Friday, 14 August 2015

Jose Mourinho - A threat to the well being of all footballers

Remember Fabrice Muamba? The Bolton Wanderers player who had a cardiac arrest on the pitch against Tottenham Hotspur. Whilst many things over the years have shamed football, the traumatic incident at White Hart Lane perhaps showed a very different side of the game. Muamba's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. He was assisted by a Tottenham Hotspur fan who happened to be a cardiac surgeon. Both teams medical staff assisted and both sets of fans behaved with decency and respect.

FabriceMuamba cropped.jpg
Fabrice Muamba
What has that got to do with Jose Mourinho? Well at the weekend Mourinho threw a hissy fit because his medical staff, at the behest of the referee, came on to the pitch to assist a Chelsea player, who it now appears was timewasting. As this meant the player had to leave the pitch, the Chelsea manager threw a tantrum at his medical staff and has effectively demoted them. He claimed that they didn't understand footballing matters. It seems that they most certainly don't understand that cheating is a part of the professional game. Rolling around on the floor, pretending to be injured clearly seems to be part of Mourinhos toolkit, when a team is hanging on for a point.

Whilst it would be laughable if it were simply a matter of a few overpayed cosseted men play acting, the Muamba incident showed just why doctors cannot take "footballing reasons" into account when deciding whether or not they want to treat a player. In the Muamba case, every second was vital. The sooner the doctors got to him and the sooner they started CPR, the less the risk of permanent brain damage. Just suppose that a Chelsea player collapses with a heart attack in the last five minutes of a game, where they are down to ten men and are defending a one goal lead, to win the Championship? Prior to this weekend, the staff would be straight on the pitch, but what now? every second in such a situation is important, but the trained doctors will be waiting for a sign from the non qualified manager as to when "footballing reasons" dictate that they can enter the pitch.

What is even more alarming is that Mourinho has doubtless started a debate that should never even be considered. I am amazed that the FA haven't fined Mourinho for bringing the game into disrepute. There is absolutely no way that "footballing reasons" can overrule medical opinion. To even suggest as much is tantamount to criminal negligence. It is said that Manchester United decided to pass on taking Mourinho as manager because whilst they recognised he was a winner, they realised that he risked damaging their global brand with his petulant behaviour. Chelsea had no such qualms. Of course I hope that there is never any scenario where Mourinho comes to regret his words, but across the spectrum of world football, I cannot see any way where the "Mourinho way" will not in the long term contribute to someone, somewhere suffering greatly, as a docgtor hestiates to treat them on a pitch.

The FA needs to issue clear and binding guidelines stating that the teams medical staff must be free from managerial interference, with huge fines for manager who transgress into areas they are not qualified to address. Of course Mr Mourinho could always go and qualify as a doctor, although one supposes that the many years at University would not eactly be easy to accomodate with his day job. Whilst they are at it, it would be nice to see referees given some ability to address the issue of players play acting, which clearly was the root cause of the problem. I'd like to see a ref being able to issue a punitive time penalty, if he even suspects a player was cheating.

1 comment:

Mourinho said...

the author did not understand anything about football