made the right decision. The decision he was 10m away he couldn’t make,” he said.
“That’s the kind of situation we accept. The first one, in the first half, which is clear … like the one against Southampton, which was also clear. They’re the ones that are difficult to accept. But managers and players, we win and lose. And Mr. Dowd didn’t lose. We didn’t lose because of the group of players.”
“Against Newcastle, we had Matic suspended but Mikel played a very good game. We lost because we were unlucky and Newcastle were lucky. Mr. Atkinson had a completely clean performance. It’s the kind of game you lose. Today is a different story and against Southampton it’s again a similar story. But there is nothing we can do," he added.