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The Beginning of the End for Jose Mourinho

jose mourinho 150 The Beginning of the End for Jose MourinhoWhile most of the attention in the press is on England’s tricky match against Macedonia, one must not overlook next week’s Champions League matches which are going to be crucial for English teams such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Crucial because it can mean the difference between financial success or the sack. And the team that has the most to lose and the biggest mountain to climb is Chelsea.

So far this season the Blues are looking more like last year’s Real Madrid than this year’s Man United. Sure, the west London side hasn’t had much time to gel, but Mourinho’s side only has one match to prepare before they take on the razor sharp Werder Bremen next week.

How Chelsea performs in this Saturday’s match (10am ET, live, Setanta) against Charlton will have a huge impact on Chelsea’s Champions League match next Tuesday (2:30pm ET, live, Setanta). What Mourinho needs more than anything is for Chelsea to start playing the fluid style of passing football that they aced last season. We saw glimpses of it in their opening season match against Man City, but it was nowhere to be seen in their loss to Middlesbrough and their unimpressive 2-0 victory against Blackburn.

While Chelsea will be bolstered this Saturday with the arrival of Ashley Cole to the left back position, Mourinho still faces the quandary of what to do with Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack. Both players cancel each other out similar to how Gerrard and Lampard played together in the World Cup. While Steve McClaren keeps the faith with Lampard against Macedonia, does Mourinho have the fortitude to make the right decision and drop Lamps against Charlton?

If you’re going to make a radical change as a manager to the lineup, Charlton is the opposition to do it against. To me, Iain Dowie’s side is the weakest in the Premiership right now and will be in serious trouble this season. While he means well, Dowie is out of his league and his players will figure that out pretty soon, which will spell disaster for the side.

Speaking of potential disasters, Chelsea is going to have a rocky time against Werder Bremen next week. The German side has a good chance of winning the Bundesliga this season and, with a striker such as Miroslav Klose, they’re the type of team that could nick one goal given a chance and hold on for a 1-0 win.

If so, Mourinho’s head — for the first time in his Chelsea career — could be on the chopping block by Christmas unless the Blues can turn around their season.

The pressure is on, but let’s see what champions are made of.

Thoughts?

Editor’s note: If you’re new to the EPL Talk Blog, listen to the EPL Talk Podcast (the only soccer interview show on the Internet), sign up for the weekly Premiership TV guide via e-mail, and read the EPL Talk Magazine, which is free to download.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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14 Responses to The Beginning of the End for Jose Mourinho

  1. Anonymous says:

    IMO it is a bit premature to cast such serious doubts on Jose & Chelsea’s season.

  2. Tony Allen says:

    Gaffer:

    I am not sure why Chelsea need to drop Lampard!! He has been so consistent since he arrived from West Ham in 2001 and keeps going forward. Chelsea are not England and can accomodate both Lampard and Ballack, and with Jose he can make the players adapt to the situations, so do not agree with your comments about Lampard, but hey nice blog, keep up the good work :)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nice try, but really …
    I guess there’s been no football for 10 days (lame Euro matches don’t count) so we need something to talk about ..

    Chelsea were unimpressive in plenty of games last season (as were ManU and Liverpool) – and still won. Anyway, they had enough good moments in their first 3 games.

    I’ll agree that while Lampard is looking more fluent and accurate with long balls the going-forward one-toch passing has been missing – but then so have his one touch partners, Robben and Joe Cole.

    It’s the right problem but wrong answer. It’s Ballack that has been the spectator in this party and he could start on the bench. With the return of Joe Cole (hopefully on the right) and either Robben or (!!)Wayne Bridge on the left wing, Shevchenko will get into the game and Chelsea will be at full strength for the first time.

    Ashley Cole will be fresh off two (England/Chelsea) practise games with Terry and Lampard and played more Chelsea games than Bridge recently!

    I hope this will be line up v. Charlton.

    Cech
    Boularouz, Carvalho, Terry, A. Cole.
    Makalele.
    J Cole, Lampard, Bridge or Robben.
    Drogba, Shevchenko

    The subs bench picks itself: Bridge or Robben, Ballack, Essien, Cudicini, Mikel

    Stand back from the TV – you have been warned. I can’t wait

    LACF

  4. Ole says:

    Nice little blog. But I think bigger and smarter men than you have predicted Mourinho’s downfall, and still he goes on winning titles.

  5. Anonymous says:

    … and Gaffer what is this ending of yours …

    “… unless the Blues can turn around their season.” (Chelsea Won 2 Lost 1.)
    Man U defense yet to play a real team (Charlton, Fulham and Watford ….wow, impressive)

    Anyway, nice wind-up of us gullable Chelsea fans.

    LACF

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Turn around their season”?? Jeezus H. The team that needs desperately to do that is the Arse. Have you looked at the table? The financial crisis created by that N London version of the McAlpine Stadium is precluding squad reconstruction and aren’t they suffering for it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    knives are out early this season hey? this chelsea hating is nothing more but din….

  8. soccermad says:

    I see where you’re going with this, Gaffer. I do believe that Ballack and Lampard can play together in midfield; the problem is we haven’t seen this squad justify its high wages with the fluid and attractive style of play. Let’s face it, as a fan of the league, Chelsea are boring to watch. In terms of people signalling the end of Jose, sure plenty of people have written about it, but this is perhaps the first time that we are beginning to see some cracks in the foundation (barely civil to Peter Kenyon, lashing out at Gallas after he’s gone) and for non-Chelsea fans it’s exciting (just as the dubious arrival of the Argies at West Ham) for the league

  9. jason says:

    I agree that Lampard and Ballack cannot play in the same midfield. The reason why Lampard was so good for Chelsea is because he had creative freedom with Essien and Makelele providing the defensive cover. Now, in a supposed 4-3-3, Lampard will have to compromise, which hurt him during the World Cup.

    But I don’t agree that Mourinho is in any kind of trouble. Even if Chelsea finishes the season trophyless, I believe he’ll still be the Chelsea manager.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think Chelsea are fucking scum who have raped the premiership of its dignity; but I still think it’s too early and completely unfounded to suggest they need to ‘turn it around’.

  11. davy dave says:

    chelsea will play the tried and tested 451 with cole and robben on the wings one striker and the holding midfielder there be fine by the time they play kop

  12. PARIS says:

    ABSOLUTELY!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I think i’m drunk

  14. Anonymous says:

    haha. don’t listen to them. Chelsea and Mouriho are on thin ice. It’s not about performance. It’s about the difference between expectation and performance. Things may go downhill fast. But maybe not.

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