Jose Mourinho’s rather sudden departure from Chelsea probably sould not come as too much of a shock. Clearly unhappy at the end of last season and utterly miserable and given to even more confused press conferences this season, he has looked checked out for some weeks.
More of a shock is the extraordinary coverage. Top headline on FiveLive and BBC Breakfast TV, the subject of the FiveLive phone in as well and no doubt there is blanket coverage on many sports websites, radio and TV stations. I daren’t turn on Sky Sports News. He has had the British media in thrall ever since he turned up. They drool at the prospect of a Jose comment and can find no wrong in him despite his often daft comments. Who will win the adulation now?
While I have some sympathy for the way Jose was treated in the last few months… having a director of football put in place, forced into playing has-been strikers etc, I will not miss him at all and rather hope he disappears off to manage in Italy (where he says he would like to go), Spain or, oh I don’t know, Luxembourg.
Admittedly, he was good fun in the beginning. Charming and disarming in his honesty. But it changed pretty rapidly and rather than the smile, we got the scowls and the tirades. Sure, he was under pressure but, hey, Ã‚Â£5 million a year means you need to be able to handle it. And I don’t think he could. Ever blind to the crimes of his own players, he had the sharpest of eyes for offences committed against them sixty yards away and even resorted to a parody of Sir Alex, showing the fourth official his portable TV for a replay of a disallowed goal last weekend. He never understood about balance in football. Never understood that Chelsea could actually lose games or that officials could make mistakes. I got very bored of hearing how unfair it always was. How his team were singled out for bad treatment. But you know what, Jose? You needed to rise above that. You needed to be aware you had a very talented squad who shouldn’t have cared if one goal was disallowed because you’d already scored four or were going to during the 90 minutes.
We hear a great deal about what a brilliant manager he is. And his record is pretty damn good. But at the very top, if you’re told that you will be measured on winning the Champions League and you fail to do so, you can have few complaints if you are shown the door, or find it so AWFULLY hard that you have to take your leave. Whatever. Takes your money, pays your price.
For Chelsea, though, there are serious implications. If what we hear about interference is all true, then any other manager will be little more than a figurehead and that is the way to mediocrity. So, the door is clearly open for Graham Rix…