Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho recently claimed that there was a campaign against his Chelsea team after Cesc Fabregas was wrongly booked for diving against Southampton.
The Portuguese manager was furious with the fact that Fabregas was not awarded a penalty after he was tripped in the box following a challenge by Matt Targett. It sparked a reaction from the Chelsea boss, who accused the recent accusations of diving against his team as the reason why Fabregas was not awarded a penalty. Mourinho then seemed to claim that referee Anthony Taylor assumed that Fabregas dived in the box in order to manipulate the referee. Although Fabregas did not attempt to fool the referee, there is recent evidence that suggests it may have been in the referee’s mind when Fabregas fell to the floor.
Chelsea have been in the limelight in the past couple of weeks due to the fact that a number of players have been guilty of misleading the referee in recent Premier League fixtures. Hull City manager Steve Bruce accused Chelsea players of diving at Stamford Bridge when the Blues defeated Bruce’s side 2-0. Diego Costa, Willian and Gary Cahill all came under fire after the game due to diving. The same accusations occurred in the following week against West Ham. It was Branislav Ivanovic who was criticised this time, as he went down very easily in the box following a challenge from Andy Carroll.
Sam Allardyce hinted that Ivanovic dived in the box and replays suggested that the Serb did go down too easily. Therefore, after recent weeks of diving controversy, it is of no surprise that Chelsea were eventually going to be the victims of their own downfall.
There is no campaign against Chelsea. In fact, the thought process behind Jose Mourinho’s accusations does not add up. There has been issues recently with Chelsea players diving but the referee must have booked Fabregas on the grounds of what he saw. The challenge isn’t an obviously blatant foul in real time, only slow motion replays reveal an obvious point of contact. If the referee is just presuming that Fabregas dived in the box, Mourinho has a point. However, the manner of the challenge and the way Fabregas fell to the floor actually made it very difficult for Anthony Taylor to get the decision right.
Mourinho is no stranger to mind games and, in this instance, he may be looking to vent his anger so that Chelsea are favoured in terms of referee decision-making in upcoming Premier League fixtures. If a similar incident like Fabregas’ booking occurs in the near future, there will be no doubt that Mourinho will blow his top. Therefore, by venting his frustration at a refereeing error, Mourinho has reversed the diving accusations that have surrounded Chelsea recently. Referees will now be anxious when it comes to determining whether a Chelsea player has dived or not. Subsequently. this increase in pressure on referees may work in Chelsea’s favour as nobody will be eager to replicate Anthony Taylor’s mistake once again.
The fact that there is this debate in the game suggests that refereeing football is a much harder task nowadays due to the fine line between manipulation and fair play. If Mourinho is as angry as he is with referees after they get decisions wrong, he should be equally as angry at his players when they’re in the wrong. It is a vicious cycle that only referees will lose and managers like Mourinho can win, seizing the situation and putting clubs like Chelsea in the driving seat in terms of future refereeing decision-making.