The odds of Mr. Jose Mourinho getting sacked is rising. Yes! It is October 2015 – a few months after his side stream-rolled to the 2014/2015 English premier league season title. Now with a golden logo aptly slapped on their sleeves, Jose’s charges have done precious little to suggest that this assertion isn’t that of a fella, who in the midst of a few friends at a bar, having already ingested a generous amount of liquid refreshment, starts regurgitating the unprintable four-letter-word more than a few times, laced with the snarling of various gynecological epithets; making an impaired judgement about the fate of the manager a friend’s club and later goes home to snore the night away.
8 points in 8 games is not stellar. It is not something we have come to associate with the Special one and definitely not distinctively the numbers of the man for whom a dirge has been sang in and around the Stamford Bridge before. Two consecutive defeats in a week is not the type of record that endeared him to Chelsea fanatics and left West London totally enamored, with the announcement of his imminent return and had they been given the chance, would have rewritten the scriptures to the effect: “unto us a Savior has been born; unto us a Manager has been given. And the government of our team will be on his shoulders. He will be called wonderful, the Special One, and on and on and on…”
The numbers are so desperately and humiliatingly stacked up against Chelsea and they will be hoping to stem the tide and turn the corner soon. Four Premier league defeats in their opening eight matches of the campaign and they strangely look nothing like last season’s vintage league winners. The personnel are the same [at least many of them are] but the results are symptomatic of a team battling the prospect of a drop rather than a team being worried about being caught-up at the top by their fiercest rivals.
A master of mind-games but he now cuts the image of a man who’s lost all swagger and confidence. The Mourinho of old would not be tilting at windmills in self-defense, groping in the dark about refereeing (in)decisions but rather would have been seen taking subtle jabs about rival managers, praising his players and fans, basking in his awesomeness and leaving the stage as he records yet another win over yet another premier league opponent.
Last Saturday’s post game presser was special. In the wake of his side’s 1-3 defeat at home to Southampton, the Blues Boss took a very unfamiliar path and went on a staggering seven minute speech like we have never seen of him before. Jose Mourinho is a lot of things but unquestionably not naïve. Like a man opting to take a drink from a fire hydrant, it was apparent Chelsea’s recent slump had taken a punt on him, cornered and compelled to defend himself and his Chelsea legacy even though the question he was asked was not remotely connected to the subject.
Sky Sport’s Greg Whelan asked what appeared to be an innocuous: “Jose, What do you make of your team’s performance today?” shortly after their 2nd home defeat of the season.
The special one’s reply was one that had everyone talking [and will be for some time]. “Look, I think you know me and I think I don’t run away for responsibilities. First of all I want to say that because we are in such a bad moment, you shouldn’t be afraid to be honest.
“When we are at the top I understand that there is quite a big pleasure in putting us down but when you are down already I think you need to be a bit honest and to make clear that the referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. The result [was] 1-1, there is a huge penalty and, once more, we don’t get. Penalty is crucial in a game with the result 1-1.”
Never mind Southampton’s Sadio Mane was fouled twice in the penalty box and on both occasions, the referee simply waved play-on.
“Even more important, I think this is a crucial moment in the history of this club. Do you know why? Because if the club sacks me, they sack the best manager that this club had and secondly, the message is again the message that bad results, the manager is guilty.
“This is the message that not just the players but the ones before, that they got during a decade. I think this is a moment for everybody to assume responsibilities. I think the players should assume their responsibilities, I assume my responsibilities, the other people at the club should also assume their responsibilities and stick together. This is what I want” the Portuguese tactician continued, betraying some vulnerability through those words as they kept pouring out.
The appetite for change at the Stamford Bridge seem low. The manager himself is keen on staying on but looks like, on his own free will, keep cobbling together the leather needed for his own boot. His presser has left the board of directors at Chelsea with a decision to make. Patience is not one of Roman Abramovic’s strongest virtues and he would not be smiling at being given such a public ultimatum.
The jury is still out on the Special one. Though it’s not likely Jose will be making his 2nd Chelsea exit now, what could be said with a fair degree of certainty is that; Mourinho is walking a tight rope and would have to steer the club and its fortunes back unto the road of prosperity. He is still the captain of the ship and he still has the trust of his employers. But while he’s still at it, he must be very fast about it.