What is it that makes the Special one so special? What are the ingredients that have made a recipe for success that has seen Jose Mourinho keep winning almost relentlessly year after year in his glittering trophy laden career? Whatever it is, it seems to have got up and left him this season, with little sign of return.
The aura of invincibility has evaporated from Mourinho and his side, to the extent that this weekend’s game against the Potter’s was no longer a routine victory and instead was the third Premier League defeat in a row for the Blues.
Chelsea captain John Terry has spoken in the past of Mourinho’s ability to unite a team, stating ‘He is a master motivator who makes us feel superior.’ Keeper Asmir Begovic has also championed Mourinho’s quality, stating: ‘We are behind the manager you can see that from our performances. We think he is the right man and someone we work hard for. His spirit and his presence is always there. We wanted to get a result for him.’
Kurt Zouma stated after the Stoke defeat: ‘“We have to keep him, we have to. I don’t think the dressing room has abandoned him. On the level of performances, it is not like last year for sure. But mentally we are still all together, we are a group. The coach has always been behind us and we are behind him just like the supporters are. I think that is still the same situation. It is bizarre because last season we finished as champions and three months later we have started badly. Maybe we were relaxed mentally too much. In the last few matches we have played better and then we were unlucky but the confidence is still there.
However there has been talk of unrest within the Chelsea squad and its easy to see how a divisive character like Mourinho could cause contentions within his team, especially given the erratic and spiky mood the Special One has shown this season.
Jose still appears to have the backing of his team and the Chelsea fans, but Roman Abramovich is not known for his tolerance for failure. Can Jose refind his mojo before the axe comes a-swinging?