Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has had numerous run-ins with opposition managers, associations, and even clubs; it is one of the pitfalls of being successful. According to the Guardian, Mourinho has now been charged by the England FA for his comments about the referee prior to the game against Liverpool a fortnight ago. Mourinho criticized the choice of the referee for the Monday night saying that his close roots with Liverpool could make the referee biased in the game. It was always going to land Mourinho in hot water, and it certainly has at a crucial stage in the season.
FA rules prevent a manager from speaking against the referee leading up to the games. Mourinho went against this rule by questioning the integrity of the referee just before a big game. Even though the Portuguese boss kept his comments extremely brief, it made headlines. Mourinho certainly got what he wanted – deflecting attention away from the team. However, it could also give him a couple of matches of suspension if the English FA look back at his previous record.
Manchester United have been going through such a poor run of form since the loss against Manchester City in the middle of September, and Mourinho has come under intense criticism during this period. The charge is unlikely to result in just a big fine and Mourinho is on cards to face a touchline ban of at least one game. It comes at a time when United managed to overcome City in a repeat of September’s game – albeit in the EFL Cup – at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. The 1-0 victory would give the Red Devils a lot of confidence going forward, but it remains to be seen if they can cope without their manager on the touchline.
Just before Liverpool’s game, Mourinho said:
“I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee but because such pressure is being put on him I think it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance at Anfield.”
One of Mourinho’s biggest successes has been in taking the pressure off the team at crucial moments in the season. His past players have always vouched for the fact that Mourinho would rather make himself the villain rather than put pressure on his players. Undoubtedly, this policy is the crucial reason behind his numerous problems. It has certainly taken the media away from the club’s recent poor form, which hit a new low after the 4-0 loss against Chelsea.
Mourinho has until October 31 to respond, but it is highly unlikely that the United boss will contest the charge.
Anthony Taylor, who was the referee in the game against Liverpool, hailed from a region close to Merseyside. Mourinho’s comments were seen as an indirect reference that the referee would be biased. Taylor ended up dishing out four yellow cards in the game and all of them were to Manchester United players.