03 Dec One rule for all
Jose Mourinho claims football authorities treat him differently to other managers – and the Manchester United boss wants that to stop.
The Portuguese has won medals throughout his career but the route to glory has not been without controversy and fall outs.
Mourinho’s appointment at Old Trafford led to the resumption of his testy relationship with the Football Association, who this week handed him a touchline ban for the second time within a month.
The latest suspension came after booting a water bottle in frustration in Sunday’s Premier League draw at West Ham, leading to a charge of improper conduct that saw him in the stands when United met the east Londoners in the EFL Cup three days later.
It mattered little given his side triumphed 4-1 but Mourinho feels he is treated differently to others managers.
“The only thing I would like would be the same rules for everyone,” he said following the latest punishment.
“Let’s go back to the last one. I kick a bottle of water, I cannot do it. If I do it, it’s a sending off. After the sending off, there is a punishment.
“So I accept that is a sending off. In fact, if you see the images, when the referee comes, I go – not a word, not a complaint. I accept the suspension of one match and it’s as simple as that.
“But it has to be the same for every manager. It has to be the same.”
Mourinho may feel aggrieved but it is understood that he would not have been handed a ban had the bottle incident been his first offence.
Given the sending off against Burnley and subsequent ban for misconduct, the FA felt a one-match touchline ban and £16,000 fine – double the standard amount – would the correct sanction.
Mourinho will be aware of the code of conduct related to technical area protocol, but may well be aggrieved that old foe Arsene Wenger avoided such punishment when kicking a bottle at Old Trafford in 2009.
The United boss will be back on the touchline in Sunday’s clash at Everton, where they arrive with 20 points following their worst start to a Premier League season.
It means the Red Devils are 11 points off the top after just 13 matches, leading Mourinho to admit the title could already be out of their grasp.
“When I was speaking about destinations, I think the destination is for us is to be champions,” he said. “Maybe not this year, maybe we cannot do it.
“I don’t know. In football anything is possible but maybe we don’t do it.
“There’s a gap between us and the top of the table but the destination is for us to be champion.
“I don’t know when, maybe next year, maybe this year, maybe in two years’ time.
“Maybe when I’m not here and somebody else comes, but if we follow this direction the destination is to be champions.”
Mourinho is still instilling his philosophy and shaping the squad, which could soon alter as the likes of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger continue to be linked with a January exit.
“I will not push anyone because nobody deserves that,” he said. “The way they work, they don’t deserve that.
“On Wednesday I was in the hotel and my assistants came here to train the group of five who were not selected and stayed here.
“They told me what I expected – amazing effort, amazing commitment, amazing professionalism.
“Depay, Ashley Young, (Marouane) Fellaini – the people (that) stay here were fantastic, so it hurts me not to select them.
“You see that sometimes I do a little bit of rotation. One day I play one, another day I leave one at home, then put one on the bench.
“Nobody deserves to be pushed, for me to say ‘it’s better for you to leave’.
“But I will have to understand that frustration is something that comes to the players now and again in certain moments of their careers and seasons.
“Frustration is something that arrives and we will analyse it if anyone who shows me that frustration has a desire to leave.
“But, for me, it’s very comfortable to have all of them. But it hurts me.”