Jose Mourinho recently signed a new four-year contract with Chelsea, but what is the likelihood of him staying until 2019? Jon Wilde thinks the writing could already be on the wall for the ‘Special One’…
Two years ago, he was the ‘Happy One’. But since the 2015-16 season began on August 8, there has not been much for Jose Mourinho to smile about.
The day before the new campaign began, the Chelsea manager signed a new four-year contract. Everything in the garden seemed rosy.
Okay, the team had not won any of their warm-up games in 90 minutes and lost the FA Community Shield to Arsenal, but preparations had been slightly rushed due to a later start back from the summer break as the players revelled in being champions.
But by the end of the first league match on August 8, the first cracks were beginning to appear as the Eva Carneiro incident dominated the headlines for the next week, and what was expected to be a routine Stamford Bridge win against Swansea City ended in a 2-2 draw with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off.
Fast forward to the first international break and Chelsea sit 13th in the table with four points, already eight behind Manchester City who have established themselves as red-hot favourites for the title with a 100% record.
Chelsea lost 3-0 away to City where John Terry was substituted at half-time and although the captain started the next game at West Brom, he was sent off as the team collected their only victory of the campaign so far.
Then came the shock 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace and a pretty underwhelming end to the transfer window, with a series of failed bids for Everton defender John Stones resulting in the signings of two much cheaper alternatives – Papy Djilobodji of Nantes and Michael Hector of Reading, who was immediately loaned back.
All in all, with a number of star players falling way below the standard they set themselves last season, Chelsea does not appear a happy camp and Mourinho seems no longer the ‘Happy One’.
Sound familiar? Turn the clock back eight years. It was after a 1-1 home draw with Rosenborg in the Champions League group-stage opener on September 18 2007 that Mourinho’s first Chelsea stint ended after a fall-out with owner Roman Abramovich.
The Portuguese coach had lasted three-and-a-bit seasons at the helm and to this day, it remains his longest tenure as manager of any club.
He did three years at Real Madrid, leaving in 2013 to rejoin Chelsea just 12 months after extending his contract until 2016.
If history is an accurate guide, Mourinho will be gone again by next September at the latest. Yes, he talks about Chelsea as being his spiritual home, saying “I am one of you” to the fans, but can he really be taken at his word that he plans to be there for the long haul?
There is simply too much melodrama, too many controversies that get in the way and lead to inevitable breakdowns of relationships with those that can influence his position at a football club.
Also added into the mix is the worrying health of Mourinho’s father, Jose Snr, and that situation back home in Portugal cannot be helping matters.
Essentially, there are signs that the empire is crumbling once more. There is plenty of time to shore it up and rebuild, of course, with the season having only just started. Perhaps come May there will be another couple of trophies in the Stamford Bridge cabinet.
At the moment, however, it’s bearing all too much resemblance to the way in which the ‘Special One’ left Chelsea the last time.