Former Chelsea captain Paul Elliott said he is not surprised by Jose Mourinho’s axing on Thursday.
Mourinho, the club’s most decorated manager, left the club my mutual consent after a horrific start to the season, which has seen Chelsea lose nine of 16 Premier League games.
Elliott, who played at Stamford Bridge from 1991-94, said the club had given Mourinho plenty of time to reverse the damage done.
“Deep down I wasn’t surprised. I think the last defeat at Leicester, not just the defeat, but the manner of the defeat, I think it said a lot,” Elliott told Omnisport.
“That said, the owner, the board, they’ve been extremely patient. There was always a positive intention, I think the modus operandi has always been continuity and stability equals success.
“On the back of Jose’s wonderful distinguished service to the club, they backed him to the hilt.”
Elliott said results ultimately cost the Portuguese manager his job.
“Nine losses in 15-16 games, a club of such magnitude, credibility, standing, global standing, it’s unacceptable,” Eliott said.
“And in the end like all managers, it’s about results. They’re in the results business. So it was regrettable and I think a lot of Chelsea fans will be saddened.
“I think the players need a lift. There’s obviously been reported challenges inside the dressing room.
“And I think Mourinho to his credit has been a wonderful manager. He’s one of the best managers globally in the game. And I think he’s going to come back better.”
Elliott believes Chelsea will look to make a short-term appointment, with Guus Hiddink tipped to return to the club on an interim basis, before hiring a manager with a long-term view, such as Diego Simeone.
“I think they saw in Jose that continuity, that stability. There was a stable, sustainable model in place, but that’s dictated by results and success. And ultimately that wasn’t forthcoming at the level that’s expected of a club of Chelsea’s magnitude,” Elliott said.
“So yes there’s going to be a short-term [manager], someone like Hiddink who can come in and stabilise the club, got a lot of credibility, knows the game. And then there’ll be a long term individual.
“Many people have spoken about [Diego] Simeone, and others, who are strong, they’ve achieved a lot, got a hunger, great potential.”
Despite the turmoil at Chelsea, Elliott said the season was not a write-off just yet.
“There’s a lot of football left, there’s a lot of games and if you look, there’s a wonderful subjectivity about the Premier League this year,” Elliott said.
“If you look at the top four or five, they’re all beatable.”
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