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Jose Mourinho sacked by Chelsea: 'Palpable discord' with players led to departure

Published 17/12/2015

Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea with the club 16th in the Premier League
Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea with the club 16th in the Premier League
Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea for the second time
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola is one of the names in contention to replace Jose Mourinho at Chelsea
Guus Hiddink
In demand: Brendan Rodgers could return.

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea exit boiled down to "palpable discord" with his Stamford Bridge squad, according to Blues board member Michael Emenalo.

Chelsea parted company with Mourinho on Thursday after two days of crisis board meetings, with Guus Hiddink the front-runner to slot in as interim boss.

Blues chiefs insisted Mourinho had left the club "by mutual consent", just seven months after lifting the Premier League title.

And Chelsea's technical director Emenalo insisted club bosses do not accept accusations the Blues' players had any underhand role by trying to undermine Mourinho.

"Whilst there is huge sentiment for the individual who has done so much for the club, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea Football Club is in trouble," Emenalo told Chelsea TV.

"The results are not good. There obviously seems to be palpable discord between manager and players, and we feel it was time to act.

"The owner is forced to make what was a very tough decision for the good of the club.

"Make no mistake about it, Chelsea Football Club is one of the biggest clubs in the world, is one point above relegation in the English Premier League and that's not good enough.

"Anyone who loves the club, who has any kind of affiliation to the club, can understand that this club is in trouble, and something needed to be done."

Mourinho's departure has centred around nine defeats in 16 league games this term, a shocking descent into the relegation mire.

