Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho lacked “dignity and respect” by launching a cheap jibe at Graeme Le Saux, claims former Manchester United full-back Paul Parker.
Ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League tie with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Haifa, Mourinho took a swipe at Le Saux for not travelling to Israel in 2001, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in America.
Mourinho’s comments were understood to be a retort to Le Saux’s criticisms of his behaviour towards ex-Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro earlier this season.
But Parker, who won two league titles during his time at Old Trafford in the early 1990s, blasted the under-fire Mourinho for his lack of a “dignity and respect”.
Speaking to Eurosport, he said: “Jose Mourinho just can’t help himself, can he? Graeme Le Saux makes some valid criticisms of Chelsea after their worst start to a season in 20 years, and Mourinho just has to respond.
“The fact that he does so with a cheap jibe about Le Saux being fearful of an away match in Israel a decade ago says it all.
“It’s horrible to see. Mourinho had actually gone out of the spotlight a little bit in the last few weeks, and there was a part of me that wondered if he’d finally realised that silence is golden, and that a manager can act with dignity and respect.
“Obviously, that was a pipe dream.
“But what else would you expect of Mourinho? What else would you expect of a man who stayed safely behind one of his colleagues during a touchline row, but reached around and poked opposition coach Tito Vilanova in the eye… and later tried to justify it?
“That incident has always summed him up, to me; he’s like the kid at school who watches a playground fight from a safe distance, then sidles up quickly to kick one of the fighters in the stomach when he’s sprawled on the floor.
“Here he is again with these Le Saux comments, going backwards, digging up nonsense. He’s let himself down as a manager, and as a man.
“Top managers aren’t petty, they’re magnanimous, and if he ever wants to be regarded as a true giant of the game he needs to change.”