Unsurprisingly, Jose Mourinho is back making headlines following Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat at West Ham when the manager was sent to the stands.
The Times – ‘Chelsea’s greatest asset is looking like an erratic liability’
‘Back in August, when Jamie Carragher proposed that Jose Mourinho was “worth ten points a season” to Chelsea, few disagreed,’ writes Oliver Kay. ‘Mourinho, after all, had instilled the spirit and organisation that turned the previous Barclays Premier League title race into a Chelsea procession.
‘At his best, when focused on building a team and fostering a never-say-die attitude, Mourinho could indeed be said to be worth ten points a season. What about this season, though, now that the “Special One” finds himself embroiled in one fiasco after another, and his volatility – so often an apparent strength – has taken on another dimension and his aura unravels with every defeat?
‘Right now Mourinho, arguably Chelsea’s greatest asset last season, is in danger of looking like a liability. His team selections are erratic, his messages are conflicting and the atmosphere at the club’s training ground has soured to an alarming degree. Good managers do not turn into bad ones overnight – and brilliant managers certainly do not – but it does seem plausible in Mourinho’s case that the darkening of his mood, from one season to the next, can severely impact on his performance and on that of his team.
The Independent – ‘FA may hit Mourinho with further sanctions’
‘The irony is also that the excuse of decisions going against Chelsea is the one thing Mourinho has in his defence right now,’ writes Miguel Delaney. ‘It has become such a refrain, the only explanation he ever seems to be able to offer after bad results.
‘That in itself is worrying, because it is as if he has nothing else he can say, which makes it all the more conspicuous that he refused to speak to media after the game on Saturday.
‘The reality is that there remains a lot more wrong with the champions than just bad luck or bad refereeing. For one, as Slaven Bilic said immediately after the game, the decisions at West Ham were mere matters of interpretation rather than obvious mistakes.
‘One story has it that many players began to raise their eyebrows when Mourinho would “obsessively” go on about the treatment of Diego Costa by pundits and officials last season. It is not a leap to think moments like that are when the aura around someone they used to consider an authority starts to evaporate.’
Daily Telegraph – ‘Guardiola in running as Mourinho crisis deepens’
‘Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, will be encouraged to try for a second time to convince Pep Guardiola to accept the job as manager at Stamford Bridge if Jose Mourinho cannot quickly turn around the club’s alarming slump,’ writes Matt Law.
‘The hope at Chelsea remains that Mourinho will find a solution to his team’s problems but a fifth Premier League defeat of the season, against West Ham United, increased the threat that Abramovich will eventually feel he is left with no option but to make a change.
‘Other than the result on Saturday, the growing sense that Mourinho is struggling to remain in control was heightened by the fact that he was sent to the Upton Park stands for ranting at the referee Jonathan Moss at half-time.
‘It seems a number of the Chelsea players who comfortably won the Premier League title last term thought they would be able to coast through another season.
‘Costa’s commitment cannot be questioned, but he should have been fined for returning for pre-season overweight, while the fact Eden Hazard stepped off the place in Kiev last week and immediately ‘liked’ an Instagram post linking him to Real Madrid show where his priorities lie.’
The Guardian – ‘West Ham twist the knife in wounded Chelsea as Mourinho cries fould once more’
‘On the only other occasion when West Ham United scored first against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, way back in April 2006, they ended up losing 4-1 against 10 men,’ writes Jacob Steinberg.
‘When Mauro Zarate rammed in West Ham’s opening goal on Saturday the mind drifted back to that awesome show of force and character at Stamford Bridge nine years ago, an afternoon when Michael Essien ruled midfield on his own, Didier Drogba became a human wrecking ball up front and Chelsea demonstrated how adversity brought the best out of them.
‘They were like that during Mourinho’s first spell: tough, resilient, a team packed with strong characters whose competitive instincts so often overwhelmed their opponents, and beating West Ham that day effectively confirmed Chelsea’s second consecutive title. Yet the old togetherness is only visible in these days and the second Mourinho era is in danger of ending in bitter acrimony after Chelsea lurched deeper into crisis with a performance that reeked of indiscipline on and off the pitch at Upton Park.
‘Roman Abramovich is unlikely to be impressed by an increasingly toxic situation and the sense is growing that too many of Chelsea’s players are not behind Mourinho, who will be under immense pressure if Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool win at Stamford Bridge this Saturday.’
How much longer can this go on for? Mourinho’s meltdown seems to be getting increasingly graphic as the weeks pass by.
Chelsea’s players are putting in the type of performances which saw the likes of Andre Villas Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Luiz Felipe Scolari unceremoniously sacked by Abramovich without a passing thought.
The Russian has shown in the past that success does not necessarily guarantee job stability in the Chelsea dugout – having sacked Carlo Ancelotti the year after the Italian had guided the club to its first ever league and FA Cup double.
Quite possibly the only thing keeping Mourinho in a job is the fact he will be due a severance package worth an estimated £30million. However money is no object for Abramovich, and next Saturday’s visit of Liverpool could be a landmark fixture for all involved with the Blues.
Can Mourinho keep his job or is it only a matter of time before he leaves? Have your say on our new Chelsea forum.