What's Eating Jose Mourinho?

December 07, 2015

The big story of the Barclay’s Premier League this season, aside from Ranieri’s Leicester taking the first chunk of the season by storm is the staggering downfall of current champions Chelsea. Led by Jose Mourinho, the West London club find themselves in 14th position with just 15 points from the same number of games. What has gone wrong? And are all of the problems caused by the notorious Portuguese at the wheel? Is The Special One losing his touch?

A few people have been comparing Chelsea’s current predicament to the plight of Germany’s much revered black and yellow side Borussia Dortmund last season. Dortmund found themselves sitting bottom of the Bundesliga at Christmas but managed to claw their way back to a domestic cup final and a very humble 15th. In yet another season dominated by Bayern Munich, as long as you aren’t relegated it doesn’t matter where you finish.

Though circumstances between Chelsea and Dortmund are only slightly similar, it must be reassuring for Chelsea fans to see Dortmund firmly back on track and really chasing Bayern’s rear this season. I think it’s very important that Chelsea do not compare themselves, they will not survive relegation just because Dortmund did. On top of this, Dortmund fans never doubted their of-the-time manager Jurgen Klopp (a.k.a. The most loved man in football). Football fans around the world were wishing Dortmund would improve but Chelsea’s failings seem to amuse everyone. This is good news for Jose Mourinho as he famously loves to create an ‘us and them’ atmosphere.

Hummels talking to fans in the midst of Dortmund's downfall

Nobody could have predicted quite how badly Chelsea’s campaign as reigning champions would go, but can it really surprise you? Last season Jose Mourinho was repeatedly criticised for his lack of squad rotation and this season the players really seem to be paying the price for it. Ageing players are increasingly burned out and mentally drained from the onslaught of failure.

Jose’s increasingly irksome media personality must be working its way into the dressing room. None of the players – barre free-kick specialist Brazillian Willian – seem to want to play anymore. I know, I know, they should be playing for the badge and not the manager but its hard when the majority probably made their initial transfer due to money. And now they have their agents suggesting other options and encouraging them to put up window displays.

Recently, during a trip back to London I went to watch Chelsea’s 2-1 home victory against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champion’s League. In the latter half of the game Loic Remy was warming up so ostentatiously that you couldn’t help but pity him. I’m not saying that Loic Remy is the answer to Chelsea’s problems but seeing his constant hopeful glances back to the bench makes you wonder how Mourinho could discourage such enthusiasm at a time when morale is low.

Bamford at Crystal Palace

Chelsea are infamous for their hareem of players out on loan (33 in total), many of them great young prospects. Perhaps the most notable is Patrick Bamford who took the Championship by storm last season with Middlesborough. Bamford has found himself under Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace, and has been complaining about a lack of game time. Chelsea fans would love to see him recalled in January, and there you find a player who would play for the badge – the 22 year old often posts messages of admiration for Chelsea on social media.

It is baffling how Jose Mourinho, particularly the Jose Mourinho who is in this current predicament is so opposed to fielding youth players. The Chelsea Youth Academy has produced a wealth of talented and passionate players in recent years such as Nathan Ake, Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown, Dom Solanke, Nathaniel Chalobah… The list goes on. It seems to be the answer to a lot of Jose’s problems such as lack of motivation from the players could be solved by turning to the youth.

The young players are no strangers to winning, their past accolades include last season’s UEFA Youth League. 

Chelsea’s problem is obviously at the core down to not winning games. If Chelsea aren’t winning games with the overpaid egos that currently grace the starting 11, then why not lose with a bunch of thirsty fresh youth players? It can’t get any worse! We all know Jose Mourinho loves an excuse, what better way to deflect attention than to blame it in the inexperienced players? And then, The Special-Although-Almost-Unemployed One will receive praise for finally putting faith in the academy.
All jokes aside, John Terry is famously the last successful product of the Chelsea youth setup. He had talent, for sure, but he made it to where he is because he loves the club so much. Look at Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92 – youth players turned club legends.
There seems to finally be dissent from the fans. Everybody loves to hate Mourinho, but Chelsea fans (the majority probably up until that defeat against Bournemouth) have ‘valiantly’ supported the deluded Portuguese, despite the pitiful results. They ignore his frankly bizarre media dealings and his childish behaviour towards just about anybody who dares criticise him. They even turned the other cheek when fan-favourite club doctor Eva Carneiro was unduly dismissed. But it seems enough is enough.

The infamous on-field spat

Chelsea fans on social media have been calling for The Special One to be fired, though not for his head. The sentiment seems to be “if you love us, let us go”. Jose Mourinho himself, whilst discussing Manchester City bound club legend Frank Lampard said that football is no place for love stories, though it seems he is struggling to listen to his own advice. I’m not sure he remembers what he says in his odd ramblings anyway.

Im sure he wouldn’t want to see his ‘beloved’ Chelsea in the Championship next season à la Fulham. People keep bringing up the fact it will cost club owner Roman Abramovich a lot of money to fire Mourinho, but you must be joking if you think the Russian tycoon would even notice that amount disappearing from his bank account. It has come out that Abramovich failed to financially support Mourinho in the summer transfer window, but I believe he had ulterior motives – saving for his shiny new 60,000 seater Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be the toast of the Championship.

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