LONDON, October 23- Jose Mourinho insists he doesn’t care how people view him, but the under-fire Chelsea manager desperately needs to silence the critics with a win at West Ham on Saturday
Mourinho is at logger-heads with the Football Association over perceived bias against his side by referees and a stadium ban will be imposed upon him should he be deemed to have criticised officials’ performances excessively once more in the next 12 months.
Mourinho stoked that particular fire on Tuesday when he deliberately described the referee in charge of Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Dinamo Kiev in the Champions League as being “weak and naive” – a phrase previously used about a Premier League official by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who was not punished for his choice of words.
To many, Mourinho’s strident claims of double standards are an indication that a man who has won titles in four different nations is losing his grip during the most turbulent period of his illustrious career.
Despite a win over Aston Villa last weekend, Chelsea’s lowly position of 12th in the Premier League has prompted a host of pundits to criticise Mourinho.
Marcel Desailly, a defender at Chelsea for six seasons until Mourinho’s arrival in 2004, claimed the 52-year-old was “completely lost”.
“The confidence is gone,” the former France defender said.
“Mourinho was not expecting what is happening. The coach does not understand what is going on and it is the first time he is in that situation.
“If you speak to Mourinho, he has knowledge of everything that is going on in football and has the answer for everything. If you are like that, when you are in this situation you are completely lost.”
– Bad moment –
Mourinho himself, in an interview with an Irish newspaper, indicated he was actually lonely rather than lost.
“I’m a lonely guy in this modern world of football,” Mourinho said.
“I do my work. I’m not a politician, I’m not a PR, I don’t care what people think about me, I don’t. I’m just what I am.
“When I am in a great moment it looks like nothing happened, when I am in a bad moment, I pay for this a little bit. I don’t have many friends in the football world.”
Mourinho may not have many bosom buddies to call upon but there were words of encouragement from West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, whose team are riding high in fourth place ahead of the London derby at Upton Park.
Bilic predicted that Chelsea would finish no lower than fourth and insisted Chelsea’s struggles this season were not proof of a crisis.
“It doesn’t have to be anything major,” Bilic said. “Somehow you lose a couple of games – and from their point of view drawing is also like losing – and suddenly they lose that five percent of self confidence and people say, ‘What is wrong with Chelsea?’.
“It doesn’t have to be a big thing and I sure that it was nothing big or major. Because if it was big or major he would be the first man – he is the best – to change it.
“Sometimes it’s those invisible things that you can’t detect quick. You have to work hard and hope it is going to change. It is definitely going to change for them. Hopefully it won’t be on Saturday.
“I see them finishing in the top four but I don’t think the majority of my day about Chelsea.”
One man who will have no influence on the game is Victor Moses, who is on loan at West Ham from Chelsea and cannot therefore play against his parent club.