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October 2016
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Why Chelsea won’t sack Mourinho

By Tony Attwood

Naturally we focus on Arsenal, and sometimes the Wenger out mob – the aaa, their allies in the AST (who do those “surveys” each year in which people are asked questions in a funny way which gets answers such as

  • 94% want the increased revenue from broadcasting and commercial deals to help with more affordable pricing at the Emirates and 86% were against this season’s ticket price increase


  • 80% of Fans who expressed an opinion supported Arsène Wenger continuing as Arsenal’s manager, but most also say he has too much responsibility for the transfer fees the club pays and do not believe the ‘socialist’ wage policy he champions remains effective

So, more affordable seats.  Lets say £20 off the price of an Arsenal seat on average. That reduces Arsenal’s income by £25m a year.   But the ‘socialist’ wage policy should go as well, so while everyone else is getting more and more, we start to get less.

Now when Mr Wenger made his comment with that phrase in, in January 2013, there was outrage, largely because of a series of miscalculations (including bonuses in Mr Wenger’s salaries but only quoting players’ basic salaries), and because getting to grips with the way Mr Wenger uses irony has never been a strong point of publications like Goal, the Telegraph and the like.

But anyway, the AST membership wanted footballers to earn mega rich amounts, and it seems wanted Arsenal to pay more to get better players (as they saw it).  But not at the fans’ expense.

I am not sure other clubs have their own version of the aaa.   Man U might to some extent for Louis van Gaal recently said that Manchester United supporters are putting pressure on the players because they don’t “understand the game” when he Van Gaal was booed by Man U fans for replacing Anthony Martial with Marouane Fellaini during Tuesday’s the Champions League game with CSKA Moscow.

But then he made an interesting point…

“Criticism by the fans is never unfair. It’s the feeling of the fans and you can’t criticise the feeling of the fans. But I think the supporters have to support the players, otherwise they make it very difficult for the players to play at Old Trafford.”  And that of course is what the aaa absolutely doesn’t do – they don’t support the players.  Remember the treatment of Ramsey, Ozil, Bellerin etc etc.

VG also noted the way Barcelona fans react.   “At Barca, we had white handkerchiefs. In my first period, we were champions and we won the cup, so it was not like that. But in my second period in Barcelona, it was always the white handkerchiefs.”   He also said that he suffered the same sort of thing at Bayern Munich.

Of course Man U, like Arsenal, have a history in modern times of not kicking out the manager.  Chelsea on the other hand are different, as they have sacked seven managers since 2003 with two more leaving at the end of short term contracts.  It is as if the Abramovich chappie has taken a look at Tottenham and instead of seeing their approach as a warning how not to do it, he’s taken it as a blueprint.

However what is sometimes forgotten is that when Mourinho left at the end of his first tenure he did so after playing a Champions League game at a half empty Stamford Bridge.  That’s not what the oilman really wanted, and that unwillingness of Chelsea fans to come to each match reflected a lot on the early postponement of the Chelsea plans fora bigger stadium.  Imagine spending three years playing away from home only to return and find halfway through the season that the stadium is only a quarter full.

Of course currently Chelsea are in a return to their regular pre-oligarch approach to football.  In the 95 years between their formation and the start of the 21st century they had won one League Title, the FA Cup twice, the League Cup twice, the Charity Shield, the Full Members Cup, the second division (twice) and the Cup Winners’ Cup (twice).  One every nine years (if one includes the Full Members Cup etc).

This season Mourinho has a win ratio this season of one in three, which has until now, been below the sacking level.  And yet there doesn’t seem to be the rise of as noisy an anti-Chelsea Chelsea movement or even as large an anti-Mourinho movement as one might expect.

Perhaps that is because people think his departure is inevitable.  After all, when Roberto di Matteo was removed to Siberia in 2012 after 19 games he’d won over half the games Chelsea had played.  Mind you Grant had a 66% winning ratio which is pretty fantastic, and he was deported to the salt mines.

