Jose Mourinho’s angry comments following Chelsea’s defeat to Leicester City have increased the pressure on the beleaguered manager.
In his post-match interview after the 2-1 defeat to the highflying Foxes, Mourinho raged against his own players, and claimed that the players had “betrayed” him. The manager, who is no stranger to controversy, went on to accuse the Leicester City ball boys of being a “disgrace to the Premier League”.
Rob Harris, senior sports reporter for the Associated Press, believes that the comments prove Mourinho is beginning to create a divide between himself and the club; “The outburst was a strange diversionary overreaction.”
Pressure has been building on Mourinho following a recent run of poor results, with the team suffering the greatest number of losses ever under the Portuguese manager. Mourinho’s win percentage has also dipped dramatically, falling to 59 per cent from 71 per cent.
Roman Abramovich’s track record in dealing with managers does not bode well for Mourinho. Since taking over as owner of Chelsea in 2003, Abramovich has overseen the sacking of 10 managers.
Mourinho previously left the club under acrimonious circumstances in 2007. It emerged that he had had a series of disagreements with the Russian oligarch, despite being the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history, as well as going undefeated in all home league games.
Former Chelsea legend Frank Lampard is adamant that Mourinho’s team can bounce back if they make big enough adjustments. “Whether it’s attitude or performance or something else, it has to change” he said on Sky Sports 1. “What can they gain by getting rid of him now?”
Jamie Carragher, who is now a pundit, vehemently disagreed. Also speaking to Sky Sports, Carragher emphasised the improbability of a Chelsea comeback; “They can’t come back together now and make Chelsea a great team and win things. I’d be very, very surprised if that happens next season.”
In contrast, fans appeared to be much more supportive of the manager.
“A manager can only do so much with the players he has, and they are the ones making junior mistakes” said Will Damiel, a lifelong Chelsea fan. Damiel cited Mourinho’s previous successes at clubs such as Real Madrid and Inter Milan as proof of his calibre.
Will Green, also an avid fan, was quick to point out that it is unlikely that this season with affect Chelsea in the long run; “We’re not going to finish in the top four or get relegated, so there’s no need to sack him.”
Reaction on Twitter
The reaction of fans on social media has been less favourable. The Twitter hashtag #MourinhoOut began to trend on Tuesday following the loss, with many claiming that relegation is a real possibility if Mourinho is not sacked.
It’s time #MourinhoOut. Roman needs to do the right thing and salvage the situation before we get relegated.
— James the Conqueror (@5mintillZeitnot) December 14, 2015
Had enough. #MourinhoOut
— Ash Ketchum (@ChalkChalk123) December 14, 2015
Watch the post-match interview below:
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) December 15, 2015