Jose Mourinho's best moments: Would you like me to lapdance for you?
Jose Mourinho made an appearance on Italian television show Chiambretti Night, shortly after his move to Italy. As England manager Fabio Capello once found out, part of the show involves a private dance from a scantily clad woman. Mourinho appeared to find it difficult to stay awake for the performance.
Jose Mourinho's best moments: Would you like me to lapdance for you? Jose Mourinho made an appearance on Italian television show Chiambretti Night, shortly after his move to Italy. As England manager Fabio Capello once found out, part of the show involves a private dance from a scantily clad woman. Mourinho appeared to find it difficult to stay awake for the performance.
Mourinho announces his arrival
Mourinho's first press conference in England, staged to announce his appointment as Chelsea manager, was to both start the trend of things to come and lay the foundations for his legend:
'Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.'
Time to celebrate Before Mourinho was appointed as manager of Chelsea, many English fans were already aware of his existence - especially Manchester United fans. In charge of Porto, his team came to Old Trafford and beat the odds by knocking United out of the Champions League thanks to a last minute goal. As Costinha bundled the ball home, Mourinho set off on a wild run down the Old Trafford touchline to celebrate.
Le Professor? Non. Le Voyeur 'I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur,' Mourinho famously said of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in October 2005. 'He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.'
Winning the title After Mourinho's assertion that he was the 'Special One', the Portuguese wasted no time in proving the doubters wrong. In his first season as Chelsea boss, he led the club to their first league title in 50 years. He would go on to win the league title again the following season as well as the FA Cup, two League Cups and one Community Shield during his time in charge.
Omelettes and eggs 'It is omelettes and eggs. No eggs - no omelettes! It depends on the quality of the eggs.' Mourinho was explaining in his own special way the issue of money drying up at Stamford Bridge. He continued: 'In the supermarket you have class one, two or class three eggs and some are more expensive than others and some give you better omelettes. So when the class one eggs are in Waitrose and you cannot go there, you have a problem.'
Terrier threat Mourinho was arrested and cautioned in 2007 after allegedly refusing to allow police to quarantine his pet dog. He reportedly rushed home from an awards ceremony after he was tipped off by his wife about what was going on. Upon returning home, eyewitnesses claimed he freed the animal from the health officials, rushed out into the street and encouraged his pet to run off. He then told them, 'I've sent my dog to St Tropez.'
Pressure ....We're told that football managers are under constant pressure. But Mourinho didn't agree: Pressure? There is no pressure. Bird Flu is pressure. (The press laugh) No, you laugh, but I am being serious. I am more worried about the swan then I am about football.
Out with the laundry This story is unproven, but the audacity of it if it is true makes it worth recounting. Mourinho was banned by Uefa from having any contact with his Chelsea players during the 2005 Champions League quarter-finals. To get around this, it's alleged that Mourinho sneaked into the ground early and gave both the pre-game and half-time team-talks. While the game was in play, Mourinho watched from the dressing room and relayed instructions to assistant Rui Faria, who it's suggested was wearing an earpiece - covered by a suspiciously large hat (pictured). After the game Mourinho was reportedly wheeled out of the stadium in a laundry basket.
On the bus Following a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho quipped:
'As we say in Portugal, they brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.'
Sssshhhh... Mourinho bagged his first trophy for Chelsea with a Carling Cup triumph over Liverpool. But at the time almost as much was made of his gesture to Liverpool fans as was Chelsea's 3-2 win. When Steven Gerrard scored a late own-goal to send the match into extra-time, Mourinho turned to the Liverpool fans, who had been barracking him all game, and put his finger to his lips as if to suggest 'be quiet'. Mourinho later claimed he was gesturing towards the press - but no-one believed him.
Rijkaard and the ref 'When I saw Rijkaard entering the referee's dressing room I couldn't believe it. When Drogba was sent off I didn't get surprised.'
This quote from Mourinho caused a storm. The Chelsea boss was suggesting that Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard had paid a visit to the dressing room of referee Anders Frisk during half-time of their Champions League encounter. It was a hugely damaging statement that led to a two match ban for Mourinho, saw him labelled the 'enemy of football' by Uefa's head of referees, and led to the retirement of Frisk who was receiving death threats following the match.
Melons Mourinho apparently liked using food as an analogy for his thoughts, as he proved when discussing his youth players at Chelsea:
'Young players are a little bit like melons. Only when you open and taste the melon are you 100 per cent sure that the melon is good. Sometimes you have beautiful melons but they don't taste very good and some other melons are a bit ugly and when you open them, the taste is fantastic. For example, Scott Sinclair, the way he played against Arsenal and Man United, we know the melon we have.'
Chin up
An enduring image of Mourinho was his gesture to Chelsea fans that they keep their 'chin up' following a draw to Arsenal that ended their hopes of another league title. His strength in the face of defeat was another feather in his bow.
It's the president When Mourinho when asked by a Ghanaian journalist if he ever phoned Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to see how he was, the Portuguese replied:
'Would you phone the president of Ghana?'
Bonjourno Mourinho showed no signs of letting up after his move to Italy. Much like his introduction to England, he captivated the press at the first opportunity. In his opening press conference he spoke fluent Italian (something he claimed to have learned in three-weeks 'because I'm very intelligent'). And following one awkward question, Mourinho paused before delivering a classic piece of Milanese slang: 'Non sono un pirla' - 'I'm not a d**khead'. The room exploded in laughter and brought Mourinho his first round of applause on Italian soil.
Take him down Mourinho's popularity waned during his time in Italy, when his constant jibes at officials, managers and referees antagonised just about everyone in Italy, including his own fans. A notable episode involved the Special One performing a 'handcuffs' gesture after seeing Inter's Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba sent off and Samuel Eto'o booked in a match with Sampdoria. He received a three-game ban.
Leaving on a high Despite the mutual disharmony between Mourinho and Italy in general, after completing an unprecedented treble with Inter Milan last season, a shared respect was formed. Mourinho would leave Inter shortly after their Champions League triumph, declaring:
'My work here is done. I have been very happy at Inter but not in the world of Italian football because I don't like all the comments from presidents, coaches and papers. But I will always like Inter. I want to thank Italian football because I have become a better coach for it.'
Up to his old tricks Ahead of the first of Real Madrid's current four meetings with Barcelona, it was announced shortly before a press conference that Mourinho would not be answering questions. Instead, his assistant Aitor Karanka would be speaking. But then, rather bizarrely, Mourinho attended the press conference yet continued his silence. Journalists were furious and staged a mass walk-out.
The Premier League success is Jose Mourinho's third with the club
Jose Mourinho says his Premier League-winning side will have to be even better next season
Crowning moment: Jose Mourinho and Chelsea bid farewell to Didier Drogba after lifting the Premier League trophy
Shocking: Jose Mourinho has been left stunned by events at Chelsea this season
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side are under pressure going into the clash with Liverpool
Eva Carneiro
A supporters wearing a Jose Mourinho mask waves from his seat ahead of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on October 31, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Chelsea fans hold a banner to show their faith to Jose Mourinho prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31: Chelsea fans wearing Jose Mourinho, John Terry and Diego Costa masks are seen on the stand prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho watched as his side lost 3-1 to Liverpool
Out of form: Diego Costa was on the bench for Chelsea
Chelsea's assistant manager Steve Holland (left), Diego Costa and Kenedy (right) before the Barclays Premier League match at the White Hart Lane, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 29, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Tottenham. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (top) passes Chelsea's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho as he goes to warm up during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane in north London on November 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (R) walks along the touch line during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane in north London on November 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (cenrtre) with assistants Rui Faria (left) and Steve Holland on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match at The King Power Stadium, Leicester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 14, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Leicester. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's miserable season shows no sign of improving
Jose Mourinho has left Chelsea
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: A Stoke City fan wears a Jose Mourinho mask as he poses with a P45 for Louis van Gaal, manager of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Britannia Stadium on December 26, 2015 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Dave Thompson/Getty Images)
Jose Mourinho

The messy September exit of Dr Eva Carneiro, now taking action against the club, after being branded "naive" by Mourinho in August, has been viewed externally as causing extra unrest.

Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas was forced to fend off rumours of dressing room revolts against Mourinho earlier in the season.

Now Emenalo has further backed Chelsea's players, insisting none of the Stamford Bridge squad had any part to play in Mourinho's exit.

The Blues are said to favour Italy manager Antonio Conte as their top choice for a long-term appointment, but his contract runs until after Euro 2016. Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola - long admired by Abramovich - is also a certain contender. Whether he is interested remains to be seen as the prepares to announce his future plans.

First-team coach Steve Holland could take charge of Saturday's home Premier League clash with Sunderland, to hand the Blues board more time to complete the search for Mourinho's short-term replacement.

Former Holland manager Hiddink took interim charge at Chelsea in 2009 after the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and could now reprise his caretaker role in west London.

"This is essentially the same group of players who won the league and the league cup last season," said Emenalo.

"They did it in style, and they did it by showing commitment, and by sweat and blood, tears and blood for the club, when needed.

"They play to instruction, they adhere to everything the manager asked them to do.

"So I think it's very easy to make that inference (that the players helped caused Mourinho's exit) but it's not one that the club accepts.

"Obviously we know now that the players have a responsibility to go out and prove everyone wrong, and show a certain level of commitment to the decision that's been made tonight, to try to get the club up the league table.

"That's what they have to do, that's what they were supposed to do, and I believe that's what they've been trying to do."

















Chelsea confirmed Mourinho's departure in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

"Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent," the London club's statement read.

"All at Chelsea thank Jose for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.

"His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history.

"But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.

"The club wishes to make clear Jose leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea.

"His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.

"The club's focus is now on ensuring our talented squad reaches its potential."

Chelsea cancelled their regular weekly press conference that was scheduled for Friday afternoon in the wake of Mourinho's departure.

Mourinho was pictured leaving Chelsea's Cobham training ground for the last time on Thursday afternoon, with a hoodie pulled down over his head. It was an ignominious exit for the 'Special One' to indicate the depth of Chelsea's troubles.

The final match of Mourinho's second spell as Chelsea boss ultimately proved Monday's 2-1 Premier League loss at surprise table-toppers Leicester.

Mourinho accepted in the wake of that defeat in the East Midlands that Chelsea could not now challenge for a top-four finish to secure Champions League qualification for next season.

Mourinho had said after Monday night's defeat at Leicester that he had been "betrayed" by some of his players.

Mourinho said: "It is a big frustration to accept the goals because my work was betrayed, if that is the right word."

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