He stuck with players who either deliberately or otherwise weren’t giving enough. At some point, the thought of concealed conspiracy among the players against him was rife in thr media, but there were a lot of denying going on.
But unlike seven years ago, he leaves nothing but a trail of destruction and scorched earth in his wake.
Just seven short months ago Mourinho was cavorting around Wembley, sliding along the rain-sodden turf celebrating victory over Tottenham in the Capital One Cup final, claiming he was very much in it for the long haul.
A few weeks later the Premier League trophy returned to Stamford Bridge after a five-year absence with Mourinho having masterminded a campaign of total domination, his opponents reduced to rubble.
With Christmas approaching, however, his goose is finally cooked. The man who delighted in calling his main adversary a specialist in failure is now a specialist in getting sacked. Real Madrid had enough of him and his attention seeking antics, now Chelsea have dispensed with him for a second time.
Where and what next for Mourinho is a matter for another day. Perhaps a break will do the 52-year-old the world of good and offer him a much needed opportunity to reflect on where it all went wrong. He won’t have to look further than the mirror.
In the cold light of day the car crash of a season he has presided over is largely of his own making. While he has been pointing the finger at anyone that moves, be it the Football Association, referees and even his now former physio, in the cold light of day he can only reflect that this was a mess of his own making.
The board may have failed to deliver him the players he wanted to elevate a title-winning side to one capable of challenging the La Liga heavyweights and Bayern Munich, but there is no way a team that finished eight points ahead of the pack last season should now find themselves embroiled in a fight to preserve their Premier League status.
Mourinho has turned champions into chumps. Eden Hazard, last season’s player of the year, has failed to score in 27 games. Diego Costa has forgotten where the goal is, Cesc Fabregas could barely spell the word assist at present and stalwarts like John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic look like washed up has-beens.
In 2008, when the friction between Mourinho and Roman Ambramovich forced the latter to sack the former, Chelsea were still in a relatively healthy position. Indeed, a manager as limited and inexperienced as Avram Grant was able to steer the Blues to the brink of the title and was a missed penalty away from winning the Champions League.
Whoever inherits this mess of a squad has a far harder job on their hands. In their present state this current Chelsea team are capable of losing to anyone from Bournemouth to Barcelona.
Incredibly, dragging the side away from relegation trouble becomes the primary objective before the new incumbent can even begin to think about restoring harmony and forging a path to the latter stages of this season’s champions League.
Mourinho’s behaviour has warranted the sack. He has been asking for it ever since the seven-minute monologue following defeat to Southampton back in October. For the first time this season he has what it appears he has wanted all along; a break from Chelsea and a break from football.
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