‘Discord’ led to Mourinho’s sacking


Emenalo, a confidant of the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, gave a biting assessment of Chelsea's struggles under Mourinho and spoke of “a palpable discord between manager and players.

“Whilst there is huge sentiment for the individual who has done so much for the club, the fact of the matter remains that Chelsea Football Club are in trouble,” Emenalo told Chelsea TV.

“The results are not good and there obviously seemed to be a palpable discord between manager and players, and we feel it was time to act.

“The owner was forced to make a very tough decision which is for the good of the club. One of the biggest clubs in the world is one point above relegation in the Premier League and that's not good enough.”

Asked about the role of the players in Mourinho's sacking, Emenalo added: “This is essentially the same group of players who won the league and the League Cup last season. They did it in style, and they did it by showing commitment, and by sweat and blood, tears and blood for the club, when needed. So I think it's very easy to make that inference [that the players helped caused Mourinho's exit] but it's not one that the club accepts.”

Mourinho, who signed a £10m-a-year, four-year contract in August after leading Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, was informed of his dismissal yesterday lunchtime in a 10-minute meeting with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy at the club's Cobham training ground in Surrey.

Hiddink, who led Chelsea to FA Cup success during a three-month spell as interim manager in 2009, will be asked to stabilise the club and guide the team through to the end of the season. His first game will be tomorrow's home match against fellow Premier League strugglers Sunderland.

Chelsea will seek a permanent appointment at the end of the season, with Italy coach Antonio Conte the favoured candidate ahead of Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone.

Mourinho is expected to receive a full year's salary in compensation, but with Chelsea lying in 16th position in the league, just one point above the relegation zone, Abramovich finally lost patience with the club's most successful manager in the wake of Monday's 2-1 defeat at Leicester City.

Chelsea confirmed Mourinho's departure in a statement yesterday afternoon, pointedly remarking about the current squad - which has underperformed dramatically this season - “reaching its potential” following the change of management.

“Both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways,” it added.

Hiddink, 69, has been out of work since being sacked by the Netherlands national side in June following five defeats in 10 games, which had left the Dutch on course to miss out on Euro 2016. The former PSV Eindhoven and Valencia coach is regarded by Abramovich as having the experience to resurrect Chelsea's season and motivate a group of players who have proved so disappointing under Mourinho.

Speaking to BT Sport earlier this month, Mourinho hinted at the problems within the dressing room that have contributed to his departure by admitting to being too emotional and conceding that players must want to play for him. “I give everything I have, sometimes maybe too much, too emotional,” Mourinho said. “But I do that with every club.”

Ten key moments that spelt the end for Mourinho’s second reign:

2 August

Wenger hostilities continue

Chelsea start the campaign with 1-0 defeat by Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley. Mourinho waits to shake Arsène Wenger's hand after the match but is ignored by the Frenchman.

8 August

Doctor, doctor!

Mourinho criticises first-team doctor Eva Carneiro and physiotherapist Jon Fearn after they run on to the field to treat Eden Hazard towards the end of an opening-day home draw with Swansea.

16 August

First league defeat

Chelsea are well beaten at Manchester City, late goals from Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho confirming a 3-0 defeat. Captain John Terry is surprisingly taken off at half-time.

29 August

Palace upset Jose's century

Poor start continues in Mourinho's 100th home league game as Bakary Sako and Joel Ward give Crystal Palace a 2-1 victory. It was only Mourinho's second home league defeat with the Blues.

19 September

Costa banned after feud

After a 3-1 defeat at Everton, Chelsea beat Arsenal at home but Diego Costa has a running feud with Gabriel. Striker is banned for three games and Wenger calls referee Mike Dean “weak and naive”.

3 October

Southampton win at Bridge

Defeat at Porto precedes another home league loss, to Saints. Mourinho is fined £50,000 and given a suspended one-match stadium ban for comments about referee Robert Madley.

31 October

Three defeats in a week

Nemanja Matic and Mourinho are dismissed in 2-1 loss at West Ham before the holders lose on penalties at Stoke in the League Cup. Miserable week ends with 3-1 home loss to Liverpool.

7 November

Stadium ban and another loss

Carneiro begins legal proceedings and Mourinho is given a one-match stadium ban and fined £40,000 after an FA charge relating to West Ham defeat. He misses 1-0 reverse at Stoke.

5 December

Bournemouth win at Bridge

Dropped Diego Costa throws his bib in Mourinho's direction during draw at Spurs, before Glenn Murray's late goal gives promoted Bournemouth an improbable 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

14 December

Foxes put final nail in coffin

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri's Leicester win 2-1, leaving Chelsea one point above bottom three - their worst start since 1978. Mourinho claims the players have “betrayed” his work. – The Independent

Original source: ‘Discord’ led to Mourinho’s sacking