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Hoddle surprised by Mourinho´s Chelsea exit

Former Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle admits he was surprised by his former club’s decision to sack Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho left Stamford Bridge last week after a dreadful defence of their Premier League title in the first half of the season left Chelsea narrowly above the relegation zone, with nine defeats from their first 16 games.

Hoddle considers Guus Hiddink a shrewd choice to take charge for the remainder of the campaign but concedes that getting rid of Mourinho came as a shock.

“Chelsea had to do what they had to do,” the ex-England boss told Omnisport. “I was surprised but now Hiddink comes in. He’s done it before for them over a short period of time and they’ll see that and he’ll probably enjoy doing that as well, so it’s probably a good fit.”

With Chelsea looking certain to have surrendered the title they won last season in such impressive style, Hoddle has tipped Arsenal as the current favourites to lift the trophy in what is proving to be a hugely unpredictable campaign.

“The inconsistency of the season is not just down to one manager. It’s an overall scenario,” Hoddle added.

“Whatever team plays consistently will win the league, and you’ve got to say at the moment Arsenal might be the favourites but that could change in a month’s time.”

Hoddle believes Leicester City’s place as league leaders and the rise of Crystal Palace and Watford to threaten the European spots may be welcome for the neutral, but he warned that it sends a concerning message about the overall quality of England’s top flight.

“I don’t think the quality of the Premier League has been anywhere [near] the same as it has been in the last four or five years but I think there’s excitement of Leicester being up there, and [Crystal] Palace, and Tottenham being in the top four,” continued the former Tottenham midfielder.

“I think the top clubs haven’t performed anywhere near like they should and could do. I think that’s given everyone more of a chance and it’s given it an even keel, but it’s making it for a very exciting brand of football.

“It’s making very exciting fixtures. You look at fixtures and sometimes in years gone by you’d think Leicester versus Manchester City over Christmas, that was, you know, a bottom team.

“Now there’s an interest. Crystal Palace, wherever they are going to play over Christmas, there’s going to be an interest. People will say ‘can they keep their run going?’ because they’ve had good results and I think that’s a good thing for football.”

Wed 23 Dec, 2015
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