Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for Chelsea and boss Jose Mourinho this season. The Blues suffered a 2-1 defeat at London rivals West Ham on Saturday as their campaign slumped from bad to worse.
The first half dismissal of Serbian defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic just added to the reigning champions woes. Chelsea’s implosion this season is hard to explain.
The Blues have roughly the same group of players as last season, but are struggling to find any sort of form.
It is now clear to any observers of Chelsea this season that the Blues problems are psychological. They seem to have hit some sort of mental barrier that they cannot overcome.
Confidence is a funny thing. Last season the Blues went into every game with the expectancy that they would claim a win. This season it seems they are doing the exact opposite and the players are truly struggling to lift their confidence off the floor.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho is regarded as somebody who puts great stock in the psychological. Even Mourinho would have trouble trying to put a positive spin on his team’s recent displays though.
Love him or loathe him, Jose Mourinho is an iconic football manager. The Portuguese boss will go down in the history of football as one of the best managers of all-time, regardless of what happens in the rest of his career.
He has won trophies at every club he has managed. Despite claims he has bought success during his spells at Chelsea, he did not spend big at Porto and won the Champions League with the club from his homeland.
There is no disputing the resources available to him at both Chelsea and Real Madrid, but he has proven throughout his career that he is a master tactician, even if his tactics often come in for criticism.
At the moment though, as good a manager as Mourinho is his position as Chelsea boss has come under question. For any club the team’s performance this season would have been disappointing, but for the reigning champions it’s unacceptable.
The accusation that Mourinho has lost the dressing room seemed rather false when the Blues were down to ten men against West Ham, as the whole team fought to take something from the game.
Unfortunately for Mourinho and Chelsea, Andy Carroll’s late goal was enough to condemn the Blues to their fifth Premier League defeat of the campaign. The champions have suffered two more league defeats this season than they did in the whole of last season.
One players performance this season has summed-up Chelsea’s campaign this season, that player is the aforementioned Matic.
Last season he was being cited as the perfect defensive midfielder and one of the Blues key players. He was a leader in the team, leading by example on the pitch.
This season he has looked more like a liability than a leader. The Serb has looked a shadow of the player who could snuff out opposition attacks and protect that Blues backline.
Matic is woefully out-of-form and was even been dropped by Mourinho earlier this season in an attempt to shake him into life. However, it did not work and his struggles continue. Those struggles were encapsulated in that defeat against West Ham.
The team’s current run of form has raised questions about Jose Mourinho’s second stint as Chelsea boss. His relationship with the Blues owner Roman Abramovich finished on a sour note last time he left Chelsea.
His second spell seems to have repaired some of those differences between the pair, but it does not mean he is immune to the sack. The team still possesses quality within it, but at the moment it is just not shining.
A boss the quality of Mourinho would be expected to turn things around, especially with the ability of the players in his squad. The answer to their poor campaign has eluded the Portuguese boss.
Newspaper reports suggest that Chelsea’s Russian owner is becoming increasingly impatient with the Blues form this season and that he could be ready to replace Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho is still a highly-rated boss and the question for everybody connected with Chelsea would be who could replace the controversial Portuguese boss?
Former-Chelsea bosses Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti have been talked about as short-term options, with Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola once again being linked with a move to the Premier League.
There are not many bosses that have Mourinho’s record of winning trophies, but Guardiola is one of them. The Spaniard has stated that he wants to manage in the Premier League at some point in his managerial career. No doubt he would be a stellar replacement for the current incumbent at Stamford Bridge.
Jose Mourinho will always be loved by the majority of Chelsea fans for the silverware and success he has brought to the club, but it seems that his lack of solutions to the Blues current poor run of form could mean the end is nigh for Mourinho at Stamford Bridge for a second time.
Is the end nigh for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea?