Thursday, March 23, 2006

Grist To Mourinho's Mill

The one thing that has amazed me over the past few weeks is the real, visceral hatred directed by many against Chelsea - to a level that, in my opinion, surpasses even that directed towards Manchester United in the mid-1990s. I've tried to defend Chelsea so far - after all, the attacks on their diving come from many quarters where it isn't entirely merited. Premiership managers are notoriously short-sighted when it comes to their own failings. This is a view I'm changing, though, after last night, when Wright-Philips took a disgraceful dive and conned the ref, and a foul on a Chelsea player generally resulted in said player rolling around on the floor for ages, before getting up and running as normal.

Nevertheless, the news that Chelsea will be charged for their players crowding the ref on Sunday, when Fulham will not have any action taken against them for a similar offence, does seem to beggar belief. Worst of all, it will only help contribute to the "us and them" mentality that Mourinho is developing at Chelsea - which may well prove a galvanising force in seasons to come. If having a group of players shouting furiously at the referee constitutes "failing to control players", the Fulham have a case to answer just as much as Chelsea do. No matter how irritating their attitude may be, if there are rules in place, they should be followed. Anything else won't help Chelsea change their attitude at all. They'll continue to think there's one rule for them and another for everyone else.