It has been a disastrous start for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho. For a club who so easily won the Premier League last season and to be the favourites to regain the title again, it’s just unheard of at how bad they have performed so far this season – even Manchester United under David Moyes were placed in a better position in the Premier League after just eight games.
The Blues have faltered heavily so far, with the club slumped on eight points and have already lost two games at Stamford Bridge. If any other manager, apart from the ‘Special One’, was in charge of Chelsea, they would have been relieved from their job already. But, instead, the Portuguese manager has received a vote of confidence from Roman Abromavich. This isn’t new: the Russian billionaire gave Andre Villa-Boas his backing but was then sacked 100 days later; and more recently, Brendan Rodgers was supported by Liverpool’s board and was then sacked a further 53 days later. This ‘vote of confidence’ generally means nothing, almost like it has been a ploy to stop the media amassing speculation.
Roman Abromavich is no stranger when it comes to disposing managers, but it looks like he just doesn’t have the courage to sack “the best manager this club ever had”. Mourinho is a manipulative mastermind capable of winning the most decorated trophies in world football – his illustrious list is mouth-watering and speaks for itself: two Champions League winner medals, three Premiership titles, two Serie A wins and a La Liga trophy, among many more. In Abromavich’s defence, you would be stupid to sack Mourinho with those historic competition triumphs. And, very much like club captain John Terry said, if there was any manager in the world to guide Chelsea out of the mess they currently find themselves entangled in, it would be Mourinho.
In the list of Abromavich’s sacked casualties is Roberto Di Matteo, not particularly known for his great managerial expertise, but the Italian successfully steered Chelsea to their first ever Champions League trophy and an FA Cup Final win in the same season. However, he still lost his job only months after winning Europe’s most supreme competition, which no other Chelsea manager has achieved before. And, yet, Mourinho is likely to keep his position as the Blues’ boss despite their shockingly poor form that sees the club in a lowly 16th position in England’s top tier division.
Maybe Mourinho isn’t entirely to blame? Sure he picks the eleven and then publicly criticises his players after a disappointing game, but this is Chelsea we are talking about, the club who have an abundant of world class players in their ranks. And they are underperforming, but everything is directed at the manager (apart from defender Branislav Ivanović who has been shamed by the press and slaughtered on social media). Admittedly, the Serbian international has been short of confidence and has not been producing decent performances, yet every other player is not getting similar attention. They have all underperformed, from Cesc Fabregas to Premier League Player of the Season in 2014/15, Eden Hazard. It’s simple: Chelsea’s stars need to improve, but possibly that is down to Mourinho? Has he run the players dry of energy? Does he criticise them too much? Has he lost the dressing room?
There are many questions that need to be answered about the current situation of the West London club, but, for now, Mourinho is still in charge and will be at the centre of attention when Chelsea host Aston Villa – a game they should win – after the international break. Lose, and we could be waving goodbye to the 52-year-old, who still has an impressive record in his second spell at Chelsea: 75 wins, 26 draws and 22 defeats from 123 games, giving him a 60.98% win record.