On managing and Mourinho

I’m not a Chelsea fan, as regular readers may know. However, I did respect Jose Mourinho as a coach, even though he stepped on many toes. It is a shame that he is no longer the Chelsea manager.
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. ]


  1. Kenny

    I find it hard to believe Terry had a role in this, but then anything is possible in football.
    Chelsea don’t need a new coach, they need a new owner! Just as rich but less meddlesome.

  2. dionne

    Never thought i’d say this, but i’ll miss the “special one”. Who else will incite such gossip and fury over his “innocent and naive” comments in liverpool fans? With Mourinho, i found another team apart from Man U & Arsenal to hate… sigh. It is all about egos & money, apparently Abramovich was unhappy on the turn out of fans during certain matches: less turn out = less tickets sold = less merchandise sold = less money.

  3. BL

    As a Chelsea fan, I woke that morning with a friend sending me a sms that Mourinho has quitted Chelsea. That came as a shock and not to mention that I have to go and see a doctor on that day. I have to say that my support to Chelsea came from Jose Mourinho with his style of management and confidence in taking Chelsea to break the duopolies of Arsenal and Chelsea. It feels like losing a friend and I am sure that a lot of Chelsea fans share my sentiments.
    Believe it or not, when I was watching the Man-U and Chelsea game, for the first time, I actually hope that Chelsea will lose. Anyway, I will follow the club where the Special One goes.
    Meanwhile, I am better off being an anti-Man U fan unless Mourinho takes over Man-U in a few years time (but unlikely). 🙂

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