Jose Mourinho has got his motivational techniques wrong this season – but Chelsea should not sack him, according to Jonathan Northcroft.
Chelsea are 16th in the Premier League going into the international break having lost four of their opening eight games, including Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Southampton.
Northcroft, football correspondent for the Sunday Times, believes Mourinho’s motivation skills are currently failing him.
“At the moment he’s not doing the right things to motivate the right people, and that’s very unlike him,” Northcroft told the Sunday Supplement on Sky Sports. “He has got to make sure that the players are going to pull for him against Aston Villa in the next game.
“There was a little bit of booing yesterday (Saturday), and I’ve never heard Jose Mourinho booed at Stamford Bridge. Having the crowd with him has been so much a part of his charm and appeal at Stamford Bridge to the directors, so that’s another element he’s losing.
“Mourinho’s problem at the moment is he’s treating some of them with the stick and it’s not working, he’s treating others with the carrot like [Branislav] Ivanovic, who keeps playing, and it’s not working for them either.”
Despite Chelsea’s disastrous start, Northcroft believes sacking Mourinho would send out the wrong message.
“If they do get rid of him, they are going down a different route as a club. That would be them acknowledging that they’re just going to have a manager every year, and of course they’ve got to think about attracting the next guy if they did sack him,” said Northcroft.
“A new manager might even be put off if they sack this manager that they’ve brought back. It might put off a [Pep] Guardiola, who might be available next summer.
“So they’ve probably got to tread carefully. But leaving all of that aside, Mourinho is right, he’s the best manager in their history. He’s had a terrible start to the season and he’s not doing well at the job put in front of him right now, but that’s no reason to ignore the job he’s done before, and that’s no reason to suppose there’s something better around the corner.”