Jose Mourinho will be sacked as Chelsea manager unless the Blues begin the 2014/15 campaign with a bang, according to the club's former striker Tony Cascarino. The ex-Republic of Ireland international believes Mourinho is walking a thin tightrope after a disappointing first season back at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho was re-appointed by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to deliver success, and was subsequently made the Premier League's highest-paid manager, but the revered Portuguese coach ended the season empty handed.
Cascarino feels Mourinho will be sacked in the first half of next season - after spending big money to sign the likes of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas - if Chelsea fail to impress during the opening months of the campaign.
“If we look at the history of Chelsea, an indifferent start can cost you your job,” Cascarino told talkSPORT. "This season was difficult. He spoke about what Chelsea lacked to be champions, and he was spot on. That will count for nothing ten games in to next season if they don’t look a real side.
“Roman Abramovich has sacked people for far less. Carlo Ancelotti left after being successful. They’ve had Luiz Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas [who have also been sacked]. Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League [and was still removed].
“After 10 or 15 games, if Chelsea don’t look right, I’d be very surprised if Mourinho was still there. The owner will give him everything he wants but, after that, if you don’t succeed very quickly you can find yourself out of a job."
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin echoed similar sentiments last month. The television pundit said he has "no doubt" Abramovich will sack Mourinho for a second time if he ends next season without a major trophy.
The Blues' boss is already working hard to ensure Chelsea are well-positioned to challenge for silverware next season. As well as securing the services of Costa and Fabregas, Mourinho is also reportedly keen to sign Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic.