May 24, 2015 was one of jubilation and exhilaration at Stamford Bridge as Jose Mourinho led the Blues in his second season back in the saddle to win the Barclays Premier League. And in truth his team were imperious from the opening and despite some slips in February cantered across the finish line.
Four months from that triumph, October 5, Mourinho is aghast at the dramatic fall of his team – after losing four of the opening eight league games and losing to Porto in the UEFA Champions League.
The Chelsea board met late into Saturday night and then released this statement: “The club wants to make it clear that Jose [Mourinho] continues to have our full support.
“…Results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve. However, we believe that we have the right manager to turn this season around and that he has the squad with which to do it.”
Now what it means is that the club will not spend big in the next transfer window in January 2016 and Mourinho is expected to turn it around. But he may find it very hard to turn around the season because of the following five reasons:
Junketing around the globe has seriously weakened the Blues this term. From Thailand [just five days after lifting the EPL title] to Australia then to the USA before the EPL kicked off ensured that most Chelsea players did not get the rest they needed after a very good season in which they won the title. Mourinho is partly to blame for this because he never uses more than 15 players consistently throughout a league campaign. He needs to enlarge that group to at least 20 players so that the players can stay refreshed and healthy.
Distance travelled by the Chelsea team in pre-season
From London to Bangkok, Thailand – 9545Km
From Bangkok to Sydney, Australia – 7531Km
From Sydney to New Jersey, USA – 15,949Km
From New Jersey to London, UK – 5642Km
Total Km travelled – 38,667Km
Not many know that Mourinho’s father, Felix, to whom he is very close is very ill at the moment. Felix had a brain haemorrhage which was operated on last Friday, October 2, 2015. Jose is currently in Portugal tending to his beloved mentor. This situation has added to the stress and frustration of the past few months.
Manager not given the players he wanted
Mourinho wanted Atletico players – Gabi and Koke, John Stones, a new striker [not Falcao] and a left-sided defender. For his A-list, he was told to promote from the Academy even though Mourinho has shown in his career that he does not play with kids. Before the season kicked off, he said, “Give a little bit more competitiveness to the squad, bring some new blood in, put some players a little bit under pressure. So they know they have someone waiting. Now they’re the champions, I need that.”
Even though the Spaniard has been publicly defended by Mourinho on many occasions, the Portuguese tactician will be tearing out his hair at home concerning the form and the attitude of the striker, who came from Atletico to solve Chelsea’s attacking challenges 12 months ago. Now he is more interested in antagonizing opponents and picking fights. He has scored just once for the club since May.
Mourinho’s lack of a 2nd system
His time at Real Madrid showed the Mourinho template, in which he turns his club against the officials, the main opponents for the title thereby fostering a group of players with the mentality of them against the rest of the world. Now, it is not working but the real question is then that can he change tact? Can he go without all the usual shenanigans and ensure that he courts no controversy?
What the board did not add to the statement at the beginning was the fact that it would just be too expensive to sack the ‘Special One’ just months after he signed a new four-year contract. With Financial Fair Play [FFP] in the background, it would cost Chelsea at least £50million to part ways with the ‘Grumpy One’. So even if there is a continuous disagreement and even the throwing of fists, this marriage may just have to last the distance.
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