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Special treatment not enough to save José Mourinho in the end

In the end the news hardly came as a surprise. After all, sacking the manager is what jittery clubs do when they find themselves teetering on the brink of the relegation zone as the mid-winter transfer window, with all its promise of a revamp, looms large. They crave a kickstart, a flurry of results to haul them clear of trouble. A firefighter or, at the very least, a fresh voice to reinvigorate players whose confidence has been shredded. That is what Chelsea’s champions have become. They languish a point above the cut-off after nine Premier League defeats, and with only Swansea City and Aston Villa saddled by worse form over the past six games. There is discord, there is dissatisfaction, and now no faith José Mourinho can arrest the slump.

The sense of shock stems from the memory of this team winning the title by eight points seven months ago though, in the context of Chelsea’s recent history, even that provided no real job security. Roberto Di Matteo won the European Cup in 2012 and coat, having been given a long-term deal that summer, still found himself discarded before autumn was properly out.

Chelsea sack José Mourinho and line up Guus Hiddink to replace him Read more

There were 186 days between that triumph in Munich and the Italian’s shuffle across the arrivals hall at Gatwick in the small hours of a Wednesday morning in November, his fate to be confirmed by the hierarchy back at Cobham. Mourinho has survived 227 days since his team secured the Premier League trophy by beating Crystal Palace in May. As astonishing as it would have seemed then, and even as he digested the staff’s Christmas lunch, he could authenitc canada goose outlet store in gta with discount price not have been too surprised to hear Eugene Tenenbaum and Bruce Buck needed a brief word on Thursday afternoon.

What makes the scenario different is this is Mourinho: a three-times title winner at this club; a two-times European Cup winner who has negotiated passage into the knockout phase of the Champions League; a manager who signed a four-year best ideas about canada goose outlet on pinterest contract in the summer; and can you wash a canada goose parka a figure whose name will still be chorused vociferously by the team’s support when Sunderland visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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José Mourinho celebrates beating Tottenham 2-0 in the League Cup final at Wembley in March. Two months later Chelsea were also the Premier League champions. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

The risk of mutiny in the stands is clear and the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history must have been hoping his reputation authenitc canada goose outlet store in gta with discount price counted for something. It probably did given he has already been granted far more time by Roman Abramovich than anyone else would have had to turn this team’s season around. What forced the owner’s hand was the lack of evidence that an upturn in results is close. There may have been patches of promise in some of the games, spasms of something akin to form from a few players, but the team have lost five of their eight matches since that unprecedented vote of confidence after the home defeat to Southampton in early October. Forget complaints over abject luck: league results have deteriorated further since that backing was delivered.

Throughout it all, Mourinho has failed to disguise his bewilderment. Maybe he had envisaged an awkward title defence lay ahead, sensing the fatigue which had crept into a relatively small group of overworked players over the second half of last season. That would explain the decision to summon them back later than normal for pre-season, though the knock-on effects manifested themselves in a sluggish start. Their deficiencies, together with failures to add significantly to the squad over the summer, ensured the manager was already on average price of canada goose jacket edge even before the Premier League campaign began. His ill-judged and inexcusable attack on the medical staff after an opening day draw with Swansea offered the first indication that he was losing control. The outbursts, and regular railing against officialdom, which provoked regular Football Association sanctions in the months that followed merely strengthened that impression.

Chelsea sacked José Mourinho over ‘palpable discord’ with players Read more

The frustration was in his inability to remind his players of their capabilities and rouse them into re-establishing levels to mount a coherent title defence. None of them, with the exception of Willian, has justified his lofty reputation this season. They have all endured hideous slumps in form which have eroded conviction, and have rarely clicked together. When Eden Hazard has appeared more best canada goose coat for skiing his old self, Cesc Fàbregas has shrunk into mediocrity. When Nemanja Matic has reimposed himself, Branislav Ivanovic has wilted. John Terry is not the power he once was and Diego Costa, once a potent goalscorer and now merely an overly aggressive runner of channels, can appear more trouble than he is worth.

A group who once seemed worthy successors to Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Terry, Didier Drogba et al have been exposed as pretenders. Mourinho suggested as much post-match at Leicester on Monday, wondering out loud whether last season’s success had actually been the blip rather than this term’s sloppiness. His use of the word “betrayed” to describe his feelings was powerful but, whether any in the squad had lost faith or not, the fact was too many were simply not listening to his instructions. best mens canada goose jacket He was not getting through to them.

Perhaps they had become desensitised to his intense training methods and the constant demands but surely the least every manager expects is for his players to work feverishly given the salaries and exposure they attract? In truth, these players are simply unaccustomed to raising themselves from a slump this prolonged. They do not look like a squad suited to a relegation scrap. And, tellingly, the man in charge was just as perplexed to find his team fretting near the foot, whether conducting post-match meetings with his staff in the centre-circle or fielding the same barrage of questions every week over where it had all gone so horribly wrong. “I know why but I will not tell you,” he amazon canada goose jacket buy canada goose jacket usa had offered up more than once, even he did not sound particularly convinced.

Adeus, José – a fittingly operatic departure for the Chelsea manager Read more

Few managers can match Mourinho’s trophy haul, but he has spent almost his entire career at the top end of the league table. This was all alien and everything he tried, whether the carrot or the stick or the carrot yet again, had next to no impact. That he still persisted essentially with the same tactics and personnel reflected how unconvinced he was about the youngsters kicking their heels in the wings, though Mourinho was never likely to see this as a proper time to blood their talent. Regardless, the tried and tested simply failed. To that end the interim who comes in faces a far harder task than Guus Hiddink in 2009 or Di Matteo and Rafael Benítez in 2012. At least can someone check if this canada goose outlet website is authentic they inherited a side on the fringe of the title race.

But what of Chelsea’s attitude? A campaign of unremitting toil, the like of which they have not endured since the late 1970s, has put paid to all that talk of a long-term strategy: of forging a dynasty to dominate for the next decade; of placing all their trust in the best manager the club have ever had. They are back in that unnerving cycle of interims and interviews, hefty compensation packages and onerous reimbursements for the club employing whoever comes in, and most probably without the lure of Champions League football.

Maybe Diego Simeone can be the long-term answer, if he can be prised away from Atlético Madrid. Possibly Pep Guardiola’s switch to Manchester City, apparently a fait accompli, can still be deflected. There are not many out there who might be considered “better” than Mourinho, but the latter’s reputation at least precedes him. The last four months have demonstrated that, regardless of who is in charge, these players may not be the answer, even in the context of their championship-winning success. Whoever is recruited, once the interim has warded off relegation, must have the leeway to reshape the squad.

Abramovich knows the drill well enough, from André Villas-Boas to Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari to Carlo Ancelotti. Even so, he must be livid to find himself back at square one. This season has proved traumatic from the outset. Mourinho, as exasperated as he is at four months of failure, may actually find relief in exiting stage left.