Jose Mourinho Through The Looking Glass

Posted: December 14, 2015 in Chelsea, Football, Jose Mourinho, Managers, Opinion
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Having qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League as group winners and having lost their last Premier League game at home to Bournemouth, Jose Mourinho could be forgiven for wondering if he had passed through a looking glass into a strange new world where the unexpected is the norm.

On current form there is no way that Chelsea should have qualified as winners of the group in the Champions League. At one stage it seemed they would struggle to qualify at all! There is also, even on current form, no excuse for losing at home to Bournemouth, so the world of Chelsea appears to be a little upside down and inside out at present.

Tonight they had the chance to redeem themselves in the league against top four side Leicester City, managed by ex-Chelsea man Claudio Ranieri.

Jose has now decided that Claudio is actually a good egg and swears he didn’t mean all those nasty things he said about him when they were both in Italy. Claudio, as usual, has been the more gentlemanly of the two by not speaking at all, a tactic which would never occur to Mourinho.

So, 16th placed Chelsea took on 3rd placed Leicester. Yes, that’s right! Your eyes are not deceiving you, those are the actual league positions of the two clubs. Remember, Jose has gone through the looking glass this season. He is now viewing the league table from the bottom upwards and having to climb whereas he is used to looking down on everyone and laughing at their futile attempts to be as good at managing as he is.

He does insist, in all fairness, that he is the man for the job. After all, it was on his watch that they got into this mess, so it is only fair that he extricates them from it.

He has decided that he doesn’t deserve to be given any money to buy players in January, so he will make do with what he already has. This is a thinly veiled swipe at not being able to bring in players who he wanted in the summer so, now that he has proved they were needed, he doesn’t want them. A rather childish stance to take but typical of Mourinho when he doesn’t get his own way.

Anyway, to the game. For the first twenty minutes or so there was little in it. Both teams cancelling each other out to an extent. The only incident of note was Eden Hazard being replaced by Pedro after an innocuous challenge from Vardy. The night came to life for Leicester when Jamie Vardy ran between Terry and Zouma to score with a close range volley.

This seemed to cause Chelsea to withdraw into their shell and they became less and less attack minded. They were obviously mindful of conceding another one and probably wanted to get to half-time one down at worst. They managed to achieve this without any further scares and Mourinho was left to sort out the second half tactics in the dressing room.

Whatever he said during the break had little effect as Mahrez quickly extended Leicester’s lead. Another good finish, but he was left unmarked towards the corner of the area and curled a nice ball into the net.

Next to leave the pitch was John Terry, replaced by Cesc Fabregas and then Oscar, who was replaced by Loic Remy as Chelsea looked for ways to get back into the game. They certainly looked more threatening with the change of personnel.

Eventually Remy did pull one back with a close range header, leaving me wondering again why he doesn’t play more often. He nearly always scores when he comes on, unlike Costa, who is going through a very barren spell.

Despite a few attacks which petered out to nothing, that was that as far as the action went. Leicester even had to hold out through five minutes of injury time, which they did with no real problems.

So Mourinho and Chelsea lost again and will be back at the drawing board tomorrow morning to continue their attempts to discover what is going wrong.


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