In the wake of Chelsea’s disappointing and partly infuriating draw against Burnley, Filipe Luis highlighted the need for Chelsea to step up their game. The Brazilian had the following to say-
“I don’t believe in luck and I don’t want to talk about the referee.
We had chances to win the game [against Burnley], we played a lot better than them and created a lot of chances. We have to improve and play better in every game.
We created chances, everybody was running in attack. We have to know that every game is not easy, and to be top of the league every game is more difficult because everybody is trying to steal points from us.
Now we have to work hard and train more, improve every day.”
The Blues should have had atleast one penalty in the first half if not two. And had Martin Atkinson been able to do his job by showing Barnes a first-half yellow for his amateur and careless challenge on Ivanovic, it’s hard to imagine Matic would have had reacted the way he did.
Coming back to the point, the Chelsea manager appeared promptly on Sky’s ‘Goals on Sunday’ perhaps noticing the lack of media reaction involving the incidents. On being asked if he highlights referee’s performances to protect his players and deflect attention from his players, Mourinho had the following to say,
I’m not protecting and I’m not trying to protect. With my players I don’t speak about the incidents. With my players I analyse what I have to analyse. I don’t analyse the referee’s performance. I don’t tell the players we are going to have this referee. I completely ignore that situation with my players.
It doesn’t matter the referee I have for the next game. I’m never worried about it. I don’t look to the past. I’m always positive.
Coupled with what Luis had to say, this gives us a priceless glimpse into the Portuguese’s management. Its important that the players don’t start getting frustrated and lose focus. The message from Jose to the players is to focus on self-improvement every day.
Despite Atkinson’s scandalous incompetence at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea could and should have put the game to bed by getting the second goal much before the red card. The Blues have struggled a bit of late, against Villa and Everton. I say struggled, because the standard that they have set by their performances earlier on in the season. No doubt, they deserved to win in each of those two games, but they need to blow away teams like Burnley like they thumped Swansea.
Here is a controversial thought, Chelsea could have won the title last year had referees done their job and gotten the crucial decisions right. But I feel, to be Champions you need to be good enough to take the referee out of the equation altogether. Yes, that is not possible in the biggest of games which are decided in split-seconds, but Burnley at home?
So its heartening to see that while Jose moans about the injustice in the media, the squad on the other hand always gets the right message and why wouldn’t it? The man at the helm is the master of mind-games and a serial winner.