So what is it that keeps Chelsea fans very loyal when the owner seems so contrary – sacking the successful but retaining the unsuccessful?

I know the owner of Chelsea doesn’t make it to all the games  – although he did resign as governor of Chukotka some years back so political duties can’t be the explanation.  But I wonder if he just takes reports of matches from the club web site.  

For example when Chelsea lost to Man City the match report said, “A Ramires goal incorrectly ruled out for offside with Man City a goal ahead changed the complexion of this early-season Premier League fixture.”

The Telegraph said of the same game “Chelsea… were utterly dominated, over-run, undone by Manchester City…. it is now his team that needs surgery.”  Of course I often don’t agree with Telegraph reporting, but it got me wondering.  If this is Abramovich’s view of reality, it could explain a lot.

Chelsea 1 Palace 2 had more of the same, saying “We should have had a penalty when Kurt Zouma’s shirt was pulled in the box”  Actually the report is interesting because it mentions that twice in different parts of the report, making it sound like two incidents.  Now that is clever manipulation of the casual reader.  (In advertising it is the “if it is worth saying once then say it again” style – of course the ads my agency produce never do that, but some of the more shifty companies down the lower end of the scale occasionally do).

Everton 3 Chelsea 1 had “A 2-0 deficit at the midway stage of the half did not reflect the overall balance of the play up to that point.”  The Independent said, “Chelsea are leaking goals and they lack a cutting edge in attack, and a hungrier-looking Everton side took full advantage.”  I don’t think the Indy is delivered to the luxury yacht, but I guess it has broadband.

Chelsea 1 Southampton 3, said, “Falcao was not given a penalty with the score 1-1 when the goalkeeper dived at his feet and made contact. Falcao stretched to control it and then collided with the keeper for what looked a penalty to many watching on. The ref however booked the Chelsea man.”  Hmm, I think we’ve seen that sort of thing too.

But before I get too sympathetic for West Ham 2 Chelsea 1 the web site notes that Chelsea had played the second half with 10 men but should have won because  “Kurt Zouma’s header looked to have crossed the line, only for the decision to go the home side’s way,” which seems to ignore the fact that we have goal line technology in the league these days.

This really does give us a clue as to how the world is seen.  This is a series of reports talking about incidents going against Chelsea rather than for them (as they always used to do).  Now why is that?  Why would your “luck” suddenly change?  Or maybe someone who was given the Type III match fixing money failed to hand it over and is now living anonymously in a luxury pad in Rio.

When the Mail on Sunday wrote, “Where once there was structure and order to Chelsea, now there is simply rank indiscipline,” they were probably thinking only of the players however.

Blaming the ref is very unusual in club publications, but Chelsea have gone in for it wholesale this season, and I wonder if that is having the reverse impact – with the refs being even more determined to put them down.   Certainly they have changed their tune on occasion as with Chelsea 1 Liverpool 3 where they tried a different approach saying that  “When Philippe Coutinho netted the first of his two goals seconds before the interval, there was again the feeling that little is going our way at the present time. That was added to later on when Liverpool midfielder Lucas escaped a second yellow card.”

Now we know that referees can be appalling, and indeed laughably awful.  But what the Chelsea programme writer does is mix the notion of being unlucky in the play with being unlucky in the referee decisions, rather than keeping the review of the ref separate from the review of the players it gets a bit odd.  But they have a problem because they can’t mention how referees just don’t see (or at least fail to punish) Diego Costa doing what he does.  So best not to do ref only reviews.

Costa kicks Gabriel not mentioned.  Costa kicks Skrtel not mentioned.  A pattern?

So it goes on.  In the Stoke defeat we get “Adam kicked Pedro on the half-hour but avoided a yellow card. Again shades of our game here 11 days ago. The first major incident of the second half was a forearm smash into the jumping Nemanja Matic from guess who? Charlie Adam; with guess what outcome? Words from the ref but no yellow card.”

This might be true, but without a full review of the referee by another referee how can we possibly know?   Maybe the world has turned and now referees are being systematically biased against Chelsea, except that they don’t give fouls for kicks by Costa.

