Jose Mourinho – you either love him or hate him.
Some supporters revel in his arrogance and ability to grind out improbable results, while others can’t stand his panning of referees and painfully blunt press conferences. On the whole though, his players seem to be fans.
Stars will move to a club on the sole basis he is manager and become abnormally committed to his cause. This is a view recently corroborated by one of the Special One’s ex-Chelsea players despite being present during his darkest hours.
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After winning the league in emphatic fashion in 2015, Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea began to deteriorate in front of him.
Disastrous home losses against Southampton, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth saw the Portuguese tactician sacked by December.
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At the heart of the rife issues though, were the troubling rumours of dressing room discontent. In the final weeks, reports were even emerging that players had become so disillusioned they were launching ‘mutiny’.
While some players came out and backed the 53-year-old, displays on the pitch suggested there were deep and underlying fractures in the squad.
This is exemplified by the difficulties Guus Hiddink faced in his role as interim manager or simply put, bailing out Mourinho. The Dutchman stopped the rot, but could barely push his side into the top half of the table.
So, you’d expect the players present in that apparently tempestuous dressing room to have a rather negative outlook on Mourinho.
However, as far as Pedro is concerned, that simply wasn’t the case. In fact, the Spaniard was keen to outline the lack of animosity between the pair despite the difficult circumstances.
According to Goal.com, the 29-year-old explained: "My opinion of Mourinho changed when he became my coach. He was always clear and correct to me."
The height of Pedro’s Barcelona career came when Mourinho was pulling the strings at Real Madrid. Any negative opinions he could have formulated during this time were dispelled upon his Chelsea transfer though.
Given this was arguably amid the worst spell of Mourinho’s career, it’s high, albeit rather flippant, praise.
Nevertheless, Pedro’s finest form at Stamford Bridge has emerged since the Portuguese’s sacking.
This was no more apparent than last weekend when the Spaniard scored against Mourinho’s Manchester United after just 30 seconds. His performance was superb throughout in what proved an emphatic 4-0 win for the Blues.
So while Pedro’s recent upsurge might be attributed to the absence of Mourinho, his presence at the club in the first place is a different story. For all his recent faults, the Special One hasn’t lost his formidable persuasion and man management.
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