The Players Let Mourinho Down, According To Cesc Fabregas

Spanish international Cesc Fabregas has said that the Chelsea players are to blame for Jose Mourinho’s exit from the club in December.

Mourinho was in his second spell at the club, having previously managed the Blues from 2004-2007. During his first three years in charge the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ led the club to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup victory, two League Cup wins and a Community Shield trophy. In the second season of his second time in charge at Stamford Bridge he led Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double.

Things did not carry on as they had left off for the 53-year-old, however, with the club enduring their worst spell to a top-flight campaign since the 1960s this season. It led the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, to sack Mourinho for a second time in December last year. Guys Hiddink came in to replace the Portuguese on an interim basis, with Antonio Conte confirmed as Chelsea’s next full-time head coach earlier this year.

Though the Blues are now tenth in the Premier League they were just one point above the relegation zone when Mourinho was sacked and Fabregas felt as though the players ‘let him down’. Speaking to Monday Night Football on Sky Sports, the 28-year-old said, “I have huge respect for him. The biggest problem was he trusted us too much, gave us more holiday because we were champions and we let him down. That was the main reason he had to go – and for that, myself and the team feel bad”.

It is a sentiment the Chelsea fans are largely in agreement with, with numerous supporters taking the opportunity of the club’s first game without Mourinho to let players like Diego Costa and Eden Hazard know what they thought about them. Some fans booed the players and held up banners and signs saying they let Mourinho and the club down.

Hiddink won the FA Cup when he came in as Chelsea manager on an interim basis in 2009, replacing the sacked Luis Felipe Scolari, but he saw his side knocked out of the same competition at the quarter-final stage by Everton in March. It means that Chelsea have nothing to play for in the remaining weeks of the season for the first time since 2008.