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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chelsea Football Club & manager Jose Mourinho part under mutual consent

I came across the unconfirmed headline last night on ITV Teletext that Mourinho had left Stamford Bridge for good. It was later confirmed this morning around quarter to two via a small statement by the club that simply said they and Mourinho had agreed under mutual consent to his departure.

Chelsea managed to draw against Rosenberg in the Champions League group start on Tuesday where the home crowd for the Blues was just under 25,000, which was said to contribute further to owner Roman Abramovich's disgruntlement as well as the Chelsea fans jeering of their team at full time.

Other factors that appeared to have led to a breakdown in relationship between manager and owner include the playing of Andriy Shevchenko, who was said to be considered by Mourinho as not fit and sharp enough in contrast to the opinion of Abramovich. The possible signing of Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder and World Player Ronaldinho where Abramovich was allegedly keen whereas Mourinho was not.

The appointment of Avram Grant as sporting director with authority to include himself in coaching, signing players and their recruitment. Mourinho heard of the proposal to bring Grant in from Portsmouth Football Club in January and threatened to leave the club then. Abramovich was familiarised with Grant via big football agent Pini Zahavi, when Grant was the coach of Israel's national football team. Also, Grant has become acquainted with Frank Arnesen, who oversees scouting and the development of the youth players at The Bridge.

Reports have also detailed that Abramovich has not come accustomed to the authority of Mourinho throughout the club, preferring to spread such powers and decisions amongst several key positions within the club hierarchy. Mourinho is said to prefer absolute control on who he signs and when, who he plays and how with little or no influence in such matters from anyone outside of the management team.

Mourinho's departure comes after his arrival in June 2004 after leading former club Porto to the Champions League final victory, where he led Chelsea to their first title win in fifty years, only to repeat the feat in the following season. He also won the League Cup in his first season, and last season in a double with the FA Cup. Now reports are rife that additionally, with what was considered a lame beginning in this season's European Cup campaign on Tuesday, Chelsea would be pushing difficultly not only in their football but in attracting numbers at The Bridge.

But crucially from Mourinho's point-of-view, there has been too much interference in the pipelines in his day-to-day management of developing the squad. To mention the names of Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri and Jose Mourinho shows Chelsea have employed managers with character, European flavour and flair, have made themselves one with the fans, have brought along success, yet have discovered such character has not satisfied wholeheartedly in other sectors of the club.

Another name with European flavour and experience linked to replace Mourinho is that of former France captain, Chelsea player and Juventus coach Didier Deschamps. The current Russia coach Guus Hiddink is another potentially linked to the role, but for me Deschamps can command the respect and impression left by Mourinho, he is that open with his players, and having led Juventus back into Serie A in one season he is far suited to take over at Stamford Bridge.

In the interim, the very person who Mourinho was apprehensive about when he came to Stamford Bridge, Avram Grant, is said to taking over supervising the players for the forthcoming fixtures. Timing of the news comes as Chelsea face an away trip to Old Trafford on Sunday. Ironically, Mourinho and the players attended a local cinema last night to view a DVD premiere on Chelsea's success under Mourinho, which was also to hail the expectations for the coming seasons.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am gutted, absolutely gutted and it has been coming what with the press reports and Mourinho not saying anything tot he press about Roman. Chelsea fan for 12 years, I mean we qualified for Europe before but now we are a force only for Jose to walk out? Mind boggles. I hope Avram Grant is any good because he can go for the jump if we dont pick up the pieces and get up where we should be. We are Chelsea FC.

9/20/2007 4:30 pm

Blogger SKG said...

I think Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd have one less title contender to worry about. The departure of Mourinho will result in the demise of Chelsea FC.

9/20/2007 6:51 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a joke. They kicked him out because he wouldnt have it with Abraham, fans shouldnt be protesting outside Stamford Bridge, they should be in Abraham's face with it but it shows how much glory fans Chelsea have when only 24,973 only turn up for a european match. All that glory, big talk, giving it all that and look at hm now.

Remember when he said about Rafa Benitez 'Three years without a Premiership title? I don’t think I would still be in a job'? Well Jose, me old codger, it's been three years, two titles and you're STILL out of a job! How you like that?!?!? Tough being at the top, isnt it, because when you fall it hurts!

