David Preece: Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho was boorish, petulant – but not sexist

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (right).
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (right).
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It’s difficult to disagree that the weekend’s events at Stamford Bridge, and the resulting fallout, are somewhat unsavoury.

But I just don’t get how Jose Mourinho’s act of ill-mannered petulance even bordered on sexist, as has been alluded to by some.

What Mourinho is guilty of, is of professional disrespect towards someone who is a rarity in the game.

It has to be said I write this in the fear of being classed as such.

But I just think there are much worthier battles to be fought elsewhere in football in regards to women’s standing in the game than to accuse a manager whose disregard for upsetting anyone, regardless of gender, of being sexist.

That said, I don’t know him personally, so I might be wrong, but it seems like it’s a case of creating a sideshow gunfight when back-up against misogyny is needed elsewhere.

With the abuse that has been directed her way from opposition fans, there’s no doubting Eva Carneiro is a character made from sterner stuff than many of us.

But in this isolated instance, if she is a victim of anything it’s of being in a position which will always put her in the crossfire of many managers, exactly the same as her male counterparts.

Within a football club, relationships between the manager and club physios and doctors can often be a source of friction, as medical staff are under constant pressure from managers and coaches to get unfit players back on to the pitch.

Unrealistic demands are placed on them in an effort to keep the strongest team possible available for selection and this is where relationships can become fractious and break down.

A trust and a professional relationship has to be built between medical staff and managers.

But, when you consider the average tenure of a manager at a club, that closeness isn’t given time to be forged.

Medical staff aren’t the same as coaching staff in the sense that managers don’t always take their own team in with them to every club.

Generally, the medical team is in place at a club already and more of a constant at clubs where manger’s come and go through a revolving door.

I know full well two rights don’t make a wrong, but look back at Pep Guardiola’s impetuous rant at his medical staff last season during a game against Bayer Leverkusen and you’ll see something that isn’t as rare as what some people may think.

To make his displeasure towards Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt and his team be known so publicly was ill-judged.

But the pressure of the job and urgency of situations sometimes means the etiquette of pleases, thank yous and polite enquiries is removed.

Many managers aren’t interested in the the whys, hows and what fors of an injured player, they just want to know when they will be back for him to select again, particularly if he is a key member of the team.

Their insistence a physio doesn’t enter the pitch so his team doesn’t have to play with 10 men for a short time can appear maniacal, as in Mourinho’s case, but they’re just thinking how it affects their team tactically.

Times are changing and coaches are beginning to take a more holistic approach to players welfare.

But there are others who see you as no good to them whilst you’re on the treatment table.

It’s one of the brutal parts of football but they see it as a catalyst to get you back, a tough love they hope will push you to return earlier.

I’ve heard stories from a friend who played under a manager in the Premier League who said he didn’t speak to injured players at all whilst they were out, barely giving them the time of day as they passed in the corridor at the training ground.

This is what the short-termism of football management breeds.

A player might come back from injury one or two games earlier than expected.

But it’s at the risk of him setting himself back further because he isn’t quite ready.

Unfortunately, managers will take that gamble as those two games may end up saving his job or costing it.

Along with the short-termism, there’s also of sort-sightedness within in the game as clubs have always look to cut corners financially with the medical department, especially below the top tier clubs, which baffles me completely.

For example, a few years back I knew of a Championship club who employed one solitary inexperienced physio plus a part-time masseur to take care of a squad of around 30 players.

Along with the club doctor who appeared on match days, that was the total sum of their medical department to look after players they were paying up to £10,000 a week.

I just couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t employ another physio for less than a month’s wage of their top earner.

Orders for tape used to strap old war-wounded ligaments and protect them from further damage was rationed.

MRI scans and X-Rays were seen as last resorts instead of precautionary measures.

And visits to consultants were often taken into their own hands without the knowledge of the club staff.

It seems simple economics to invest in the medical department so they can monitor, treat and prevent injuries more readily.

But their value isn’t value something that shows up on a balance sheet at the beginning of April.

There will still be some who will call me a “Mourinho apologist”, defending someone who who should’ve been aware of the “subconscious narrative” his public castigation of Carneiro might invoke.

But to suggest his rant was anything more than boorishness would be adding a thread to a story that isn’t there.

What Mourinho is guilty of, is of professional disrespect towards someone who is a rarity in the game.

Not because she is a woman but because she is clearly brilliant at what she does.

Whilst that makes her as just important, if not more, as any player or any of the manager’s coaching staff, it doesn’t make her exempt from being on the receiving end of the manager’s wrath, just as they are from time to time either.