Jose Mourinho – this season’s chief moaner and most frequent complainer over Premier League officiating – has found himself yet another reason to be aggrieved with the three match suspension handed to Chelsea’s key midfield enforcer, Nemanja Matic.
Chelsea’s no. 21 was subject to a quite frankly horrible tackle from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, and whilst no actual harm was actually suffered by Matic, the midfielder proceeded to push over the Clarets man in retaliation for what easily could have left the Serb with a broken leg.
The 26-year-old midfielder – who has been one of the stand-out performers at Stamford Bridge this campaign – will miss upcoming league matches against West Ham and Southampton, as well as Sunday’s much anticipated League Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley. Whatever your opinion of Chelsea and their punishingly formidable style this season, it seems a shame that a player of Matic’s quality looks set to miss the final over a mere push.
In light of such developments, is Jose Mourinho right to feel aggrieved over the incident? And should more common sense prevail in the aftermath of the whole affair?
Whilst claims that there has been a ‘campaign’ against Chelsea remain unfounded, the ever enigmatic Blues boss does seem to have struck a line of truth in this debate. His team certainly could have received harsher treatment by officials this season, and the likes of Diego Costa still deserve all they get for bickering and diving their way around the pitch for 90 minutes.
But Nemanja Matic’s reaction to Ashley Barnes’ tackle was something born out of human nature, it was only natural.
Mourinho, speaking on Sky Sports’ show ‘Goals on Sunday’, has had this to say about the event;
“Football is about emotions and clearly Nemanja Matic had a reason to lose his emotions.”
“What are the consequences for the push? Nothing. The consequence for Matic from the tackle? It could be the end of his career. If you call Diego Costa’s actions against Liverpool a crime, the minimum you have to say is this is a criminal tackle.”
Although the former Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss has come out with some pretty emotive language over the whole affair, in this case it is totally warranted. It could be argued that the least Barnes deserved from his tackle was a good old ‘push’, and under this logic, Matic doesn’t deserve to be missing a final for his actions.
Premier League officials seemingly need to get their act together when it comes to applying common sense. What would they have done if the multi-coloured, heavily sponsored shoe was on the other foot?
A simple talking to would have been sufficient in this instance. The English game rightly has no room for off-ball pushes and altercations between the players, but when such behaviour is born purely as a result of an even more egregious crime, the reacting player shouldn’t feel the full brunt of the punishment.
Common sense, simple common sense.
One can imagine Ashley Barnes would not want his Chelsea counterpart to miss the final for his push, and as this whole event has somewhat dragged the Burnley man’s name through the mud, it seems to have not gone well for anybody involved.