No one wants the job because no one wants to have Abraham over them thats why Avram Grant is in place. Abraham can tell him what to do and get Shev and Ballack playing. Against Man U, I dont know. Utd are OK, but with Chelsea having a rocket up them, think Man U are in for shock slap.

Heard the latest? Mourinho is endorsing a new men's aftershave called You-Go Boss!!!! hahahaha

9/21/2007 5:06 pm

Blogger SKG said...

You-Go Boss! hahahahaha!

9/21/2007 9:02 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks Redsman for your write up of this massive story.

I can't believe what Chelsea have done and yet I can believe it.. if that makes sense!

Mourinho caught my ire on a number of occasions but one thing that I had to admire was his great ability to install a winning attitude and spirit in his Chelsea team. I've not seen someone who has exerted more motivational ability on his players than Mourinho- the Chelsea players talked and walked like they genuinely believed they were unbeatable.

To get rid of someone who has generated so much success is unbelievable in this sense.

But it is the manner in which he was achieveing it which makes me understand why he's gone.

Mourinho's bottom line was the win and it was clear from his media talks that he didn't seem to care much about the manner in which he achieved it. In this way I saw and classified him as a football pragmatist very much like Benitez at Liverpool, as opposed to Wenger or Ferguson who I class as football idealists where winning is important but the way they aim to achieve it is with attacking style, flair and excitement.

I'm sure RA wants a manager who has the latter philosophy. He wants to be entertained on top of playing winning football and he wants people to admire them in this way rather than as it was under Mourinho where the public were pretty much turned off by their grinding nature of winning football.

I doubted a few months ago on EFT if Mourinho was capable or desired to achieve the combination of winning and entertaining football... and after a sub-standard start to the season with drab football and results being achieved I can understand from RA's point of view why he has opted to get rid of Jose now.

For me the reason he has appointed Grant is because of his links with Israeli football. I have read about RA's links to that counry and the arrival of Grant follows that of Ben Sahar and Tal Ben Haim. Obviously he likes Grant and must see him as a person malleable to his ideas for how Chelsea should play.

The big question is how much Grant will be his own boss or how much he will simply aim to follow the wishes of RA. If he is simply to be a puppet I doubt that it is a recipe for success. The exisitng players at Chelsea may also be largely disenchanted and disillusioned if they believe that Grant is simply a Yes man... a contrast to their former manager who they admired so much.

Last season when there was talk of rifts between Jose and RA the senior Chelsea players like Lampard and Terry were really vocal about their support and love for Jose. With Jose gone I now feel Lampard, Carvalho and Drogba will look to leave in the summer... and pave the way for a new Chelsea team in the image of RA's ideas for his club.

It really is very interesting times at Chelsea and I can't help but feel that the Grant experiment will be a stop-gap one that will not be successful.

My last thought/prediction: Surely it will be Hiddink to arrive in the summer of 2008 with a transfer recruitment budget of £200 million.

9/21/2007 9:44 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Amusing, Anon (5.06PM), where are these jokes coming from so soon after the news breaks??

Concise comments from T. Hiddink could feel after the qualifier with England at Wembley that he may not after all be prominent enough to go to Euro2008 and could be pulled from Russia into Stamford Bridge. A certain new revolution indeed. The rumour is Chelsea will either be Leeds or Hearts. Leeds as in suffering poor attendance, poor form, players therefore being sold to recover monies but the club suffering financially nonetheless into administration. At least, that is my interpretation of such a rumour.

Hearts as in a foreign owner who aims to be dictatortive over the club, having the last say overall and bringing in compatriot professionals into the team. This one rumour I find hard to swallow. Some may say it has happened in the SPL with Hearts, so why not the Premier League with Chelsea. But if that were to be the case, certain players could look to leave which would practically tear apart what Mourinho, and let's not forget partially of Ranieri, built.

Many had said Arsenal would suffer with Henry gone, yet currently they seem to be experiencing nothing short of continuity, balance and cohesion, currently topping the league and a game in hand to boot. Therefore on that authority, the same cannot be easily believed about Chelsea and Mourinho. The difference is Arsene Wenger remains, as Henry was mainly a major cog in Wenger's machine. Whereas with Chelsea it could be said Mourinho maintained the maintenance, without which any mechanism could find itself susceptible to a breakdown at any time, no matter how good its parts are.

