Football’s a funny old game isn’t it?
Seven months on from celebrating his third Premier League title with Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has joined Garry Monk, Brendan Rodgers, and Tim Sherwood in the queue at the Premier League Job Centre.
So how has the so-called ‘Special One’ gone from being the ‘Happy One’ to the one who yells at everyone and still can’t beat Bournemouth? With the aid of some strong clichés, I’ve delved into the causes of his demise.
‘Buy When You’re Strong’
‘Buy when you’re strong’, the cliché that Alan Hansen always hoped would be remembered more than ‘you can’t win with kids’.
Chelsea preceded their last title win with a summer of strong, efficient transfer business. Headline players Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa were brought in right at the start of the transfer window, shortly followed by top full back Felipe Luis and club legend Didier Drogba before Loic Remy brought up the rear.
Those five players, although costly, each had the desired effect on the season. The goals created by the linkup between Fabregas and Costa effectively meant the title was wrapped up by Christmas, whilst backup strikers Drogba and Remy also chipped in along the way.
Compare that their summer business this time around and the contrast is stark. Although more players arrived in total, the only proper first team player to be brought to the club, Pedro, was only recruited as an after-thought once the season had begun – probably a sign that the club were beginning to panic.
Credit to wikimedia commons
A Team Who’s ‘Legs Have Gone’
‘His legs have gone’ – the phrase Steven Gerrard got sick of last term and what Wayne Rooney hopes he won’t hear for another couple of seasons at least.
What made Chelsea’s lack of transfer business more pronounced was the aging nature of his team – particularly his defence.
Ivanovic, a mainstay of every fantasy football team worth its salt – not to mention the Chelsea team of the last seven or so years, is now 31 and has had to be effectively bombed out of the team. More pressingly, club captain John Terry is 35 and has struggled for form all season – with youngster Kurt Zouma having to take his place on a number of occasions.
To add to the aging legs, these changes created uncertainty in the defensive ranks. As such, everyone from Glenn Murray to Riyad Mahrez has had freedom of a penalty box that was once considered no mans land for opposition strikers.
The strains of last season look to have had a lasting effect on some of the younger players too. Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, the same players that were so imperious last season, have looked shattered. Fabregas in particular has been singled out by pundits for his poor performances – Alan Shearer went as far as to say he ‘offered nothing in defence or attack’ in his display against Manchester City.
‘Lost The Dressing Room’
Ahh, the death knell of any football manager; potentially even worse than the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from the board.
Rumours had been swirling for a while about a revolt in the dressing room. Our favourite, Cesc Fabregas, was the rumoured ringleader – though he denied that accusation.
Whatever was going on amongst the players, it can’t have been helped by some of Mourinho’s antics.
The season began with the manager publicly berating club medic Eva Carneiro, someone who was well settled at the club and left as a result. Verbal volleys and bib throwings continued all the way through to Jose’s final game in which he said he was ‘betrayed’ by his players.
With such an angry figure on the touchline, can you blame the players for being a little put off from their work?
Credit to wikimedia commons
Overall, the short-term nature of Jose Mourinho looks to have struck again. Despite being so successful at every club he’s been to, the manager still can’t seem to stick it out for more than three seasons.
Whether or not it’s the angry yelling or the fact that no player wants to play ‘park the bus’ for three seasons in a row, who’s to say. What we can say however is that the record of Chelsea’s greatest ever manager in his final season was worse than that of Roy Hodgeson in his spell at Liverpool – untenable.