So, this is the story Mr Abramovich gets, and you can see he must be concerned and relieved.  It is not the manager’s fault at all.  It says so in the programme and on line.  And so the fans support the manager because he’s in the right, all the time.

It is also clever in one sense because Mourninho got his stadium ban for criticising refs.  Managers have to be careful what they say about refs for fear of the PGMO’s bizarre and eccentric behaviour being revealed.  But there’s nothing in the rule book to say the club’s website can’t criticise refs.

So if Mr Abramovich gets his view of Chelsea from the web site he thinks they are just having an unlucky run.  Just a couple of court cases being brought by the good doctor to be sorted out, and everything will be on track.

From the anniversary files

  • 13 November 1920: Arsenal 2 Blackburn 0.  A shortage of first team players meant that the club’s partially injured regular goalkeeper played at full back.  White and Pagnum scored.  The programme for the game spoke of no club ever having such an injury list as Arsenal.
  • 13 November 1937: Arsenal 1 WBA 1 – Arsenal’s sixth without a win with just five goals scored in the last five games; somewhat unusual for a League winning season!    Leslie Compton scored in front of 24,324.

The Untold Books


19 comments to Why Chelsea won’t sack Mourinho

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Strange change in habit for Roman – as he has paid 71 Million Pounds in severance pay to the former managers , another 9.5 Million to the moaning one would seem to be like peanuts to him .

    If Roman sacks him , and the new man can get them into the coveted and prestigious top four finish ( this year a trophy will be awarded!), then he stands to gain back double that amount from qualification into Europe.

    So what is keeping him in a job ? Apparently not the loyalty of some key players going by reports ! Is Roman going soft in the head , in his advancing years ?

    Circling of the wagons till the Dr. Eva court case is done and dusted ? Why ?
    Well , whatever it is , its going to be very entertaining .

  • Tim Charlesworth

    I am always mystified by discussions of Chelsea’s back luck. I have only watched them on MOTD, and they seem to have been unfortunate on occasions, although one should always be wary of drawing conclusions from edited highlights. The one game I have watched in detail is, of course, the Arsenal game. Any objective observer would have to conclude that they were massively lucky in this match, with several crucial refereeing errors in their favour. They basically played over half the match with 11v10, when subsequent FA decisions left no doubt it should have been the other way around. They basically gained a 2 man advantage by refereeing mistakes. So even if Chelsea have been unfortunate on a couple of occasions, they would have to be mildly unlucky in quite a few matches, simply to balance the good luck they had against Arsenal.

  • AllanC

    As I mentioned after the Chelsea game, the report on the Chelsea website was laughable.

  • Chris

    well, as far as I am concerned, I hope no sacking happens….I mean…I love their position in the League table, every week-end I get some reason to laugh and we have one less competitor for top 3 place….

    Just keep him !

    As for the theory behing your story, well I’ve seen worse ones end up being true, and this one does feel like a real possibility.


  • nicky

    Mention of Leslie Compton from the anniversary files brought back happy memories of two of the most famous sporting brothers in both cricket and football. To be capped in both sports for club and country is no longer a possible goal. 😉

  • Usama Zaka

    Just imagine that IF Abramovich leaves Chelsea at the end of this season or the next season. When he leaves there will be a major chain of concerns and events at Chelsea. He is the one right now that makes the club able to afford 35-40 million transfers like lunch, and pays very high wages to every player in the first team and manager.

    If he leaves, then I think budget cuts will need to be made at Chelsea, unless a person of similar wealth and confidence (in his money) owns the club.

    1. High wages will not be covered easily. Players will complain, question, even leave.
    2. Unable to pay high wages ? — Great chance of mass exodus of big players.
    3. No more 3-4 30 million signings ever transfer break.
    4. The 30-40 players that are on loan in around Europe will think twice about their future at Chelsea.
    5. Equal and very high TV revenue among clubs in EPL will make them struggle more in attracting players.
    And so on…

  • Tom

    Mourinho not getting his walking papers by now might be a result of many things, not the least of which is the fact that the Chelsea management structure is somewhat different from what it was when Abramovich fired him the first time around.

