A fifth league defeat in ten games has left Jose Mourinho fighting to keep his job at Premiership Champions Chelsea.
The under-fire Blues boss was sent to the stands by the referee at West Ham as he saw his ten-man team defeated 2-1. Chelsea are down in fifteenth place, just three places above the relegation zone. Mourinho has hardly been out of the news this season with almost as many problems off the pitch as on it.
His treatment of Club Doctor Eva Carneiro was widely criticized after the first match of the season while he has seemingly lost patience with the media and refused to give any interviews after this latest setback. Mourinho is already appealing against a £50,000 fine and suspended one-match stadium ban for comments made about officials after the home defeat to Southampton. He can expect further disciplinary action for his actions at West Ham.
Roman Abramovich was forced to issue his first public vote of confidence in his twelve years at the club but upcoming Premiership and Champions League could well seal Mourinho?s fate. A tricky Capital One Cup tie at Stoke in midweek will be followed by the visit of Jurgen Klopp?s Liverpool. The Blues then face Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, needing a victory to move into a qualifying place in the group.
Although Chelsea won the Premiership title by eight points, they finished the season in moderate form. Their last six games only yielded seven points and yet little was done to bolster the Blues? squad this summer. Prior to last season, Mourinho has brought in Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa while Nemanja Matic signed in January. All three played a vital role in steering the Blues to the Premiership title.
Mourinho allowed Petr Cech to join Arsenal in the summer but Thibaut Courtois then succumbed to a long-term injury. The signing of Manchester United flop Falcao is starting to look ill-advised while repeated bids for Everton?s John Stones failed to prize the young central defender away from Goodison Park. Pedro was signed from under the noses of Manchester United but a fine debut at West Brom has been his only notable contribution.
Mourinho is used to winning and is facing arguably the toughest test of his managerial career. His refusal to speak to the media suggests that a ?siege mentality? is being adopted at Stamford Bridge. Time will tell whether this approach succeeds, something which may now be in short supply for Mourinho.