Roman Abramovich must decide between manager and players

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Football News

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Chelsea this season? Not much.

Only those within the club and maybe the family of the personnel involved will know all the juicy details we haven't heard that are derailing the club's campaign so far. But whatever is going on - and it's obvious there is something wrong - something has to change.

Whether it is some of the players or just the manager acting petulant and unreasonable, either they go he does. We have seen from interviews with Jose Mourinho that the Portuguese has been guilty of both of those things for no other reason than he's a bad loser.


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To be as successful as he or Sir Alex Ferguson have been, you have to be a bad loser, but only in the sense that the feeling of not winning hurts so much that you do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Of course, there will be times when you don't win and will be disappointed, but there are better ways of handling that emotion.

It's normal for managers to go home feeling down after a negative result, maybe even isolating themselves from their family for the night such is their torment, but most of them do not sulk and act like a petulant kid when approaching the press. Mourinho reached a new level in his ludicrous ''I have nothing to say'' interviews after the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last month.

If he didn't want to do them then why didn't one of his assistants go out to speak? Or were they so consumed with rage at the 'injustice' bestowed upon the Blues that they couldn't answer properly as well?

What is most grating about these events is that the referees of all the respective games have got the big decisions, such as the penalty appeals Mourinho has particular grievances with, correct.

Even if Liverpool's Lucas Leiva was lucky to stay on the pitch after a second bookable tackle went unpunished, this was not long after Diego Costa got away with kicking out at Martin Skrtel. A worse offence than Lucas' in anyone's book.

If this is his idea of creating/keeping up a siege mentality then it's not working. The old tactics of portraying the notion the world is against him and his team may have worked to an extent, but when they seemingly started to fail it's like Mourinho had to take his moaning and irritability up a notch to gain attention and make it work again.

Watching Chelsea's matches from the outside, one doesn't have to be an expert to notice there is something not quite right about the look and feel of their performances. It is either lethargy or lack of effort.

If it is the latter then it is surely connected with Mourinho and the kind of attitude outlined above. This has also seen him foolishly humiliate his medical team and referees without any grace towards his opponents, who have outplayed his own by a long stretch in most games this season.

They've had times where they have played well, but against Stoke City on Saturday, they churned out arguably one of their best performances of the campaign.

Was it a coincidence that this occurred when the 52-year-old was nowhere to be seen? Does the sight of seeing their perverse manager on the touchline barking out orders and laughing hysterically when decisions go against the team make their blood boil?

Or was the decent performance at the Britannia Stadium indicative of them finally getting their act together and sorting out this mess as the photos of happy-go-lucky looking players and manager earlier in the week would suggest - Mourinho or no Mourinho?

Like relegation-threatened clubs, Chelsea have had games where they have been the better team and lost. And by the same token, like champions occasionally do, they've been superior in a match and lost - it's a part of football. Maybe Saturday's performance means they've turned a corner, but we've thought that a few times since August.

A festering atmosphere of suspicion, mistrust and public humiliations is not an environment you want to build a winning side around.

Whatever way you look at it, you've got to say Mourinho is responsible either way - if their performances are due to fitness or lack of trying then you have to question why they are in this state.

For a manager that has been as successful as Mourinho, it's his way or the highway, so whether or not the Portuguese is behaving inappropriately to some players, if they can't respond in a way that is beneficial to him and his plans then it has to be the players that go.

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Jose Mourinho

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