Eva Carneiro, the long-serving Chelsea first team doctor, has been a staple of the team’s matches over the years, rushing out onto the pitch as the first responder to any and all of their injuries. It’s very likely that one such attempt to treat a player on the field last weekend will be her last, however, because José Mourinho is a petulant wiener.
Chelsea were down to 10 men after the keeper had been sent off, yet clung to a 2-2 scoreline. A Swansea player charged into Eden Hazard in stoppage time, causing the Blues’ winger to roll around on the ground in apparent pain. Sensing their cue, Carneiro and another team doctor rushed onto the field to see what was wrong. Here’s Mourinho’s measured reaction to that:
As you can hear laid over the footage of an enraged Mourinho shouting at his doctors, Mourinho explained why he was so mad in the post-match interview:
“I was very unhappy with my medical staff. Because you have to understand the game. Even if you are a kit man or a doctor or a secretary on the bench you have to understand the game.”
What the doctors didn’t understand, in Mourinho’s mind, was that Hazard wasn’t seriously hurt, he had just taken a slight knock and was milking it a little to run out the clock. By coming onto the pitch to help Hazard, it meant the player would have to come off to the sideline for a spell before being allowed back into the game. Meaning the already shorthanded Chelsea had only nine men to prevent Swansea from stealing a late winner.
In the moment, Mourinho’s outburst makes some sense. The doctors probably could’ve been more conscious of the state of the game and waited to see if Hazard explicitly called for them before taking him off. On the other, it’s hard to watch the team’s—the whole league’s—best player squirming around and not sprint out there to see what’s wrong.
Calling out team doctors in postgame comments is a little more questionable. Mourinho was obviously still upset about it, but there was no need to make it public.
Carneiro had been silent on the topic until yesterday, when she posted this message on Facebook:
Now we come to today. Here’s the Telegraph on the change to Carneiro’s role:
Eva Carneiro’s place on the Chelsea bench is under threat after the club doctor’s role was significantly changed as part of a backroom shake-up by manager Jose Mourinho.
It is understood that while Carneiro will remain Chelsea’s first-team doctor, she will not attend training sessions, games or enter the hotel. As things stand, she is not expected to be on the bench for Sunday’s trip to Manchester City.
Carneiro, however, will still carry out her work with first-team players at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground in what is being seen as a re-tasking of duties.
It’s impossible take this as anything other than a demotion, and just as impossible not to link it from the events of this weekend. It’s perfectly within Mourinho’s right to delegate duties to his staff however he sees fit, but to make such a high-profile move because of this one incident?
The particular spat hasn’t occurred in a vacuum, either. Mourinho has been even more testy in public than normal as of late. The barbs he’s directed at his fellow Premier League rivals is par for the course for him, but he’s gone as far as hitting out at manager Rafa Benítez’s wife while blaming her for her husband’s weight, and escalating a fairly harmless disagreement with Roberto Martínez of Everton over the possible sale of one of their players by basically calling him a loudmouth, among other incidents.
Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC suspects all’s not right in Mourinho’s world, and it’s hard not to agree. No matter what the underlying reasons are, Mourinho needs to chill the fuck out.