Jose Mourinho would have turned Chelsea’s fortunes around had he been given more time, according to West Ham boss Slaven Bilic.
Bilic – like many of his Premier League counterparts – has been left surprised at Chelsea’s decision to part company on Thursday with Mourinho, despite the Premier League champions finding themselves one point above the relegation zone after 16 games.
Borussia Dortmund’s woes last season – when they were bottom of the Bundesliga in February before finishing seventh – were cited by Bilic as an example of big clubs experiencing an unexpected slump.
“I do believe he would have turned it,” said the Croatian at his pre-match media conference on Friday ahead of his side’s weekend clash with Swansea City, who are also searching for a new manager after sacking Garry Monk.
“It’s not the only time this happened to a big club. It happened to Dortmund last season.
“I can only say about Mourinho that I’m definitely surprised. It was the subject of rumours for the last couple of months but I’m still surprised.
“When you are the best in the business you have many people who would like you to fail.
“It’s a big loss for the league and the Premier League is going to miss him.”
Mourinho is the fifth managerial casualty of the Premier League season, with Dick Advocaat, Brendan Rodgers, Tim Sherwood and Monk leaving Sunderland, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Swansea respectively.
Bilic said: “There are more clubs or teams sacking their managers when situations like this occur, than those who stick with their managers.
“Ten years ago you were laughing at Italian clubs sacking their managers every year and now it’s happening in the Premier League.
“Mourinho going shows nobody is safe. You have to enjoy your job, do your best and work hard for the club you are in.”