Jose Mourinho came under attack from all angles yesterday with the Football Association, Eva Carneiro and Manuel Pellegrini all adding to the beleaguered Chelsea manager's problems.
The Portuguese was handed a one-match stadium ban with immediate effect relating to his language and/or behaviour towards the match officials during his side's 2-1 defeat by West Ham United on October 24 when he was sent to the stands during half-time after hurling abuse at the referee Jon Moss at Upton Park.
To add to his miserable day, his long-standing rival Manuel Pellegrini described his Chelsea side as "selfish" and the former team doctor Eva Carneiro launched an individual legal claim against him, following her acrimonious departure from the club.
The Chelsea manager will be unable to attend the Premier League match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday or to have any contact with his coaching staff.
Ahead of tomorrow night's Champions League home game with Dynamo Kiev, Mourinho is criticised by Pellegrini in a new book about the Manchester City coach.
In The Pellegrini Method, written by Francisco Sagredo and published this week in Chile, Mourinho’s brand of football is labelled “selfish” because of its disregard for entertainment value.
Pellegrini says: “It used to be said that Mourinho’s Chelsea were boring. I don’t think that’s true at all. Chelsea are selfish not boring. It’s a team that puts a lot of emphasis on what they do without the ball. And in my opinion that concept of football doesn’t respect the spectacle of the game.
“There are millions of people watching, (some) paying very high prices for tickets. You are seeing great players defending instead of trying to attack the opposition’s goal.
“It is a valid (way of playing) and if you win the league then it is even more valuable but it bears no relation to the spectacle. That is why I believe they are a selfish team, the only thing they want is to win.”
When it is put to Pellegrini that winning is exactly what the supporters want, he replies: “Yes, the fan wants to win for sure. But it is different if you do so by playing well.
“That is where I differ. I am not a critic, I just believe in a different way of getting the result. What I am critical of is people who are willing to do anything to win.”
The City manager, whom Mourinho replaced at Real Madrid in 2010, fell out with the Portuguese over comments he made when he took over at the Bernabeu. Pellegrini had subsequently moved on to manage Malaga and when Mourinho was asked if he feared that one day he would be sacked from the club just as Pellegrini was, he replied: “If Madrid sack me I will not end up managing Malaga.
“If Madrid sack me I would go to a big club in England.” In the book Pellegrini does praise the spirit of Mourinho’s teams, saying: “What never changes is how competitive he makes his teams regardless of the players he has.”
And on his relationship with Mourinho he adds: “We do not have each other’s telephone numbers, neither are we going to invite each other round for dinner, but we are not enemies.”
Meanwhile Eva Carneiro is already bringing a case against Chelsea for constructive dismissal, but now she is set to serve the club’s manager with legal papers this week as part of a related, but separate claim.
Mourinho could settle out of court with the aggrieved former team doctor — who yesterday was offered a role at Charlton Athletic when she has settled her dispute with Chelsea — but if he chooses not to then he will have to attend a tribunal in person and could be personally liable for damages if victimisation or discrimination can be proved.
The claim against Mourinho will be based on the suggestion that he was effectively responsible for her being demoted from first-team duties.
It is another potentially crippling blow for the beleaguered manager, whose side are now 15th in the Premier League after falling to their sixth defeat in 11 matches at the weekend against Liverpool.
But striker Diego Costa will not face retrospective disciplinary action from the Football Association over an incident against Liverpool in which he clashed with Martin Skrtel.