Where did it all go wrong?


December 18, 2015
AP Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League football match against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, on Monday, Dececember. Leicester won the match 2-1

Chelsea won the English Premier League title last season by eight points and with three games to spare. It was hard to find a weakness in the team, and there was talk of JosE Mourinho building a dynasty at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was fired yesterday with Chelsea just one point above the relegation zone after losing nine of its 16 league games this season. How did it fall apart so quickly?

After two and a half years at Porto, three years and three months in his first spell at Chelsea, two years at Inter Milan and three years at Real Madrid, Mourinho came back to Stamford Bridge in June 2013 declaring himself "The Happy One" and saying he was ready to start a long reign in his second spell at Chelsea.

Maybe the intensity in his coaching methods fizzled out. Maybe his abrasive, provocative style that can initially get the best out of players gets tiresome in the end.

Mourinho acknowledged in a tirade against players after the loss to Leicester on Monday that his team played at a level "more than they really are" in cruising to the league title last season. There's a saying in football that you should build from a position of strength. Chelsea didn't.

The club was rebuffed three times by Everton in its pursuit of centre back John Stones, despite the player handing in a transfer request.

Chelsea was also interested in France midfielder Paul Pogba, but he stayed at Juventus. Then goalkeeper Petr Cech, a leader and key squad member in Mourinho's eyes, was sold against the manager's will to Arsenal.

In the end, Mourinho brought in injury-plagued striker Radamel Falcao, backup defenders Papy Djilobodji and Baba Rahman, back-up goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and winger Pedro Rodriguez from Barcelona.

Only Begovic can be said to have been a success.

Mourinho caused a stir by criticising the actions of two members of his medical staff, Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn, when they treated an apparently injured Eden Hazard late in Chelsea's opening game of the season a 2-2 draw against Swansea.

Other Sports Stories