Following the news on Thursday about the sacking of José Mourinho, I asked Chelsea regular Ruth_NZ for his thoughts on what comes next for the Blues. Here is his view:
The situation at Chelsea now is worse than most outside the club will realise. Many will assume that removing the manager, who many neutrals disliked, will go a long way to resolving what has been wrong. But they probably don’t understand the standing José Mourinho had with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
For many Chelsea regulars, this will be almost like a bereavement. And if the players suddenly start to perform like champions after Mourinho has gone they won’t be thanked for it, they will be scorned for it. In my opinion, losing Mourinho will set Chelsea back three years. There won’t be peace now until half the squad have gone (including Eden Hazard if he wasn’t really injured last weekend) and a new manager and team have made the right connection with the fans.
I have spoken to quite a few regular, match-going Chelsea fans. Not one is happy that it came to this and not one is happy that Mourinho is gone. It’s not that we don’t understand the decision or even that we disagree with it. It’s that we really regret it, as the club does too if you read the statement on the website. The only sound explanation for it is a rift with some key players. If that’s the case then the Stamford Bridge crowd will not be settled till those players have gone too.
So, I believe the fallout from this has only just begun. It may be that José Mourinho lost the players (or some of them). What the players will now discover is that they have lost the fans. Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has talked about “palpable discord between manager and players”. This is not going to be put up with by the fans if they believe the some of the players wanted Mourinho sacked and downed tools.
Former England forward Alan Shearer said: “I have never known a capitulation like it. The players have just not performed and have a lot to answer for. They’ve let the club and the manager down.” That is now the feeling that many Stamford Bridge regulars have and it won’t be easily assuaged.
Personally I think you can write off Chelsea assets for the forseeable future in Fantasy Premier League terms. If I were the board I would use this as an opportunity to give youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Patrick Bamford, who can be brought back after Christmas, a good run of games for Chelsea and see what our youngsters can actually do in a first team shirt.
Maybe outsiders think that all Chelsea fans are glory hunters. I can assure you that while those “fans” do exist (and have already stopped trying to get tickets for games), the majority are not. Chelsea is a club with a proud history and there are some things the core supporters value more than short-term success.