Roman Abramovich and Chelsea finally lost patience with Jose Mourinho following their ninth defeat of the season at Leicester on Monday night. A crisis board meeting on Wednesday was followed by the decision to sack Mourinho as the Blues hover just above the relegation zone in the Premier League.
The official club statement claims that Chelsea and Mourinho have ?parted company by mutual consent? and goes on to thank the Portuguese for his contribution to the club?s success. It is only seven months since Chelsea won the Premier League title but this season has been nothing short of disastrous at Stamford Bridge.
They are safely through to the knockout phase of the Champions League where they face old rivals PSG but their domestic form has been woeful. Mourinho is not used to failure and leaves the club as the most successful manager in Chelsea?s 110-year history. He has won three Premiership titles, three League Cups and the FA Cup, although the Champions League eluded him.
The warning signs were there at the end of last season for Chelsea, despite winning the title by eight points. They started the season in dominant form and played like true Champions with Fabregas, Hazard and Costa all looking like world class players. In the closing weeks of the season they were going through the motions, often clinging on to a single goal advantage.
Their limited activity in the transfer market in the summer did more to unsettle the squad than strengthen it. Mourinho gambled on being able to resurrect the career of Radamel Falcao and allowed Petr Cech to go to London rivals Arsenal. They failed to sign John Stones from Everton and Pedro was brought into a squad already brimming with attacking midfield players.
There were numerous distractions including the club?s treatment of Dr Eva Carneiro and several spats with officials which led to hefty fines and a stadium ban for Mourinho. Following his final match in charge, a weary-looking Mourinho used the word ?betrayed? when referring to his players failure to prevent the two Leicester goals.
Some pundits have already stated the view that Mourinho?s reputation has been tarnished by this season?s events but his services are certain to be in demand. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and even Manchester United have already been linked with the self-proclaimed ?Special One?.
Mourinho proved an instant success with Chelsea fans when joining the club for the first time in 2004. Despite his success, he left the club in acrimonious circumstances three years? later. While it seems certain that his second spell at Chelsea will be his last, it is highly unlikely that Mourinho will be out of the game for very long.