CURTIS WOODHOUSE: More criticism for Jose but I can see his logic

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho sparked controversy recently when he banned club doctor Eva Carneiro from sitting on the bench on match days.

By Curtis Woodhouse
Thursday, 20th August 2015, 3:48 pm
The gloves are off ... with former top flight footballer and British boxing champ Curtis Woodhouse
The gloves are off ... with former top flight footballer and British boxing champ Curtis Woodhouse

His decision came after Carneiro went on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard late in their 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, leading to Hazard being forced off and leaving 10-man Chelsea with just nine players on the field for a short period.

Mourinho has taken a lot of criticism for what he has done, but I can totally understand where he was coming from.

The pressure he is under is huge and he was just thinking about his team.

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If Hazard had a head injury then fair enough, but it was clear that it was just a knock, so you don’t really need the doctor going on to the pitch for that.

In that situation, the player could have avoided all of this by just getting up and carrying on. knowing that his team were already a man light.

That said, Mourinho has done what he has done because he wants to ensure that nothing happens that will cause his team to suffer.

If Chelsea continue to drop points then he will take the blame as manager so I can understand why he has taken the decision with the doctor that he has.

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Maybe he could have gone about it a bit differently and torn strips off the doctor in the dressing room instead of making it public, but that’s Mourinho for you.

In the wake of his side’s defeat at Man City on Sunday, Jose came in for more criticism for claiming that the 3-0 reverse at The Etihad was a “false result”.

Let’s get one thing straight, Chelsea were really poor and well-beaten by the better team but, I still loved the manager’s post-game interview.

He was straight on the front foot, trying to protect his players and already the psychological warfare and the mind games have begun.

He is not a stupid man, he will know exactly how poor his team played, but he cannot come out and admit that.

He has to project the idea that Chelsea, as reigning champions, were not beaten by a better team. He can’t openly concede that.

Mourinho is very good at creating an us-versus-them mentality within his team’s dressing room.

It is a strategy that pulls players together as a group.

That closeness and us- agains- the-world attitude has been key to every single successful team that I was ever a part of as a footballer.

It galvanises the dressing room and gets players wanting to go out there and prove everyone else wrong and not let the world beat them.

It’s usually all based on lies, but actually it does tend to work.


Thinking about Jose Mourinho for my column this week got me thinking about how I handle things in my role as manager of Hull United.

I think that people automatically assume that because of the way I played the game and because I was a professional fighter that I’m quite aggressive as a gaffer.

I’m actually not the type to go throwing tea cups at half-time and pinning lads up against the wall in the dressing room.

I was very confrontational as a player and I would get in people’s faces in the dressing room and let them know what I thought of them.

I have however learnt from my time in the game that managers who do all that kind of stuff sometimes do it because they aren’t capable of working out the solutions to the problems that are causing them to get so angry.

At half-time, for example, you only have 15 minutes to put things right or try and improve a situation so I don’t think it’s wise to waste this period shouting and screaming.

I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I’ve given the ‘hairdryer treatment’ – and I think most of them will have been during my first managerial job at Sheffield FC.

I played under some real characters, guys like Neil Warnock and Barry Fry, and I learnt a lot from them.

Good managers are the ones who know how to get the best out of different players.

Russell Slade, for example, used to get right in my face. He used to do it to get a reaction out of me because he knew it worked.

He knew that I’d play out of my skin for him to prove a point and as a result he got me playing well almost every week for him.

I barely had a bad game under Russell because he found a way to get me to perform by being confrontational.

All players are different and its about finding a way to get them playing for you.