The Sad Sacked One

MourhinioThe Special One, Jose Mourinho, has been sacked by Chelsea for the second time in his career. At least the first time, in 2007, after a lacklustre start to the season, owner Roman Abramovich pulled the pin only a month into the campaign. Avram Grant took over and managed a more than respectable season finishing runnersup in the EPL, Champions League and the League Cup.

This time Abramovich waited more than four months. Now the club sits sixteenth on the table just a point above the relegation zone and twenty points behind league leaders Leicester City. Perhaps it had something to do with the new four year contract signed between the two in August. This latest departure is going to add to the staggering £71 million Abramovich has already paid in severance to managers he sacked. Mourinho was reportedly paid £18 million for his 2007 sacking.

According to Football Federation Australia, former Socceroos coach, Guus Hiddink, has been appointed interim manager at Chelsea. The FFA stated on its website: “Guus Hiddink has taken temporary charge at struggling EPL giant Chelsea after the club announced they’d sacked coach Jose Mourinho overnight following the club’s disastrous run in the English Premier League.”

Hopefully for the club, Hiddink can revive their season. A this point only the bottom two, Sunderland and Aston Villa, have lost more games than Chelsea’s nine.

At his first conference after joining Chelsea in 2004, Mourinho said, “Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one.”  On his return in 2013 he repeated several times he was “very clam” and “very relaxed” and that he was very happy to be back. In fact he went on to say he was no longer “a special one” but a humble one, then later, “the happy one”.

Although his career as a football player was somewhat forgettable – four Portuguese clubs from 1980 to 1987 with only 94 domestic appearances, there is no doubt about his management capabilities. He won eight domestic league titles, seven domestic cups, two Champions League Trophies and a Europa League Cup.

Unfortunately for Mourinho his arrogance finally got the better of him. It seems to many he lost the “dressing room” when he publicly dressed down and fired the Chelsea medic, Eva Carneiro, from the bench when she went on to the pitch to treat an injured player in the last minutes of Chelsea’s opening day draw against Swansea. That move appears to have lost him the respect of the players and the team has continued to freefall. Carneiro is suing for her ill treatment. Her dismissal claim apparently includes a request for reinstatement if Mourinho was to leave so it’s very possible to see her back at Stamford Bridge.

Jose had continued to blame everyone for his team’s poor performance. He constantly insinuated referee bias, was consistently extremely rude to the media and in recent weeks publicly berated his players. The latest incident was him accusing his players of betraying him after their 21 defeat to Leicester City.

Mourhino’s public attacks are not new. At his first management role in 2000 at Benfica in Portugal, when the club wanted to appoint his former sports teacher Jesualdo Ferreira as his assistant coach, Mourinho refused and stated, “This could be the story of a donkey who worked for 30 years but never became a horse.”

In 2005 after a match between Mourinho’s Chelsea and Barcelona he accused referee Anders Frisk of being bias. Though he and the club were fined, Frisk received death threats from angered fans forcing him to retire prematurely. UEFA Volker Roth called Mourinho an “enemy of football”.

Also in 2005 he was fined for an unethical secret meeting with Arsenal player, Ashley Cole who subsequently switched clubs. Later he labelled Arsenal’s manager “a voyeur” and was again threatened with legal action.

In 2010 he ordered two of his Real Madrid players to receive late second yellow cards during a Champions League group match against Ajax. The result would ensure the two players would benefit from not having any accumulated yellow cards when Madrid went into the knockout stage. He was again fined and received a two match ban.

In 2011 during an after match brawl, Mourinho was seen gouging the eye of Barcelona’s assistant coach, Tito Vilanova. When confronted after the game he refused to comment except to say he did not know who “Pito” Vilanova was – Pito is a slang for penis in Spanish.

Last year he continued his abuse of Arsenal’s  Arsene Wenger by calling him a “specialist in failure.” Wenger responded by saying the comment was both embarrassing to both Mourinho and Chelsea.

He was again charged this year for accusing a referee for cheating.

After a match against Barcelona where Chelsea was beaten 21, Mourinho asked, “How do you say cheating in Catalan?” accusing Lionel Messi of getting Asier del Horno sent off. Earlier this season he gloated from the dug out when his player, Diego Costa, got Arsenal’s Gabriel Paulista red carded. The FA overturned the red card and Costa was charged with violent conduct.

The question being asked now is “where to next for Jose ?” Many pundits believe Louis van Gaal will be sacked by Manchester United and Jose will be favourite to replace him. In fact SkyBet has United at even money to secure Mourinho. Real Madrid at 3/1, PSG 7/2, Bayern Munich 8/1 and Manchester City at 9/1.

He asked me if I knew what time it was. I said, "Yes, but not right now."”
Steven Wright