Wednesday, 16 December 2015

How Much Time Is Left For Jose Mourinho As Chelsea Manager?

Word doing the rounds says that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and his board members held a nine-hour meeting and even shortlisted names to replace Jose Mourinho. The truth is, there is no easy way out even for the Chelsea owner or the players, who have been culpable of abject displays time and again.

Another weekend, another loss. The greatest modern day manager is reduced to a sitting duck on the sidelines, looking helpless as his team struggle to buy a win. Jose Mourinho’s pedigree and the unavailability of suitable candidates to replace him are the only reasons why he is holding on to the job.
How much time is left for Jose Mourinho as Chelsea manager?
How much time is left for Jose Mourinho as Chelsea manager?
After succumbing to their ninth defeat of their campaign, Daily Mail reported that chiefs in the Chelsea hierarchy close to trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich had apparently had a “Nine hour meeting” to discuss the future of Mourinho at the club. Is this the end of a cycle? In September 2007, when he had initially departed from the club, he left behind a legacy. A winning machine that many managers who took the Chelsea hotseat could cash in on and win trophies.

He had a loyal core in John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech et al. After the title win last year, there were no question marks over team unity. The current bad run, a never before in the two-time Champions League winner’s career has brought out several other questions pertaining to his man-management skills. From a man who was known for extracting fierce loyalty from the biggest of egos, Mourinho’s Real Madrid episode has left people thinking otherwise as he fell out with a number of the Los Blancos heavyweights, if reports are to be believed.

A month ago, BBC revealed that a player, behind closed doors said ‘I’d rather lose than win for him’. Speculations have only gotten bigger from there as close to a half-a-dozen players from the team look disinterested. Cesc Fabregas, one of the pivotal figures in Chelsea’s title win looks like he is paying his tribute to Fernando Torres during his struggling years in SW6, strolling around aimlessly. Diego Costa’s passion these days lie in picking up a brawl with an opponent than scoring goals up front.

From the outside, it is quite clear that that dressing room is fractured, things do get blown out of proportion when the team is going on a bad run. After the recent loss against Leicester City — Chelsea’s ninth in 15th league games — Mourinho accused his players of “betraying him”. The never-ending blame game saga that started with his medical staff, officials, the association, bad luck, press etc has now finally reached its tipping point.

The two times in the past Mourinho has gone into the third season, it has ended in boardroom disputes and a power struggle that was played out in the open. The signs of this Chelsea’s side getting jaded was prevalent since the turn of the year, where Harry Kane and Tottenham Hostspur masterminded a 5-3 win. Mourinho has often stated in the past about his preference in working with a smaller team. Overworked and washed out, the likes of Eden Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic barely look like threatening the opposition.

If Abramovich has given his manager time, it is only because of the sporadic UEFA Champions League wins, which helped Chelsea top their group and qualify for the knockout stages. “The third season is fatal”, once quipped the legendary manager Bela Guttman and all roads point towards a sacking at the moment. No manager at any top club in the world can boast about holding on to his job with his team languishing at 16th in the table after the 15th matchday. As for the Chelsea board, they were last heard sounding out potential “interim candidates”, a formula that has brought them success, including the Holy Grail of winning the Champions League. Having ousted so many top managers in the years gone by, where do Abramovich and his men go, even if they put the most successful Chelsea manager out of his misery?

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