Football

Jose Mourinho is the disgrace - not Vertonghen

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In the aftermath of Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Tottenham on Saturday, Jose Mourinho labelled Jan Vertonghen a "disgrace" in his post-match interview.

The outspoken Portuguese coach was defending his striker Fernando Torres, who received a second yellow card after an innocuous challenge with Vertonghen, who appeared to make a meal of the situation but could, to an extent, be forgiven after being scratched in the face by Torres earlier in the contest.

However, rather than focus on that incident - which could earn Torres a deserved three-match retrospective ban for violent conduct - Mourinho, somewhat unsurprisingly, launched a scathing attack on the Spurs centre-back for his supposed play-acting.

"Maybe I am old fashioned," Mourinho began, "but I don't like to see a player trying to claim he has been hit in the face when the replay shows there was nothing.

"I speak to people all over the world and what they like about English football is the relationship of the players and the fair play. What we saw in this game was different. The referee made a mistake, but he was convinced to give the card by their player.

"In the heart of a game, you can have a bad reaction - I had it many times - but for a player to try and convince a referee to give a card that is not there, I think that is worse."

Wait, is this really the same Jose Mourinho whose Real Madrid players constantly harassed referees to issue cards to opponents, play-acted on a weekly basis and cemented their status as one the most cynical teams of recent years? The same Jose Mourinho who snuck up behind Tito Vilanova and shamefully dug his fingers into the Barcelona coach's eye during one particularly feisty Clasico?

Maybe Mourinho wants to forget all about his three-year spell at the Bernabeu given the unceremonious way in which his tenure ended there, but he did not set a good example in La Liga and his post-match comments subsequently came across as more than a little rich.

Mourinho is hardly a bastion of fair play and encouraging respectful on-pitch behaviour - as the likes of Pep Guardiola would testify - and perhaps he should look in the mirror before assuming the moral high ground.

Rather than admitting his own players' shortcomings, it was typical of Mourinho to deflect the attention onto someone else - in this case Vertonghen, who had every reason to feel aggrieved with Torres after being scratched in the face - which must surely rank as a significantly worse crime than a bit of play-acting.

Torres does not have a reputation for being a violent, cynical player - quite simply, he's not - but it's no surprise that this incident has occurred under Mourinho's management.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Jan Vertonghen
Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea

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