The analogy is you can replace a cog, albeit with more difficulty perhaps where a major part is concerned, but you cannot do without a certain level of maintenance that ensures the mechanism is in ship-shape form. Can Avram Grant continue that same level of maintenance, or is he simply another cog himself in Abramovich's mechansim?

A final point. It is therefore the current status quo that even if you achieve trophies, you must play entertaining football to attract numbers? Or does the attendance depend not on your players, but on your manager? Do you decide between several moments of success amongst bog standard football or limited challenges yet entertaining scintillating football?

I can tell you now, if someone offered me league titles, European Cups, FA and League Cups but added my team would play some mediocre standard football along the way to such achievements, I would initially bite their hand off. But something within me will want eventually to have my team playing the entertaining scintillating football. One way or another, I would wager most fans would rather the achievements and not give much towards how they are achieved. The record books record the achievements, memories record the rest.

But there is little argument to winning. Bottom line. People talk of playing lowly yet grinding out a positive result. In that respect the result counts and I think it is the same throughout football. Results count, victories achieved, no matter how. What has brought Mourinho's departure was his relationship with Abramovich. Little to do with anything else. Were Chelsea to go from here under Mourinho and win the Champions League and the title, with a FA Cup thrown in, what difference would it make that under 25,000 turned up one European night?

Mourinho was pushed because he would not conform, he was his own person. And not Abramovich's.


9/22/2007 1:01 am

Blogger T said...

Resdman, if it ends up being the case that RA now will has a significant inflence on who is bought and played surely that is a really bad step for Chelsea FC?

I would hate to have have a Russian oligarch effectively picking my team at Arsenal.

9/22/2007 9:14 am

Blogger Skippy said...

Very insightful views everyone. I think Chelsea have made a huge blunder, how can they get rid of guy who has had so much success in such a short space of time. With the exception of Ballack and Sheva (they are useless anyway, both don’t have the legs anymore), you can tell how much the rest really played for Jose.

I think this is great news for Liverpool, Arsenal and United. Chelsea will struggle for rest of the season.
I think the self proclaimed “special one” will be back to manage a top club in England. I predict that he will manage United one day.

9/22/2007 11:43 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would hate to have have a Russian oligarch effectively picking my team at Arsenal"

Considering the current news around The Emirates, you're hoping those are not your famous last words, T??

9/22/2007 6:10 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm liking it here. Why have the Chelski fans all gone quiet? You couldnt hear anything for the noise they made with their bragging and showing off about being champions but now it's all gone silent at the bridge. Abraham upset you all, has he? Shame. Just when you all thought you were invincible, like your manager (who is now, erm, not your manager), your blue little bubble has bursted. Shame. I for one think Chelski will crumble and fight out draws because team spirit will break down. Funny how Terry hasnt come out and said anything about the same man he loved so much. Great loyalty, seems like another 17,000 other Chelski-lites think the same why they didnt turn up! All the glory hunters are gone elsewhere for the in-team. Shame.

Here's another for you:
Stamford Bridge has fallen down, fallen down, fallen down,
Stamford Bridge has fallen down,
No more Chelski!!!

Heard Mourinho will sign up with Spurs after Levy made three offers for him...he wants a break from football!! hahahahahaha!!

What's the difference between FIFA 07 and Abramovich?

One is responsible for bringing excellent football into your homes, the other is Russian!

Terry and Lampard walked into the bar after the game. Bartender says "I thought you would be in your black kit today." Terry says "We played at home in our blue kit." Bartender says "Oh, I heard you were all in Mour-ning!"

Thank you.

9/22/2007 6:34 pm

Blogger T said...

Chech out this link for a compelling chronology of what is said to have happened behind the media glare at Chelsea this week.,,2175208,00.html

Anon 6.10pm - definitely hope they are not famous last words!

9/23/2007 3:20 pm

Blogger SKG said...

thanks t for the link. it really is a damning insight on what probably took place.

i think today's defeat at man utd is the start of chelsea's demise. it looks like wenger v ferguson once again for the title!

9/23/2007 10:10 pm


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