Jose Mourinho used the aftermath of Chelsea’s game against Southampton to issue a stark warning to Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea board, telling them they’ll need to sack him if they want him out of the club.
The defending Premier League champions lost 3-1 in their match against the Saints at Stamford Bridge, leaving the club 16th in the league with eight points after eight games. It is Chelsea’s worst start to a top flight campaign since the 1978 – 1979 season, a time when a win earned two points rather than three.
Mourinho said, “I want to make it clear. One, I don’t run away. Two, if the club want to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away from my responsibilities or my team. To be champions now is very difficult because the distance is considerable. But I am more than convinced that we will finish in the top four, and when the season is so bad if you finish in the top four it is OK. Third – and I think this is even more important than the first and the second – it is a crucial moment in the history of this club. You know why? Because if they sack me they sack the best manager this club had”.
Whether managers like Carlo Ancelotti or Guus Hiidink would consider Mourinho to be the best manager that the club has had is up for debate, but there can be no question that Mourinho is feeling the pressure in the Stamford Bridge dugout. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ is known to divert attention away from his under-performing team by creating headlines elsewhere and this weekend is no exception. The Portuguese manager was critical of the match referee, Robert Madley, in his post match press conference.
Radamel Falcao went over in the box when challenged by Southampton’s ‘keeper Martin Stekelenburg but the referee waved away their protests. Mourinho said, “He was afraid to give it like everyone else is afraid to give it.
Why? Because there is always a question mark from you and always a critic so we are always punished. The penalty in this game is more than crucial because my team, at the moment, the first negative thing that happens… they collapse. After that the team lost even more confidence. Mentally, psychologically, the team is unbelievably down. If the Football Association wants to punish me they can. They don’t punish other managers”.
When Southampton’s manager, Ronald Koeman, was asked whether he agreed with Jose Mourinho’s comment that the result may have been different had the referee awarded a penalty he pointed out that Southampton had two of their own spot kick shouts turned down. He said, “Maybe so. It would have been 5-2 then, even worse for them. Maybe, if they had [claims for] one penalty we had [claims for] two penalties, that’s a decision for the referee to make”.
So far this season only Sunderland, who sit 19th in the league, have conceded more than Chelsea’s 17 goals. Mourinho said that their current is self-perpetuating and that he isn’t the only one who needs to take some responsibility for the club’s failings. Mourinho: “I assume my responsibilities. The players should assume their responsibilities. There are other people in the club that should also assume their responsibilities and to stick together. This is what I want. You know I have a big self-esteem and a big ego. I consider myself the best, having the worst period and worst results of my career. Doing that as a professional hurts me a lot and doing that at Chelsea hurts me twice. I want to carry on, no doubt. Sadness brings sadness and bad results attracts bad results”.