Jose Mourinho used his pre-match press conference for this weekend’s game against Norwich City at Stamford Bridge to tell the world that Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, still trusts Mourinho to guide his team out of their current mess.
The defending Premier League champions find themselves just three points clear of the relegation places after back to back defeats against Liverpool and Stoke just before the international break. It means that they have lost seven of the first twelve games in the league, their worst start to a top flight campaign since 1978-1979 when a win was only worth two points.
Yet Jose Mourinho is confident that the club’s owner won’t be looking to change manager any time soon. He said, “Nobody gives a four-year contract to a manager if they don’t trust the person. Nobody gives new contracts to players, as we have in the last couple of months, if we don’t trust the players. There is trust and there are reasons for that trust. The power is with the board and they have shown to me and the players that they trust us. It’s time for us to give a positive answer. I think we are doing this but not in the results”.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has come under fire a number of times this season, owing to things that he’s said either on the pitch or off it. His comments about Chelsea’s former club doctor, Eva Carneiro, led her to resign from her position at the club and could yet lead to individual legal action against the Portuguese manager. He has also been handed a £40,000 fine and a one match suspended stadium ban for his comments about referees after his side’s home loss to Southampton, as well as given a one match stadium ban and a £50,000 fine for refusing to leave the referee’s changing room during the half-time interval in the match against West Ham at The Boleyn Ground.
He has been given the backing of the Chelsea board, though, with the club’s technical director, Michael Emenalo, adding to the official statement the board gave earlier in the season with an interview in the Daily Telegraph. He told the newspaper, “Right now, the statement from the owner and from the board comes from a belief that we are in a position to trust a group of players who have delivered in the last couple of seasons. We are in a position to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and therein lies our confidence that we can get out of the situation”.
Mourinho also told reporters that he doesn’t expect to make sweeping changes to his squad in January. He is boosted by the fact that Radamel Falcao is due to return from a muscle problem within a couple of weeks, whilst Thibaut Courtois – who has been missing for most of the season with a knee injury – is due back within a month or so.
The Chelsea boss said, “I am happy with my players. I trust the players. I don’t need to clean the dressing room – I heard that was written somewhere – and I don’t need to ask the club to spend money in January. We put ourselves in a great situation by being champions, we have to be again together to put it in the right place”.