Why Chelsea Must Stick With Mourinho!


"one day in my career the bad results will come" (Jose Mourinho in 2004).

There comes a point in a man’s life when he realizes who really matters, who never did, and who always will. For all the cynical, constructive and misplaced criticisms that have trailed Jose Mourinho this season, this is perhaps the best mindset to adopt. While he is every journalist’s dream and box office all day long, he is also a cult figure who has polarized opinion since he stormed to football relevance in 2004 after winning the Champions League with F.C Porto. His ingenuity has never been in doubt, but it is his methods that have won him more foes than friends. He is clearly a man who does not suffer fools gladly. At times, he is too blunt to his own demerits and even if his fans will disagree, he stretches the bounds of self-confidence to sheer arrogance at times.

The recent travails of Jose Mourinho have no doubt excited a lot of people. Perhaps, it is true what they say, human nature always have a hidden joy to see successful people suffer a bit. However, Jose’s travails have been uncommon. From what was perceived as a blip against Swansea in the two all draw on the opening day, it has become an official crisis. In fact, the headline statistics is that this is Chelsea’s worst start to a premier league campaign. This perspective is best appreciated when you consider the fact that this is a Chelsea team that won the league at a canter only few months ago. The fall has been swift and massive and has led some to even begin to suggest a potential relegation dog-fight involving Chelsea. While this is new for the Chelsea team under the Roman Abramovich era, it is nothing strange in football. Football dynasties have come and gone, and perhaps, this is most intriguing because the man in question is a particular Jose Mourinho. The arm chair critics have adduced several reasons for Chelsea’s current debacle. The highlight of these reasons are that: The players did not have enough rest in the summer and had a poor pre-season; the scenario involving former first team doctor, Eva Carmerio on day one of the season has had a bad rub-off on the team; Ill-luck and officials judgment; Jose Mourinho has simply lost his mindas touch and the entire plot. Believe whatever you choose, there is no one reason to explain Chelsea’s appalling start to the season. However, it is not the intent of this write-up to explain the debris; rather, it goes without saying that Chelsea must stick with Mourinho through this phase.

It is a shame in football that so many of us have collective amnesia. We forget so quickly; or better put, we choose to forget so quickly. Jose Mourinho is a fantastic manager that has brought monumental and unprecedented success to Chelsea. His managerial prowess can never be put to question. While his personality leaves a lot to be desired, you can’t fight against his results. It is also worth saying that he delivered the championship to Chelsea after a five years drought. Thus, there must be some genius in this man many love to hate. As even John Terry has admitted, if anyone will get Chelsea out of this mess, it is Jose Mourinho. He has earned the right to have a bad three months, six months and even an entire bad season. Also, it is apt to state here that even the great Sir Alex Ferguson has gone through this phase before, yet he was given a vote of confidence. With the risk of sounding like a broken record, Jose Mourinho deserves more time to get it right. In addition, it is seldom to find a superb manager who is also a genuine fan of the club he manages. Jose Mourinho is one of the few. The strain and emotions he has displayed throughout this phase only points to one thing: He genuinely cares. Jose has a deep love for Chelsea football club and it is for this reason he came back to the club he departed from in 2007.

Another huge factor to consider is also the fans feeling. Week after week, game after game, in this perilous time, the fans have not hidden their love for Jose Mourinho. In victory, they chorused his name, in defeat, it is even louder. That in itself tells a story. The fans believe in Jose Mourinho, and they recognize that he is the most successful manager in the Club’s history and this is crux of the reason they know he can turn things around.

In the event that the verdict is that Jose Mourinho must be shown the door, the big question is: Who takes his place? The truth is that the options are not too numerous. Carlo Ancelotti and Guus Hiddink are the two out-of work stand-out options but Roman Abramovich’s obsession for managerial change means that these two are in the ‘has-been’ bucket and it might be unrealistic for either to do a second coming. The other stand out option is Pep Guardiola, who Bayern might not be quick to let go of. Diego Simeone has achieved great success at Atletico Madrid and he already knows Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Radamel Falcao well but the Argentine does not speak a word of English and, like Mourinho, can be a loose cannon. No doubt, there are other good relatively unknown managers around that might take a shot at the plum job, but if history is anything to go by, then Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, is not your best bet for an owner who will settle for the unfamiliar.The point also is that if Chelsea sticks with Jose Mourinho and he successfully navigates this phase, he and the club will be better for it. It is not a great reputation that a club has had about ten managers in a decade. There is such a thing as stability and it is on this basis that football dynasties are built. Same goes for Jose Mourinho who has the record of not being in a club for more than three years. Having conquered Europe, one will think it is time for him to build a football empire of some sort.

This is clearly not the best of times at Stamford Bridge and it remains to be seen if Roman Abramovich has learnt anything in footballing patience to stick with Mourinho in his darkest hour. Whatever the outcome, Jose Mourinho, Steve Holland, Silvino Loura, Rui Faria and Christophe Lollichon will go down in the records as a sublime coaching crew.

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