Jose Mourinho is embroiled in a desperate battle to retain control of the Chelsea dressing room, according to a sensational report.
The London Evening Standard asserts that several first-team players have become irked at the Portuguese manager electing to publically shame individuals. The report adds that one unnamed senior player has conceived a choice one-word nickname for Mourinho which is used in secret by other unsettled team-mates. It’s claimed Nemanja Matic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Oscar are among those who have been censured in front of the squad and staff.
” However, privately the situation is thought to remain decidedly tense. Poor results have exacerbated concerns over Mourinho’s treatment of the squad with certain individuals singled out for substandard performances while others have been retained in the starting line-up despite suffering their own dip in form.”
Chelsea sit 16th in the Premier League with a paltry haul of eight points from as many games. They host Aston Villa on Saturday as domestic action resumes following the international break.
It’s one of the speediest regressions in Premier League history. The defending champions were held to a 2-2 draw on the opening day of the season by Swansea at Stamford Bridge. Surely there was no reason to panic or launch into hasty assessments? Except, this was Jose Mourinho. He publically lambasted club doctor Eva Carneiro and head physio Jon Fearn – all because they rushed to the aid of the seemingly injured Eden Hazard. Carneiro made a minor quip on social media in retaliation. She left the club soon after.
Defeats and limp performances followed; Mourinho continually shifted the blame. He even suggested the club would have to sack him to get rid of him, despite no one suggesting this was on the horizon. The latest defeat, a 3-1 reversal to Southampton earlier in October, was overshadowed by an astonishing seven-minute rant in which he repeatedly declared referees were afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. In response, a gaggle of Chelsea players – including Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas and Kurt Zouma – were wheeled out before reporters to defend their manager, but the FA still elected to slap a £50,000 fine and one-match suspended stadium ban on the increasingly tetchy 52-year-old. Mourinho branded the punishment a “disgrace”.
MOURINHO’S LATEST BATTLE CRY “Tradition says:
‘Don’t go back to a club where you were happy before’. Perfect – another challenge is exactly what I wanted!,” he said while promoting his new book MOURINHO.
“I’m so happy to be back, so happy to do what we managed to do last season. And we want to do more. Obviously I’m not going to run away from the moment. The results are bad, but I’m not going to run away from it and I believe more good moments are going to happen again. “I signed a new contract a few months ago. When I signed it was not to run away from responsibilities, but to work and fight and wait for the results of our work.”
BUT IS THE END STILL NIGH?
Regardless of the legitimacy of the featured report, Mourinho faces an uncertain time at Chelsea. He seems intent on destabilising the club with every interview, while his deflection tactics are embarrassingly transparent. His managerial record highlights an incapacity of holding fort for more than three years. Of course, Chelsea was meant to be different, a return to the club he loves. But it’s all very well saying that.
Putting it into practice, when his divisive character remains inflamed, just isn’t that simple. If the results continue to disappoint, and Mourinho’s post-match grumbles become an even more regular theme, then the players will inevitably become alienated. Right now, it is hard to envisage a scenario where he is still in charge come next season. After all, the chairman is a pretty impulsive bloke…