Jose Mourinho appeared to launch an astonishing attack on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after Chelsea striker Diego Costa was retrospectively banned for violent conduct during last Saturday’s defeat of Arsenal.
Costa is absent for the second game of his three-match suspension at Newcastle on Saturday after he was sanctioned by the Football Association for grappling with Laurent Koscielny in last week’s 2-0 win.
The FA rescinded a ban for Gunners defender Gabriel, who was sent off for his exchange with Costa, but Mourinhorefused to comment on the decisions.
Article continues below ...
"If I answer I’m going to be suspended," Mourinho said.
"I don’t want to touch the theme and everything that surrounds this situation because I want to be on the bench.
"I don’t comment and I tell you why: some managers can speak about the referee before the game and after the game and some others cannot. I am in the list of the ones that cannot.
"An imaginary list, but clearly."
Mourinho was asked about the pressure on Steve McClaren, the boss of Newcastle, who have one win in 17 league games and none since the former England boss was appointed in the summer.
He appeared to take the opportunity to wade into Wenger but, when when asked if he meant the Arsenal manager, declined to name the Frenchman, a long-time adversary.
"I think in this country, only one manager is not under pressure," Mourinho said.
"Steve is under pressure, I am under pressure, Brendan (Rodgers, the Liverpool boss) is under pressure, (Manchester City’s Manuel) Pellegrini is under pressure.
"We cannot lose matches, we cannot be below expectations.
"There is one that for some reason is outside that list. Good for him."
Mourinho repeatedly declined to name the individual he believes to be the exception – "just one out of 20," he added – but appeared to be referring to Wenger, who pushed him in the Stamford Bridge technical area in October 2014. Wenger has been Arsenal boss since October 1996.
"You know," Mourinho said.
"He can speak about the referees before the game, can speak about the referees after the game, can push people in the technical area, can cry in the morning, can cry in the afternoon, nothing happens. Can be not achieved, keep the job, still the king. It’s a privilege."
Chelsea are awaiting the reasoned decision from the FA on Costa’s suspension.
Following the midweek Capital One Cup win at Walsall on Wednesday, Mourinho said "retaliation is allowed" in relation to Gabriel’s kick which was aimed at Costa.
Asked on Friday what he meant, Mourinho referred to the decision last season to suspend Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic for taking exception to a challenge from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes.
Mourinho said: "The reaction to something that happened before was always punished in football and now we now that it is not always. You can do that."