Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has a valid point on the surface, the standard of refereeing in the Premier League this season has been very poor and very serious questions need to be asked at the highest level on how to improve things drastically.
Mourinho is not the man to put that debate in the public domain though, because he's got his own interests and more importantly Chelsea's at heart rather than any higher notion to improve the game he loves as a whole.
Before you render this piece nothing more than an anti-Mourinho, anti-Chelsea rant look at the two examples offered up as at least partial justification for this point view. After that you can judge for yourself.
Mikel on Arteta
The most relevant proof that Mourinho is guilty of outrageous double standards comes from last season's goalless draw between Chelsea and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
In a dour match played in dreadful weather at the Emirates the most memorable moment for all the wrong reasons was a challenge from Jon Obi-Mikel on Mikel Arteta.
The Nigerian snapped Arteta's shinpad with an ill-timed, studs-up lunge aided by slippery turf, but thankfully the Arsenal captain escaped without serious injury.
Mourinho's response was telling
Mourinho was asked about that tackle in his post-match press conference, but wasn't interested in concerns over a lack of action from referee Mike Dean and instead turned the table on a moaning culture at Arsenal.
"They like to cry, that's tradition," Mourinho said. "Football is for men, there are other sports without contact. English football, winter, watering the pitch, the sliding tackles become at a fantastic speed. Be proud, play with pride,
Can you imagine the scorn with which Mourinho would have greeted the same reaction from Wenger, or even Burnley boss Sean Dyche following last weekend's 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho has every right to be angry with the terrible tackle from Ashley Barnes on Nemanja Matic and the subsequent lack of action from figures of authority, but at least be consistent or risk being labelled a hypocrite.
Cahill on Sanchez was the same story
Another more recent example, which by co-incidence also features a favourite foe in Arsenal, unfolded earlier this season at Stamford Bridge.
Once again a Chelsea player was the guilty party, with Gary Cahill going in studs raised on Alexis Sanchez from an angle which never left him looking likely to win the ball in truth.
Cahill escaped with just a yellow card for that challenge, one that could have easily left Sanchez nursing a long-term injury problem.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was furious and even put his hands on Mourinho in the altercation that followed, which by the way was out of order.
Mourinho's post-match comments didn't help though, praising referee Martin Atkinson for what he described as a "fantastic performance" in difficult circumstances.
Now I hardly expect a magnificent man-manager and motivator like Mourinho to openly criticise a careless tackle from his own player, but again its a lack of consistency that leaves his campaign against the FA as smacking of hypocrisy and self-importance.
Don't get fooled by a master manipulator
Mourinho seems to have a very selective memory, but could care less so long as it means Chelsea are picking up their first Premier League trophy in five years at the end of the season.
Very little Mourinho says isn't carefully planned and thought out before it reaches the public domain, he's a master manipulator of situations.
His decision to be the special guest on Goals on Sunday last weekend should also be seen for what it really is, an attempt to make sure Chelsea don't have to deal with poor decisions when the pressure really starts to pile on in April and May.
Mourinho can see Manchester City offer a genuine threat to his plans once again and has decided to take action, but he's trivialising a debate that needs to be had over giving referee's long-overdue help to do their job with technology.
Top referees in the Premier League are making more mistakes than ever before, but Mourinho's crusade is a personal one and not the right way to force change in the corridors of power.
Am I being too harsh on Mourinho, or does he have questions to answer in terms of changing his mind when incidents go against Chelsea rather than for? Have your say in the comment box below!
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