Chelsea’s stand-in goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has gone public with his support of under-fire manager Jose Mourinho in the wake of the London club’s loss to Stoke City in the Premier League, and suggested that the rest of the squad are on his side, too.
The defending Premier League champions are 16th in the top flight division after suffering their third straight defeat in the league. They have lost seven times in their first twelve matches and endured their worst start since 1978-1979 when a win was only worth two points.
Jose Mourinho has been under pressure since the first match of the season when the Blues failed to get a win against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge, with the manager criticising his medical staff for running on to the pitch to treat Eden Hazard towards the end of the match. That resulted in the decision from the club doctor, Eva Carneiro, to leave her position and Jose Mourinho is now the subject of an individual lawsuit on the back of comments he made at the time.
Mourinho was absent from the ground on Saturday after receiving a £40,000 fine and a one-match stadium ban for his behaviour during his side’s loss to West Ham earlier in the season. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ confronted the match referee, Jonathan Moss, at half-time and was invited into the referee’s dressing room to discuss his grievances. After Moss had answered his questions he asked the Chelsea manager to leave, but he refused to do so on two separate occasions. Eventually Moss had to request the help of West Ham’s head of security to get Mourinho out of the room, with the 52 year old shouting a tirade of abuse at the referee as he was leaving.
Begovic is confident that the Portuguese manager can turn things around, however, saying, “We are behind the manager – you can see that from our performances. We think he is the right man and someone we work hard for. His spirit and his presence is always there. We wanted to get a result for him”.
The club that won the Premier League at a canter last season are just three points above the relegation zone, though, after a torrid start to their latest campaign. They had scored an impressive 30 goals after their first 12 games last season, though they’ve only managed 16 goals this time around. Former England attacker Alan Shearer believes it is this lack of goals that is causing the Blues such problems. Speaking on the BBC’s Match of The Day he said, “Stoke were brilliant but a massive problem for Chelsea is scoring goals. There were not enough questions being asked of the Stoke back four and they were very, very comfortable. There was not enough running from Chelsea – people were going towards the ball rather than in behind. It was far too easy for Stoke to defend. That all changed when Loic Remy came on but before that it was just too easy for Stoke to defend against”.
With an easier set of fixtures coming up after the international break Mourinho will be confident that he can revive his club’s ailing fortunes, and the backing of his players will likely appease his concerns after reports emerged last week that there was a group of Chelsea players conspiring against their manager.