Jose Mourinho Next Chelsea Manager: Pochettino under pressure as Mou looms large

 | February 05 | 

6 mins read

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Chelsea have lost. Again. 

Their 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Wolves marked their 10th league defeat of the season, and remarkably their 26th since the start of the last campaign. The Blues are now 11th in the Premier League, having finished 12th last season, and any hopes of competing in Europe once again are fading into the distance. 

Chelsea Betting Odds

  • Chelsea to finish top four @ 28/1
  • Chelsea to finish top six @ 9/2 
  • Chelsea to finish top ten @ 1/10

It’s been a remarkable fall from grace since Todd Boehly took over the club in the summer of 2022. He’s thrown more cash at the project than you could possibly believe, spending over £1bn in transfer fees since he arrived. One billion pounds is a simply staggering amount of money to spend on players and, remarkably, they haven’t even improved the team. What other outfit could spend such figures and still find themselves a distant 9/2 to finish in the top six with Betfred a full 15 games from the season's end?

In 2021, Chelsea were champions of Europe for only the second time in their history. Manager Thomas Tuchel had his critics due to his abrasive nature, but he was getting the best out of the team on the pitch. Boehly’s decision to sack him after just seven matches of the following season was deemed harsh, but this was the new big-spending owner, and he was determined to get his own man in after his gargantuan investment on the playing side.

A further £21.5m was handed over to Brighton & Hove Albion, the main beneficiaries of Chelsea’s recent spending, to poach Graham Potter from the Amex. This made sense, a young up-and-coming manager ready to lead this baby-faced squad for the next five years. The half-a-decade deal he signed lasted seven months, before Boehly sacked him with the club in 11th. That’s becoming a familiar position for Chelsea, it seems. 

Under Potter, Chelsea had made it out of their Champions League group and were heading into a knockout clash with Real Madrid. I suppose that’s the big difference between then and now. The Blues are on the brink of not just two consecutive seasons without Champions League football, but back-to-back terms without any European football at all and potentially even two bottom-half finishes.

Mauricio Pochettino was seen as the big-name manager who would get them back on track this summer, but that simply hasn’t materialised. They boast the youngest squad in the Premier League, and the players have lots of promise, but so far they don’t seem good enough to compete at the top end of the division. Boehly’s big risk to tie the players down to long contracts, and amortise the payments for them to avoid FFP charges, only pays off if the players are any good. 

Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez, Mykhalo Mudryk and Nicolas Jackson all have contracts which expire in 2031. That’s utter madness, and although the former pair clearly look like decent prospects, Jackson and Mudryk haven’t shown anything to suggest they will be able to contribute to a title-winning squad. 

ChelseaPLodds

Deived Washington, Djordje Petrovic, Lesley Ugochukwu, Malo Gusto, Noni Madueke, Cole Palmer, Romeo Lavia, Benoit Badiashille and 26-year-old goalkeeper Robert Sanchez are all contracted until 2030. It leaves you speechless. If Pochettino decides he doesn’t fancy a player, or his attitude is off, it doesn’t really matter. He’s staying put. 

This power struggle between player and manager is always going to land in the player’s favour, given the money that has been invested into them - which is a dangerous place for any gaffer to be in. If long-term project manager Potter was dismissed so easily, Pochettino certainly isn’t safe after a dismal run of results. 

This month will mark two years since they won the Club World Cup, their last trophy. Chelsea are no longer a threat for major silverware. They aren’t a threat for the top four. They aren’t even a threat to Brighton at this moment in time. 

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If Pochettino is the fall guy, there’s surely only one man they can turn to. Boehly knows he needs his popularity to increase sharpish, with chants for Roman Abramovich frequent at Stamford Bridge. But following defeat to Wolves, there have also been calls for another man to return. 

Jose Mourinho. 

Chelsea’s greatest-ever manager was sacked by Roma in January, despite fans of the Italian club falling head over heels for him. He ended their 15-year trophy drought when they won the Europa Conference League in 2022 and, one year later, only a penalty shootout defeat prevented them winning the Europa League.

He remains a relentless winner with something to prove, and Chelsea know exactly what he can bring to the table. It took 79 matches for him to lose a home game at Stamford Bridge during his first spell. In that time he delivered them back-to-back Premier League titles, and in 2004/05 they conceded just 15 league goals. That’s an imperious stat that will surely stand the test of time.

Remember the 26 league matches Chelsea have lost since the start of last season? Mourinho only lost 21 matches in all competitions across the entirety of his first spell, which lasted just over three seasons. He lost one game, then five, then three in his first three league seasons, while even in his less successful second spell, he only tasted defeat 27 times. 

In truth, both Mourinho and Chelsea have suffered a fall from grace of late, and although it isn’t ideal, perhaps it has placed them into each other’s arms once more. It was thought that Mourinho’s time at the top of European football was over, and maybe that is the case for every other club, but Chelsea can pull on his heartstrings and he would love nothing more than to restore them to their former glory.

It’s an emotional and heart-warming thought that could well tempt Boehly into making the big change, but there will of course be concerns. Mourinho has fallen out with board members on more than one occasion and is certainly not the manager you want for a long-term project. Whether his methods still work with the young players of today is up for debate and his football has been criticised for being too defensive. 

But for all of his flaws, this just feels right. If there’s no room for romanticism in football anymore then we truly don’t have anything left. Chelsea fans would be smitten once more should The Special One return for his third spell. And they have a Carabao Cup final on the horizon. Bring him in to manage the cup final he never got to take charge of with Spurs.

For all of his flaws, and all of the club's issues - perhaps they are just made for each other. Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea love story doesn’t feel like it is quite complete just yet. 

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