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Jose Mourinho to face no further action by the Football Association

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will face no further action after being sent to the stands in the final few minutes of the 1-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. After the match, Mourinho was baffled as to the reason why he was dismissed by Craig Pawson. The United manager had stepped out of his technical area, not the first manager to do so and not the last either, and the fourth official had a word with Pawson and Mourinho was dismissed, first shaking the hand of everyone on the front row of the Southampton dugout. Speaking in the post-match press conference of his dismissal, Mourinho said:

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Craig [Pawson] told me to leave, and I left.”

Last season, Mourinho was sanctioned twice by the FA for incidents in November 2016, which saw him sent to the stands, once by Mark Clattenburg in the 0-0 draw against Burnley with Mourinho, also comments made about Anthony Taylor with the Portuguese manager being fined £50,000, also given a touchline ban. Mourinho was also sent to the stands against West Ham United by Jonathan Moss for kicking a water bottle, but the manager was not banned for this outburst. Some would say his conduct has not been great, other would say the manager has tamed his outbursts since becoming the Manchester United manager.

Former United captain Bryan Robson spoke about the incident, stating he would be amazed if further sanctions were headed in Mourinho’s direction. Other observers of the incident were ‘aghast’ with Pawson directing Mourinho away from the dugout, especially when they had learned why it happened. Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte are two managers who have not always remained in the technical area during matches, neither charged like Mourinho. I am not saying this is double standards, just making an observation. Robson, speaking to the official Manchester United website, said:

“When I saw it on TV, I thought it was an absolute joke. I’ll be amazed if he gets a ban or a fine for that. I think the officials went way overboard by sending him to the stand.

“I don’t know what the officials are thinking about. Throughout the last year or so, I’ve seen managers like [Jurgen] Klopp and [Antonio] Conte run about like lunatics, out of their box, down the side of the pitch and not a thing has been made of it – it’s called passion for the team.

“But because Mourinho stepped just over the touchline, they sent him to the stands. It’ll be a disgrace if he gets fined or banned and made to watch games from the stands over the coming weeks.”

Robson had management spells with both Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion stated that he felt that context needs to be taken into consideration by referees before taking action for what they feel are a break of the law in the game. Robson also stated that if you looked at every manager with a keen eye, the same would happen a lot of the time, the majority going unpunished, which makes this sending off look a little foolish, maybe even petty. Mourinho has a reputation, yes. That does not mean that is he going to break the rules all of the time and should be dealt with on a case by case basis. Robson said:

“The regulation is there and as a manager, you know that. You basically stick to that and it does play on all the managers’ minds that you can’t step out of your box.

“In the heat of the game, you can stray outside your technical area – everybody does. But as long as it’s not over the top where you’re actually going onto the pitch, then you can’t be sending managers off, banning them and fining them for the sort of incident we saw with Mourinho at St Mary’s. That would be ridiculous.

“In that situation, when you’re 1-0 up in injury time, who’s going to be looking at the white line? As a manager, you’re looking at the game and trying to get information to your players. If Mourinho had actually gone on to the pitch fully, then yes, ok – the guidelines are there and we all know the rules. But he didn’t do that.

“I know that if we went back through videos of every single game of this season, every single manager would be sent to the stands for going out of their technical area and in a way that was much worse than what Mourinho did yesterday.”

Mourinho’s reputation in the game is not a good one, but since becoming Manchester United manager, this Mourinho is not the same guy who managed Chelsea twice, nor the guy who managed Real Madrid. Mourinho has toned down his mannerisms, toned down his petulance. The thing that really annoys me is that if Mourinho was to shout in the face of a referee, assistant referee, or even the fourth official, the book will be thrown at him. If Jurgen Klopp were to do this, as he had done last season, it was called ‘passion’. These double standards which apparently do not happen in the game seem to be visible now.

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