Sometimes you expect managers for some greater sense of integrity regarding sportsmanship, but often you don’t get that from the biggest names and egos. Jose Mourinho has spoken many times against diving, but only when it hurts his own team. Ramires cheating his way to a penalty kick and saving Chelsea from losing showed just how much fair play is really important to the most famous manager in football.
There’s always a problem with calling out your own player, not to mention an issue of having to respond on something you saw on the pitch and not through camera lenses. Still, when Ramires decided to tumble into Steven Reid, it’s hard to believe anyone in the stadium actually thought that should be a penalty. Only Andre Marriner, with a bizarre, gutless and terrible decision, decided to screw over West Brom and have Eden Hazard score the equalizer from the penalty spot.
Mourinho after the match: This one was a penalty. From the bench, I did not know, I was too far away, but from looking at the replay screen, there are no doubts. Ramires on his dive: I have never used diving to win fouls or penalties. It’s not my character, and those who know me know it very well.
Well, Mourinho might have looked very closely at the replay screen; Ramires might be a stand up guy and fair player, but he cheated on that instance. There was no loss of balance or some leg slightly clipping him. He saw there was nowhere to go, so he smashed into Steven Reid and fell to the ground. Penalty awarded, end of story.
The interesting thing about Mourinho was how angry he was about simulating and diving only a month ago, when Chelsea played Tottenham (1-1 draw). Fernando Torres was sent off for his tussles with Jan Vertonghen, not to mention clawing him in the face. Mourinho stands up for his team, even if it means lying to the media and the fans.
I hate diving. My players know they will be in big trouble with me if they dive. It’s very bad. The search of a red card to another player for me is a disgrace. If one day I win a game where I feel I did it because one of my players didn’t behave correctly, I will strongly criticize him.
Ramires dove, blatantly. Mourinho didn’t see anything wrong with that, especially with it saving him from conceding a loss at home. Fair play? Greater good? He’ll leave that for other managers to feel proud of. When all you care about is winning and your own personal glory, cheating doesn’t really seem that bad.