These have been strange times for Jose Mourinho. He seems to have realised he went too far with recent protestations about supposed conspiracies against his side that he claimed were influencing referees and has started backtracking, apologising to officials.
The question, as always with Mourinho, is why.
He is facing an FA charge for what he said after Cesc Fabregas was denied a penalty against Southampton and the possibility remains he will be charged again for his comments about Phil Dowd’s fitness following the Tottenham defeat, so it may simply be that he is looking to mitigate any charge.
In that regard it probably also is significant that Mourinho did not speak to the written media on Friday, instead sending his assistant, Steve Holland. Was that, perhaps, a warning that he will not contribute so willingly to the soap opera that is so much part of the Premier League’s marketing if he deems any sanction too severe?
Or is it simpler than that? Did he simply realise that he had sounded slightly paranoid, like a man in danger of losing control? That this time, his conspiracy theories had not deflected from a couple of poor results but had contributed to the sense that Chelsea’s season may be in danger of implosion?
Either way, with Newcastle rudderless since the departure of Alan Pardew, and John Carver doing little to improve his already poor record as a caretaker manager, Chelsea should have few problems on Saturday. After all, whatever has gone wrong on the road for Chelsea this season, they have won nine out of nine at home.
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