Chelsea have a tremendous, talent rich team that possesses a winning mentality no other side in the Premier League can match, so why do they feel the need to gain that extra edge by harassing referees with difficult decisions to make?
Last night's 1-0 win at Everton had all the hallmarks of a result ground out by champions, with Chelsea playing nowhere near their best but still earning an important victory courtesy of an 89th minute strike from Willian.
What preceded that winning goal was disappointing though, with a clutch of Blues players surrounding referee Jonathan Moss to make absolutely sure Gareth Barry was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Barry foul sparked a melee
Barry got his marching orders for a trip on Willian near the touchline, but not before a brawl which was sparked by a gaggle of Chelsea stars deciding captain John Terry's move towards Moss needed back-up.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Ramires, Cesc Fabregas Branislav Ivanovic were all there to make sure Moss knew the gravity of the situation, as if the official was not capable of making what was the correct decision all by himself.
Ivanovic incident will mask the real issue
Ivanovic dominates today's headlines and after grabbing James McCarthy that's hardly a surprise, although any accusations of a headbutt or bite are misguided.
The aggression Ivanovic displayed was symptomatic of a bigger problem than any one Chelsea player, one that reminded me of the infamous incident that saw Manchester United launch their bile at Andy D'Urso for having the audacity to award Middlesbrough a penalty at Old Trafford back in 2000.
Mourinho is more like Ferguson than he thinks
D'Urso had Jaap Stam, Roy Keane and David Beckham in his face on that occasion and last night Chelsea employed similar tactics, a direct consequence of playing under a ruthless operator in Jose Mourinho who grows closer to the mould of Sir Alex Ferguson with each passing season.
Mourinho has created the kind of siege mentality that means every single decision is questioned, a position which has in fairness worked brilliantly and harnessed a spirit at Chelsea which is difficult to argue with.
It's all a touch unsavoury though, primarily because it detracts from what a fantastic team are. Even during their struggles to break down Everton last night there were still some excellent individual performances, with Nemanja Matic dominating in midfield and Petr Cech proving he's still world class with a wonderful save from Romelu Lukaku.
The standard of refereeing has definitely been a huge disappointment this season, Mourinho has a point there. Sulking in press conferences and getting his players to confront referees is entirely the wrong way of going about trying to implement change though.
Mourinho is a brilliant manager and a master of getting the very best from his players at the right times, but it would be nice if we Chelsea could have that success without the sideshow of questioning every single move a referee makes.
Am I being too harsh on Chelsea and Mourinho for asking them to scale back on their agenda of criticising the decisions of referees and the Football Association? Let me know in the comment box below.
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