Jose, this time you’ve gone too far

Anyone who has followed Chelsea under Jose Mourinho closely enough will know that after a disappointing result, the Blues manager will find a convenient scapegoat and deflect the media from asking difficult questions about his side's poor performance.

On first glance it seemed this was the case when he publicly criticised Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro and first-team physio Jon Fearn in the wake of the 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, suggesting the pair didn't "understand the game".

It was easy to imagine that Jose had taken the two individuals aside prior to facing the TV media and told them what he was going to do and that they shouldn't worry…it's nothing personal, just business.

But then he repeated his comments to the print media and you began to suspect this wasn't simply a case of deflection.
This was followed by the announcement that both Carneiro and Fearn were to have their roles significantly reduced with neither allowed to sit on the bench during matches, attend training or even enter the team hotel.

Mourinho is understood to be disappointed with the club's medical staff especially over Diego Costa's long-standing hamstring injury but this reeks of something a lot more sinister.

Chelsea, it seems, is a dictatorship.

The Portuguese is famous for demanding unyielding loyalty from his employees but to suggest that Carneiro and Fearn betrayed him in their actions is plain wrong.

Eden Hazard was down seemingly injured and, crucially, the referee waved the Chelsea medical team onto the field of play.
The pair have a duty of care to the players they are responsible for and did what they felt had to be done to maintain the Belgian's wellbeing; health always supersedes three points and so it should.

As we have seen Mourinho was furious with them because by treating him it would deprive him of another outfield player with Chelsea already down to 10 men.

The Chelsea manager says knew Hazard wasn't injured and was simply "tired" but by hitting the deck it was bound to grab the attention of the referee.

If, as he maintains, he knew Hazard wasn't injured then why not direct his ire towards his star player? Perhaps his relationship with the Belgian is fragile and he felt he couldn't risk critcising him. If that's the case, why attack the medical staff?

If he wanted them gone, he could have got his way without dragging them unfairly into the spotlight.

With their roles greatly reduced, it seems unthinkable that Carneiro and Fearn will remain at the club and will likely step away from what are surely lucrative positions.

Here's where things get dangerous. Whoever replaces the pair, whether they remain at the club or not, will be wary of towing the Mourinho party line – literally "my way or the highway".

This could potentially lead to Mourinho overruling his medical staff or, perhaps worse, the medical team not giving a true diagnosis if it will go against the manager's wishes.

This could have serious consequences for a player's health long or short-term. 

The worst instances surround concussion cases. Already doctors have been overruled by managers and players when it comes to head injuries: Hugo Lloris played on for Tottenham after being hit in the head by Romele Lukaku, while Christoph Kramer continued in the World Cup final after suffering a similar blow to head and has no recollection of the first half.

Concussion and head injuries are things not to be trifled with; they can have serious repercussions in later life if not treated properly. American football and rugby are both treating concussion seriously and football needs to catch up.

There's no doubt that Mourinho cares about his players' wellbeing but the high-pressure, results-based world that is top flight football might get the better of him.

By not bowing to professionals whose sole purpose is to treat patients he's walking a dangerous line.

Yes, Jose, you know football more than most but please leave the health and safety of the players in the hands of those who know better than you.

Dan Ogunshakin