Thursday, September 20, 2007

Its time up for Jose

Harold Wilson once said a week was a long time in politics. Well, a day is a very long time in football.
Here's my piece from yesterday's First Post, predicting that Jose Mourinho would very soon be sacked by Chelsea. I didn't have time to post it here last night: and lo and behold, we wake up this morning to the news that Mourinho has left the club 'by mutual consent'.
Which proves once again: if you want to read the news before it happens, you really have to read The First Post! (and this blog too, if its author is able to post everything in time!)

Is Jose Mourinho's three-year spell as manager of Chelsea about to come to an end? Despite winning two Premiership titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup (twice), Mourinho's position at Stamford Bridge looks increasingly precarious after a series of poor performances, culminating in last night's humiliating 1-1 home draw with Norwegian minnows Rosenborg in the Champions League.

Mourinho blames injuries to key players for his side's lack of form. But it's an excuse that is unlikely to cut much ice with Chelsea's billionaire chairman Roman Abramovich.

After their much publicised fall-out last year, Mourinho promised the Russian oligarch that his side would play more expansive, attacking football. But the change in style simply hasn't happened and Ambramovich feels betrayed. In the sleep-inducing 1-0 victory over Portsmouth in August, the Russian showed his disgust by marching into the Chelsea dressing room after the match, to inform his manager and players that the performance was "shit". What he thinks after last night's draw with a side lying in fifth place in the Norwegian league is anyone's guess.

Abramovich's ambitions for Chelsea are clear: he has said he wants his team to win the Champions League at least twice in the next six years. But after last night, that dream seems as far away as ever: a side that can't defeat Rosenborg on their home ground can hardly be expected to mount a serious challenge to the likes of Milan and Barcelona.

Chelsea are no longer the winning machine they once were: they have won only four of their last 14 games. The club's supporters are starting to express their discontent too: the stadium was nearly half empty for last night's tie.

Sacking Mourinho could cost Abramovich £15m. But compared to the potential £70m reward for winning the Champions League, he may decide it's money well spent.

1 comment:

andrew said...

Neil
It a wrong to say that Chelsea didn't play attractive football under mourinho. To secret to a successful team is being able to rely on a variety of options, some time "pretty triangles" don't work - I know Arsenal are doing well at the moment, but trying to walk the ball into the net has not bought them success since Mourinho took over at Chelsea . Sometimes a more direct approach pays dividends, and both Man U and Chelsea "mix it up". Abromovich is finally being shown in his egomanical true colours - no better than Romonov. The only way for Chelsea now is down.... and 99.9 of Spurs fans would love Jose at 3 point lane!!!