Former Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko has called for “winner” Jose Mourinho to be given more time to turn results around at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho guided Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double last season and they were the favourites to retain their title going into this campaign.
However, it has been a season to forget for Chelsea thus far, with the champions in 15th place after losing six of their 11 league matches, while a penalty shootout defeat to Stoke City ended their defence of the League Cup.
There have been plenty of problems off the pitch as well, with reports of dressing room unrest, while Mourinho was given a one-match stadium ban and a £40,000 fine by the Football Association after admitting to a charge of misconduct following Chelsea’s defeat to West Ham.
Former managers Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti have both been linked with a return to the club in the event of the incumbent being dismissed, but Shevchenko – who played under Mourinho during the Portuguese’s first spell in charge of the club – is adamant the 52-year-old remains the right man for the job.
“Jose is a great manager,” Shevchenko told The Daily Mail. “Every manager I’ve worked with has a different strategy, but the most important thing is the result and he is the winner.
“He has a lot of experience. He knows what’s going on with the team and where it has to improve. Sometimes it takes a bit longer and sometimes you fix it immediately, but it doesn’t mean you cancel the past.
“In the last 10 years he has been one of the most successful managers in the world. His results prove this. He still is. I am sure he has the quality to find a way through this moment. He needs to win a few games, get a few results and Jose has a long future at this club.”
Shevchenko failed to hit the same heights in England as he did during a devastating spell in Italy with AC Milan, but the former Ukraine international insisted he never had a problem with Mourinho, despite some reports to the contrary.
“My relationship with him was always good. There was a lot of talk, but I never had a problem with anyone. I only ever had one problem at Chelsea and that was injury,” he added.
“I knew if I was 100 per cent I would always find a place in the team, and I wasn’t 100 per cent for two years. I had three operations and it was quite difficult. But the past is the past and now I am happy.”