It has emerged that Chelsea Football Club are considering different managerial options to replace Jose Mourinho, should the current manager fail to turn things around at Stamford Bridge in the coming weeks.
Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich, led talks with his board of directors today in the wake of the club’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City at The King Power Stadium at the weekend. The loss was the club’s ninth in their opening sixteen games. The defending Premier League champions currently sit just a point above the relegation zone and have only won two of their last ten games.
Despite losing just one of his opening 99 league games at Stamford Bridge as manager, the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has overseen four losses at home in the club’s last eight matches there.
As things currently stand there is a lack of clarity regarding whether or not Mourinho will remain in charge for Chelsea’s match against Sunderland at the weekend or if the club plan to replace him before the game kicks off.
The Chelsea board gave Mourinho their backing in October, but league results have not improved since and the Blues’ manager appears to be blaming anyone but himself for their poor results. After the match against the league leaders Leicester, Mourinho said, “I did an amazing job last season and brought the players to a level that is not their level and now they can’t maintain it”.
With Mourinho having returned the title to Stamford Bridge last May and having signed a new four year contract in August, Roman Abramovich is keen to stick with his man. Chelsea’s disastrous league form, which has seen them take a mere 15 points from 16 games, has given the Russian cause to re-think his strategy.
Chelsea are 20 points behind Leicester City after their loss to them at the weekend and they are currently 14 points shy of the Champion’s League places. They are through to the last 16 phase of this season’s Champion’s League competition but are unlikely to feature in it next year unless they win it outright.
Mourinho has a proven record of success as a manager, and offering him the chance to turn things around is seemingly what is delaying Abramovich’s decision over his future. The January transfer window opens soon and, with the Portuguese manager having spent more money than any other manager in the history of football, the chance to bring in some new faces and shift on some of the perceived deadwood could offer the 52 year old the opportunity to get the club’s season back on track.
Another reason Chelsea’s board are reluctant to make any rash decisions regarding the manager’s position is that there is a lack of a quality successor in the managerial market. Carlo Ancelotti is currently unemployed but has already been sacked by Chelsea and is reportedly being lined up by Bayern Munich to take over from Pep Guardiola, should the Spaniard decide to take over from Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City in the summer.
Diego Simeone is another manager that Abramovich is keen on, but it is believed that he wants to stay at Atletico Madrid for at least one more season. That means that Guus Hiddink, one of the few managers to leave Chelsea without being sacked by the board, could return.
The Times are reporting that Juande Ramos is being considered as a potential caretaker manager, should the club choose to remove Mourinho from his position. The Spaniard would be keen to return to the Premier League, having previously won silverware with Tottenham Hotspur, and he is out of work after leaving the Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk last year.
Although Chelsea’s Russian owner would like to see Mourinho turn things around at the club there is a fear that he has alienated too many players and some of his relationships are now irreparable. The result of the match against Sunderland at the weekend could prove to be the deciding moment for Abramovich and his board.