Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet feels Jose Mourinho is still the man to lead the reigning Premier League champions after their nightmare season took another turn for the worse at Leicester City.
Surprise package Leicester, tipped by many to be in the relegation mire before the season began, claimed a 2-1 win over Mourinho’s team to return to the top of the table thanks to goals from star men Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
Remarkably, Chelsea are the side looking over their shoulder – perched a single point above the bottom three ahead of the busy festive fixture schedule.
Mourinho accused the Chelsea players of “betraying his work” in a stark post-match television interview and former Sunderland boss Poyet believes a collective failure is the cause of the ongoing slump at Stamford Bridge.
“It is easy to blame the manager and I think that is what is happening, unfortunately,” he told Omnisport.
“But these same players, last year they were top and they won the league. It cannot be that different. I don’t think they are training different or picking different players and a different system.
“I like to assume responsibilities and the whole club, the staff and the team, need to accept it together. It would be very easy if it was one, very easy to make a decision.
“I don’t think there is only one person responsible. Everybody needs to share a big responsibility.
“It is a whole. Individual players not performing; the team not performing; key players who were magnificent last year not performing.
“If you put all that together you don’t win. You have to be very special to win.”
Mourinho’s public proclamations have rarely eased Chelsea’s problems this season but Poyet feels a manager with such a phenomenal track record of success has earned the right to try and turn the club’s fortunes around.
“He has proved it,” he said. “Anybody can say that someone is good or not, but when you have been in so many leagues in Europe and you have won the league it shows that you are one of the best.
“It is just a matter of understanding his passion and dealing with some situations. Some people say he needs to be different [but] that is why he is so special because he is who he is.
“Yes, he is still the man to be in charge of Chelsea.”