After another dismal week for Jose Mourinho, is it time for the Chelsea boss to be given the boot by Roman Abramovich or can he turn things around at Stamford Bridge?
Mourinho is under increasing pressure and it may well be the case that his time is up, despite claims that he is the best manager the club has ever had after the 2-1 defeat to West Ham on Saturday.
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STUART APPLEBY, Sport360 Reporter – YES
Chelsea’s defence of their Premier League crown has been simply disastrous. Jose Mourinho’s mind must be scrambled. He isn’t used to losing football matches and when he watched his team go down at West Ham, their fifth Premier League defeat of the season, the Portuguese was left speechless, literally.
‘The Special One’ refused to conduct his post-match media responsibilities and it wasn’t just his side’s terrible run he didn’t want to discuss, it was yet another disciplinary issue. Mourinho could face further FA punishment after being sent to the Upton Park stands for questioning Nemanja Matic’s red card and Cesc Fabregas’s ruled out offside strike.
This, just weeks on from comments he made about referee Robert Madley in the defeat to Southampton which cost him a hefty fine. Mourinho has not covered up his obvious frustrations over missed transfer targets, refereeing decisions and out-of-form stars. At the moment, it seems like he is fighting his corner alone.
A win and a morale-boosting performance is what they need and Mourinho is the man to get it out of his players – Stuart Appleby, Reporter
While that is not necessarily the situation you want to be in as a manager, I think we are about to see a different side to the man who has become accustomed to winning trophies. Despite past successes, Mourinho’s reputation is on the line if Chelsea do not start winning.
It was talked about last season that the 52-year-old was at Stamford Bridge to build for the long-term, and now suddenly those plans are in jeopardy with talk of the sack. We are led to believe Mourinho would not want to be at any other football club and I expect him to come through this patch of adversity.
He has been labelled the game’s best man-manager by many greats and it is now that his skills will be seriously tested.
I don’t think he has lost the dressing room, rather more a sense that the whole team has lost that winning feeling. Mourinho will be tinkering with personnel and tactics at the club’s training base every day, searching for the right formula. A win and a morale-boosting performance is what they need and Mourinho is the man to get it out of his players. Chelsea fans must trust their manager. This is a battle he will not walk away from in a hurry and one that can still taste sweet come the end of the season.
ALEX REA, Sport360 Reporter – NO
Sometimes a picture can say what words cannot. Which is just as well given Jose Mourinho went from the Special One to the Silent One after yet another damaging defeat. Both his and Chelsea’s season can be best summed up by one photo. Sent to the stands and surrounded by a legion of elated West Ham fans, the juxtaposition was comical. Despondent, defeated and drained, the vulnerability smeared across the face of Mourinho, revealed a man who perhaps realises the end is near.
The loss at West Ham capped off what has been a miserable start to the season for the champions and the stats make for grim reading. The Portuguese has lost six of his last 12 Premier League games in charge. Prior to this run he lost six of his previous 64 in the league.
It’s a catastrophic collapse and one the 52-year-old will struggle to recover from. Though the club’s top stars still trot out and voice their support for the maligned manager, if they continue to lose and lose badly, Roman Abramovich’s patience will run out.
His abrasive style has seen him start fights that do not need to be fought and make enemies with those who should be allies – Alex Rea, Reporter
Mourinho survived one boardroom meeting with a vote of confidence three weeks ago, but it was clear there was deep unhappiness with the manner in which the team have defended their league crown. Now they are 15th.
Problems are mounting both on and off the pitch and we’ve been here before with Mourinho.
It’s a classic script and we all know the ending. His maximum life-span in any given spell in charge of a team is three years. That’s based upon past events in which his abrasive style of management has seen him start fights that do not need to be fought and make enemies with those who should be allies.
Chelsea are sinking in the league and floundering in Europe. They have no style, no discipline and now, no excuses.
A disastrous 10-minute spell in the first-half on Saturday saw them lose all mental control and that collapse equally engulfed Mourinho and his coaching staff. It illustrated the desperation in seeing yet another poor result for what is now a consistently belowpar side. Chelsea are in crisis and Mourinho’s short temper is hardly the soothing balm to ease those ailments.
Returning Al Jazira boss Abel Braga will not press the panic button despite a shaky start to the season.
The Pride of Abu Dhabi made it just two wins from eight games in all competitions last night following a hectic 2-2 draw against Bani Yas. The visitors were guilty of both sloppy finishing and slack defending and wilted under a second-half onslaught when 2-0 ahead.
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A forward line containing Peru’s Jefferson Farfan, UAE hot shot Ali Mabkhout and last term’s Arabian Gulf League top-scorer Mirko Vucinic was tipped to ensure a glorious comeback for Braga, but he highlighted wastefulness in front of goal when dissecting the manic Arabian Gulf League-contest.
“It is still early in the season and these results haven’t dented our ambitions of staying positive about our league aspirations,” said the Brazilian, who previously bossed Jazira from 2008-11.
“This was not a game we deserved to lose because we had three straight chances to score from our forwards, and we missed all of them.”
Last term’s second-placed finishers have now gone more than a month without tasting victory.
Despite boasting fearsome firepower, 63-year-old Braga chose to remove Vucinic, Mabkhout and €11 million (Dh45m) Brazil playmaker Thiago Neves in the last quarter.
Defending his decisions, he said: “We tried something different when things were not going well for us. We brought some fresh legs in attack to push for the winner but still we couldn’t score.”
Opposite number Luis Garcia was in a much more positive mood, boosted no doubt by Ishak Belfodil and Joaquin Larrivey’s strikes.
A dramatic improvement in the Spaniard’s second term looks likely after he could only attain eighth spot in 2014-15.
He said: “I think we were a bit unlucky not to score at least one goal in the first half, but my players more than made up for that in the second half.
“It was a good entertaining match for the fans. I thought the game will end up 4-4 because both teams created many chances throughout the game – I’m satisfied with a point with Jazira.”
Jazira head to champions Al Ain on Friday, with Bani Yas travelling to strugglers Al Dhafra on Saturday.
Former Manchester United star Viv Anderson believes a derby day victory over Manchester City could spark the Red Devils into their best form of the campaign and the ex-England defender has also backed Wayne Rooney to prove his doubters wrong.
The former Nottingham Forest and Arsenal cente-back spoke exclusively to Sport360 during the Dubai Duty Free Football Legends tournament.
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