    Mourinho doesn’t have the power of decision making in regards to players coming in and going out the way he did before.

    Czech being the prime example, KDB being another. If Mourinho had his way , both would have still been Chelsea players.

    Another reason might be that on the whole Chelsea fans still back him to turn things around.

    Also, it’s not entirely clear who might be available to take over for Mourinho at this stage of the season.

    From the not so neutral position I find it extremely enjoyable , having watched all their games( as well as Man City’s), to see Chelsea get a string of bad calls go against them.

    Also , I believe Chelsea and Costa in particular are paying the price for the fall out from the Arsenal game.
    Short term they might’ve benefited from Dean’s incompetence but long term they have been paying the consequences.

    Every Costa’s play is being scrutinized to the point of him being unable to play his usual dirty game, which takes away from his effectiveness.

    It would be very interesting to see what the resident Chelsea fan Mike T has to say on all this but his absence from this site has been very timely, it has to be said. 🙂


    Tom, You make a very good point about MIKE T. In the past couple of years he has not hesitated to come on this website to tell us what our club was lacking in or why we were under-performing. He sprouted his opinion freely as if it was written on stone tablets and coming from the burning bush. You aren’t the only person who has wondered why is this Chelsea charlatan suddenly mute. His silence says volumes. Wouldn’t surprise in the least to see that Chelsea phony motherfucker come back here because he is being called out or when results start to go his way. I always knew that motherfucker was so full of shit that it was draining out his ears. Don’t be surprised to see him back with his brand of double-talk and bullshit. Count on it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Just heard that Chelsea’s start is the worse ever by a Division one Champion since the beginning of English football as we know it .
    Curiouser , and curiouser it goes !

  • Rantetta


    Hi Bill. You’ve dragged me out. I’d written something this morning but didn’t post. I was curious to know how it felt to be Aston Taylored, having seen highlights of Stoke v Chelsea, where two sets of thugs played rugby and chief thug seemed to want a full riot to break out, fans and all.

    I didn’t post because when I last questioned the Mike T, he just answered with the usual, ‘Not me guv, I’m stunningly reasonable and not at all justifying Fulham coal shed’s existence’.

    The issue I challenged him about was his response to an Untold article about the severe ongoing difficulties faced by Souleymane, the chap whose life seems to have gone down the pan following the Chelsea fans’ briefly publicised full on and despicable racism towards him.

    I even re-posted his comments. Maybe I thought he’d reflect or summat.
    Nah, I didn’t think that at all. I knew, as I’d said then, that he came on here to justify all that can’t be justified about Chelsea. Lord knows – there’s enough people on here pretending to be Arsenal fans who’ll justify their foolishness comment-crap.

    Sure, positively minded Untolders might be curious to witness some kinda contrition from the person, but come on, Contrition – Chelsea? Oxymoron!
    Incongruous. Ludicrous. Unlikely.

    I also thought it unnecessary to point out that the reason chelsea mightn’t sack Hose is because of his popularity. After all, fans shouted “get your tits out”, and he and his obliged on the red carpet, innit? (Must be so proud).

  • apo Armani

    Yeah…really where is MIKE.T these days??

    Maybe he is on the Abramovich yacht analyzing the Moanino situation – so he can come back here and enlighten us how his fav team are in the SHIT!

  • apo Armani

    Or maybe MIKE.T can come back here and tell us how ref decisions even out in the end 🙂

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ apo – Something is obviously not right with the Chelski fans – even my son who used to say ‘sack ’em ‘ , to the poorly performing previous managers and players ( and damn the bloody cost !), now says that the moaning one should not be sacked ! And that he should be given ample of time to build a legacy . Even if it means a short stint in the lower division ????? I’d like that last part !
    Hmmmm , medical school must be having a positive and mellowing effect on his brain !

