Football

Jose Mourinho's persona affecting performances

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How the mighty have fallen. A Chelsea side that less than a year ago was being heralded as potentially the greatest side ever to grace the Premier League and tipped to emulate Arsenal's famed Invincibles, now sit just one place above the relegation zone.

The once-impenetrable defence now looks fragile, conceding more goals than any other side in the league. Cesc Fabregas has yet to register an assist and Hazard is yet to score a goal. Performances have been flat - there has been little speed and drive going forward (bar one strong attacking performance against West Brom), and a dearth of intensity in trying to win the ball back has been evident.

This, simply, looks nothing like the successful Chelsea of old. Nor does it look remotely like a typical Jose Mourinho team.

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All the characteristics commonly associated with a Mourinho team have been totally absent from the first five performances; perhaps more concerning, however, is that all the characteristics typically associated with the Special One himself have been completely scarce.

I was excited to see Mourinho come out fighting after the 3-1 loss to Everton at the weekend - what we saw instead was a timid suggestion that his side had done all they could. And I think that was truly the moment I began to have a slight tinge of concern about Mourinho going forward.

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At this point, I would just like to emphasise that I am not by any means suggesting Mourinho should be sacked. Love him or hate him, he is a superb manager who deserves the utmost respect and should, of course, be afforded the time to put things right.

However, as much as the players must come out fighting, so should Mourinho. He has gained notoriety for his fiery character, particularly when faced with tough situations. He is known as someone uncompromising and unafraid to call his players out in public. He named players he felt were underperforming earlier on in the season, yet refused to criticise a lacklustre display at Everton.

This is not the manager-pushing, eye-poking, insulting Mourinho we've become accustomed to. I'm by no means condoning these actions, but at least they showed a bit of desire that his players could look to and respond to. Being told their performances are acceptable will just lead to more of the same.

I fear that he is too busy trying to maintain his 'Happy One' persona. I sincerely hope that under that facade the fire is still burning, because I fear that the fight may be beginning to go right when Chelsea need it the most.

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Topics:
Premier League
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea
Football

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