Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho have parted ways by mutual consent Thursday. The move comes three days after Chelsea lost to first place Leicester City, their ninth loss in 16 games this season. Chelsea now sit in 16th place, just one point ahead of the relegation zone.
Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent. https://t.co/YYJaxxdE36
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 17, 2015
In his two stints with the club, Mourinho won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and three League Cups, making him the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history.
The move does not come as a surprise to many, especially Mourinho who seemed to see the writing on the wall during his post match press conference after the team’s loss to Leicester City Monday. During his press conference, Mourinho seemed to be at a loss for words, a first for him, where he resorted to accusing some of his players of “betrayal” and that they refused to carry out his tactics.
Controversy is nothing new to Mourinho. He’s never made it more than three seasons at any of his previous clubs. It seems that the pattern with Mourinho is to take over a club, rebuild the club, win a league title or two, then leave the club in a bigger mess then he finds it.
So far this season Mourinho has already called out players such as Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, and Cesc Fabregas, which knowing Mourinho’s personality isn’t surprising. From the outside, we know Mourinho has an ego and tends to take credit when his teams do well, and pass blame off when his teams don’t. This is a trait that could easily lead to his players growing tired of his methods and his message failing to get through, something that appeared was happening all season at Chelsea.
The move opens up a lot of new doors in the world of the managerial merry-go-round. Spanish newspaper Marca reported Wednesday night that Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has decided to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of this season. Both Manchester City and Manchester United were heavily rumored to be looking to possibly move on from their current managers if they could secure the services of Guardiola for next season. With Chelsea moving on from Mourinho the London giants could be throwing their hats into that ring as well.
However, Sky Sports is reporting that a successor has already been picked and will be in place prior to Chelsea’s match against Sunderland on Saturday.
At the end of the day, Chelsea simply had no choice but to move on from their manager. The club had lost 12 of their last 25 games in all competitions and the best players were no longer responding. Eden Hazard, who scored 19 goals last season, has failed to score a single goal in 24 matches this year. Striker Diego Costa who scored 20 goals last season, has scored just three times this year.
The club’s statement went on to say, “The club’s focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential.”
The question is, can this talented squad even reach their potential anymore? Chelsea are a team that looks tired. This can easily be attributed to Mourinho running many of the players into the ground. Despite having greater resources than most clubs in the world, Mourinho has operated with one of the smallest squads in the smallest squads in the Premier League. The small squad doesn’t allow for much squad rotation, meaning Chelsea’s big guns were playing in every single match.
Players like Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic have looked exhausted since March. With Eden Hazard now going down with an injury, Chelsea’s squad looks even thinner heading in to the busiest part of the season.
While the player may have stopped listening to their manager that may only be half the battle for Chelsea to start climbing back up the table. The other half may be rest, and with the festive period quickly approaching, the Premier League schedule will not provide that luxury. Unless Chelsea can bring in a few reinforcements in January, it could become harder than anyone thought to get this team playing up to their potential.