Jose Mourinho set to be finally sacked as Chelsea manager

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Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho looks set to be finally sacked by Chelsea with reports suggesting it’s now a matter of ‘when not if’.

Jose Mourinho was thought to be close to losing his job six weeks ago following a run of poor Blues form, but owner Roman Abramovich stuck by him. However, two the club’s fortunes not improving and on the back of Monday’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City, the tide has turned.

According to the Daily Telegraph, it’s now a matter of ‘when not if’ the Special One will be sacked with players now switching off to his methods. The paper adds that Mourinho can expect to land just £10million in compensation – a far cry from the £30m that was initially reported.  

Who has “betrayed” Jose Mourinho?
Virtually all the players, with the possible exceptions of Asmir Begovic, Kurt Zouma and Willian. Mourinho helped some of them achieve the best season of their careers last term, but they have switched off and stopped listening. They should be embarrassed by their performances and attitudes. Mourinho is far from perfect, but nobody can doubt his passion for Chelsea and determination to succeed. The same cannot be said for the club’s squad at the moment.

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Was his language on Monday night deliberate?
Mourinho does not do anything by accident. He has tried everything to get a response out of his players, using the carrot, the stick and sometimes even the carrot and the stick together, but nothing has worked. Using the word betrayal may well further alienate some of his players, but it seems Mourinho and his squad have already passed the point of no return.

What’s changed in the past few days?
Nothing, that’s the problem. After the defeat against Bournemouth, Mourinho asked his players ‘are you trying to kill me?’ The question was met with silence, but the performance in the defeat to Leicester City suggested that the majority of the squad are simply not bothered whether their manager stays or goes.

Has he lost the dressing room?
In the sense that his words are not getting through, then yes. But this is not the case of players arguing, fighting or rebelling against Mourinho – they do not have it in them. Unlike past Chelsea squads, this is a largely quiet group who grumble in their circle of friends. Many have publicly said the right things, but have not backed up their words with actions.

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Does he still have the fans support?
Yes. The Chelsea fans who made the trip to the King Power Stadium once again sang Mourinho’s name and most are desperate for him to turn the situation around. However, there are those who are losing faith and Mourinho, an incredibly proud man, will not have liked the self-deprecating chants of ‘you’re nothing special, we lose every week’ that were directed at the jubilant Leicester supporters.

What would it cost Chelsea to get rid of him?
Mourinho only signed a new four-year contract in August, but it is unlikely to cost Chelsea much more than £10million to get rid of him. It is believed there is a clause in Mourinho’s deal that states he either gets one year’s money up front or is paid until he finds another job if he is sacked for a second time by Chelsea. It’s hard to imagine that the 52-year-old would be out of work for much more than a year, so the Blues could expect a bill of around £10m.

Will Champions League last-16 qualification save him?
Not on its own, no. Few would back Chelsea to beat Paris Saint-Germain and progress to the quarter-finals at the moment, so the club’s place in the last-16 looks relatively inconsequential. Owner Roman Abramovich places a high stock in the Champions League, as proved by his decisions to sack Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo when qualification from the group stage was threatened. But getting to the last-16 alone does not make up for what’s happening in the Premier League.

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So, are they going to sack him?
Yes. It is becoming abundantly clear that it is a matter of when and not if Mourinho will be sacked. Abramovich and Emenalo have done their best to stick by him, but they must also put the club over any individual.

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Who are the runners and riders to succeed him?
This is Chelsea’s biggest problem and has certainly contributed to Mourinho lasting so long through this disastrous season. Long-term targets Pep Guardiola and Diego Simeone are not available until the summer and may not fancy Chelsea in their current state, while Carlo Ancelotti is the favourite to replace Guardiola at Bayern Munich. That leaves Guus Hiddink as perhaps the most realistic caretaker option right now. Michael Emenalo also has his coaching badges…