  • colario

    This season has thrown up two big surprises outside the normal one of a small club making the headlines for being in the top four.

    The demise of Chelski and why it is there have been no cries of ‘sackem’ the manager that is.

    Why we don’t know and we can only speculate.

    I guess that everyone in the media is hoping that s/he will be the one to have the scoop on the truth. I would think that, that is the only truth we have on the matter at the moment.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Mike T is alright, he just happens to love a club that we dont!
    I hope Jose stays for a long time, but doubt he will. He will most likely either be sacked, or take up another offer in the summer if I guess correctly.
    As has been mentioned, there is the problem of having a replacement….Rogers….that would be funny.
    Something has clearly gone wrong, Pedro, Cesc, Hazard, AAA deity Matic….some very good players in there.
    Joses whole demeanour seems strange. I like to think some of this is to do with the players resenting his disgraceful treatment of the medics, may be part of it, but seems like something else afoot.
    Any other club, I would say there are about thirty million reasons why Jose is not sacked, but not sure even that reported sum would bother RA.
    Maybe Jose has thrown the toys out of the pram because he could not sign his favoured players, Stones, and those Finsbury calls the Mendes Mules.
    Whatever it is, long may it continue , lets get Leicester City into the ECL!

  • Super Singh

    Bore Mour won’t get the sack! just yet, Abramovich won’t want to look like an idiot who didn’t learn his lesson the first time around?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    May be it’s just that we are all misreading their intentions ? Something along these lines …..

    With their ailing mother needing constant medical supervision, a family decided to bring her to a very expensive and caring nursing home for a day to try it out.

    The next morning, the nurses bathed her, fed her a tasty breakfast, and set her in a chair by a window overlooking a lovely flower garden. She seemed okay but after a while she slowly starts to lean over sideways in her chair.

    Two attentive nurses immediately rush up to catch her and straighten her up. Again, she seems okay but after a while she starts to tilt to the other side. The nurses rush back and once more put her back upright.

    This goes on all morning, with the dedicated nurses making sure the old woman doesn’t fall. Later, the family arrives to see how she was adjusting to her new home.

    “So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?” they ask.

    “It’s very nice,” she replies. “Except they won’t let you fart.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Or is there some blackmail afoot ?

    A housewife takes a lover during the day, while her husband is at work, not aware that 9 year old son was hiding in the closet. Her husband came home unexpectedly, so she hid her lover in the closet. The boy now has company.

    Boy: “Dark in here.”
    Man: “Yes it is.”
    Boy: “I have a baseball.”
    Man: “That’s nice.”
    Boy: “Want to buy it?”
    Man: “No, thanks.”
    Boy: “My dad’s right outside.”
    Man: “OK, how much?”
    Boy: “250 dollars.”

    After a few weeks, it happens again – the boy’s father comes home early and the boy and the mom’s lover are in the closet together.
    Boy: “Dark in here.”
    Man: “Yes, it is.”
    Boy: “I have a baseball glove.”
    Man: “That’s nice.”
    Boy: “Want to buy it?”
    Man: “I really don’t.”
    Boy: “I’ll tell.”
    Man: “How much?”
    Boy: “750 dollars.”
    Man: “Fine.”

    A few days later, the father says to the boy, “Grab your glove. Let’s go outside and toss the baseball!” The boy says, “I can’t. I sold them.” The father asks, “How much did you sell them for?” The son says, “1,000 dollars.” The father says, “That’s terrible to over-charge your friends like that. That is way more than those two things cost. I’m going to take you to church and make you confess.”

    They go to church and the father alerts the priest and makes the little boy sit in the confession booth and closes the door.
    The boy says, “Dark in here.”
    The priest says, “Oh, don’t start that shit again!”

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I have always found Mike T’s comments reasonable and his tone above board. I disagree with much of what he says but not with how he says it so I don’t mind him posting here. I take far more umbrage with the so-called Arsenal fans that slate our players and manager over and over.