Jose Mourinho’s Top Scapegoat
Jose Mourinho’s celebrated managerial career for Chelsea has made him undoubtedly the pride of West London. The Portuguese manager’s unique approach to football has dazzled a collection of teams in Europe, seeing him claim some of the sports most prestigious trophies in unexpected settings, which has graced him with the label “The Special One”. But the framework of this nickname comes with a variety of characteristics that are difficult to define. Mourinho is notorious for mental warfare in the game of football. The brilliant former Porto manager can often times bewilder his opponents with the twist of his words as well as he can coach his side to glory. His steely presence is often unreadable and misunderstood, as his words sometimes do not match those of his actions. But it is these kinds of characteristics that make Mourinho one of the most intriguing and at the same time, vexing figures in the world of football today. No matter the backdrop, Mourinho has always somehow found diversion in the face of adversity – a cool look under the pressures of fire. And most recently, one of his most controversial victims is former Chelsea doctor, Eva Carneiro.
The saga between doctor and manager holds more gravity than any other scapegoat in the Portuguese’s blacklist because of its layers of unprofessionalism. It was in early August when Chelsea were down to ten men against Swansea City when Carneiro and colleague, Jon Fearn attended to the apparently injured Eden Hazard. Since then, only drama has unfolded and it seems that the only figure that remains standing is Jose Mourinho. The overtly expressive manager burst into a fury on the touchline when his medical staff removed Hazard from the pitch in an effort to treat the player, forcing Mourinho’s already reduced side to more disadvantage. Yet, it was after the match when the mental warfare took its greatest toll. The former Real Madrid manager condemned his medical staff and significantly abridged the responsibilities of Carneiro – despite her decision on match day being the correct one. Since then the British-born doctor’s demotion has forced her to formally leave the West London outfit and succumb to a media frenzy over the entirety of the incident. At the same time, the 42-year-old has received minimal support on behalf of the governing Football Association leaving her in a position of isolation. And yet amid this, Mourinho remains untouched, even under the scope of controversy.
Perhaps Mourinho’s unprecedented brilliance comes from his ability to use diversions such as scapegoats to allow him immunity from losing power or perhaps it is simply his way of never truly losing control. But regardless, Mourinho’s scapegoats of the past, such as fans, floodlights, referees, media and fixture lists, cannot measure anywhere close to the unfortunate reality of Carnerio. She may have been noble enough to face Mourinho, but the unfortunate reality remains, the doctor has miniscule power in and amongst the wrath of the manager. While challenging one of footballs most successful and perplexing managers, it seems as though Carnerio never truly had a chance. The highly respected doctor’s lack of support from the FA governing body can also be drawn as far back as Chelsea’s fixture against West Ham in 2014/2015 when she was subject to sexist chants. Above all, the immediate theme that continues to reoccur for Carnerio does not stem just from the antics of Mourinho, but the clear state of women working in football today.
“I was at no stage requested by the FA to make a statement [about the incident with Mourinho]… Last season I had a similar experience at a game at West Ham FC, where I was subject to verbal abuse. Following complaints by the public, the FA produced a communication to the press saying there had been no sexist chanting during this game. At no time was I approached for a statement despite the fact that vile unacceptable, sexually explicit abuse was clearly heard. It is incidents such as these and the lack of support from the football authorities that make it so difficult for women in the game”.