But ever since Chelsea was bought over by Roman Abramovich, its managers have been under increased pressure to perform. Claudio Ranieri learnt that coming in second in the league - the best results before Mourinho arrived - was still not good enough. Now we've learnt that 5 trophies in 3 years is still not good enough, because Chelsea is not playing 'exciting' enough football or fielding Abramovich's favourite players, even if they were underperforming.
Of course, Abramovich is one of the richest men in the world, and I am just a puny little public servant. All his critics combined may not be as astute as he is in business, or as wealthy. But look at it another way - Abramovich is not a football player or a coach. He should stick to what he does best and leave the managing to his coach. Similarly, good CEOs do not micromanage. My CEO knows what I'm doing but doesn't tell me what colour my websites should be, or how I should blog.
The decisions made at Chelsea so far seem to imply that you can be the best at your job and still lose it - if you displease the ultimate boss. That is not very reassuring. A football manager in one of the top clubs of the world is already under a tremendous amount of pressure. He should not have to worry about more things like a meddlesome owner who undermines his better judgment. Look at the more successful clubs over the last couple of decades. Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson have been around for a long time. They have experienced lulls in the last few seasons due to a rising Chelsea, but they have longer-term strategies that will ultimately strengthen their clubs. Liverpool's Rafael Benitez looks like he's settling down fine, with a Champion's League title tucked under his belt.
Another disturbing thing is how Chelsea captain John Terry himself may have been responsible for ousting Mourinho. Things are unclear, but whatever happened, Mourinho has left behind a legacy and a hard act to follow.
Now all Chelsea has is a second-rate coach with limited Champions League experience and even less fashion sense. Meanwhile, Man United are a goal up thanks to Carlos Tevez, against a 10-man Chelsea team. Things are not looking good for Chelsea. Abramovich and his entourage are watching. Maybe the Russian is thinking of new tactics for Grant to 'parrot' to the team. Woe to them.
[Update: A Louis Saha penalty makes it 2-0. Chelsea had better start looking for a new coach soon.]
[Update 2: John Terry is furious at the allegations that he played a major role in Mourinho's ousting. ]