If Jose Mourinho does leave Stamford Bridge, it won’t be his choice. He’s made it clear that he has no attention of going anywhere and intends to stay with the club as long as possible. He has said that he does ‘not run away.’ The only way he will leave is if Chelsea make sack him.
Mourinho has also indicated that firing him now would be a mistake, as they’d be firing the best manager they have ever had.
The real issue is not what Jose Mourinho wants, but what Roman Abramovich will do. How does the Russian owner view all the turmoil going on at his club? He’s fired the Portuguese manager once before, but has obviously since made up with him and rehiring was proof of that. Would he dare fire him a second time?
It’s been heavily rumoured for some time that certain players at Chelsea are working against the ‘Special One.’ Whether they are completely sabotaging Mourinho is arguable, but some of them are certainly not putting in as much effort as they should be.
Abramovich can look at this two ways. He can blame the players for failing to do their job. Whether they like the manager or not, he pays them a lot of money and they have a duty to play at their best, for their huge pay packets, for the club and for the fans who watch them every week.
The Russian can also look at this from another angle. Perhaps he will feel it’s Mourinho’s job, as the man in charge, to make sure the atmosphere in the team is good and the team is playing as well as it can. If this is the case, Mourinho’s imminent departure would look likely.
While Roman Abramovich’s version of events will be the most important in terms of Mourinho’s future, there is also a question of whether what the players are doing, if they are indeed doing it, is acceptable.
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen the Chelsea players refuse to play for their manager. Andre Villas-Boas was a victim of this a few years ago, after key players at the club were not happy with the way he ran the team. After his firing, the team’s performances ‘miraculously’ improved and even went on to win the Champions League.
France also famously refused to cooperate with their manager Raymond Raymond and even boycotted his training sessions during World Cup 2010.
Scenes like this in football are more common than people might first think, but they just don’t seem right.
David Beckham is one example of how a football player should behave. Back in 2006, when Fabio Capello took over at the Bernabeu, Beckham was informed he would not be staying at Real Madrid after his contract was up at the end of the season, but despite being unwanted by the Italian manager, it was business as usual for Beckham. The midfielder trained hard and was even picked for the starting line up on numerous occasions, because of the professionalism he showed.
This is the kind of mentality the Chelsea players should have. It should be a ‘we don’t agree with the coach but we have a duty to the fans to give our best’ approach. Instead, they are playing against the coach, the club and it’s fans.
If things continue this way, there may be no other choice but to get rid of Jose Mourinho. It’s easier than dropping half the team. Mourinho’s side has lost seven league games this season so far, and we’re only in November. Alex Ferguson famously said that a team cannot lose more than six games in a season if they want to win the league, so if this logic is correct, Chelsea’s chances of retaining the title this season have gone. When Chelsea won the title last season, they lost only three times.
Jose Mourinho has won a lot of league titles in his career, and his teams were never beaten seven times in the league in any of those successes. If he someone turned it around and won the league, it would be a first after having been beaten so many times.
Mourinho has already admitted that this is the worst spell he has had in his career. He may already have accepted that his club may have to settle for a top four finish, rather than aiming for first place. If Abramovich wants to fire him this would be the best time to do it. We are moving in to a two week international break and it would give the Chelsea owner enough time to make a managerial reshuffle before their next fixture. If Abramovich doesn’t sack Mourinho now, then he’s likely not to do it any time soon. Admittedly the odds on him going aren’t great, but now might be as good a time as ever to have a flutter.