What goes around, comes around.
Just seven months after Chelsea sacked Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese tactician has taken the Manchester United job. With next season on the horizon, the Special One’s switched allegiance will prove a prominent storyline.
The Blues undoubtedly face an uphill struggle in 2016-17, but having to contend with Mourinho as a rival won’t make anything easier. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly apparent, that in the long term, sacking him was a blatant error.
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Despite leading Chelsea emphatically to the Premier League title in 2015, Mourinho was hurled out of Stamford Bridge just seven months later. A catastrophic start to the 2015-16 campaign saw him bite the bullet.
While improvements were made under Guus Hiddink, the west London side remained treading water in mid-table. Nonetheless, the appointment of Antonio Conte promises to edge the Blues towards a new era.
Meanwhile, Mourinho inherited the United reins this month and will line up against the team he managed twice next season.
Numerous Chelsea fans were unhappy with the decision to sack Mourinho for a second time and the switch will do nothing to quell this. The Portuguese’s new employment opportunity proves a cruel sting in the tail for the Blues.
It’s fair to say that the Special One’s sacking was harsh. Albeit an unparalleled collapse at the start of last season, it proved a complete disregard of all Mourinho had done for the club.
Besides, knowing the 53-year-old’s track record, it was likely that a resurgence would have been in the pipeline.
The sacking may prove even more bitter now and Chelsea have arguably shot themselves in the foot. They’ve handed one of football’s greatest ever managers to a Premier League rival on a platinum platter.
With next season already promising to be one of the most competitive of recent years, it doesn’t bode well for Chelsea. Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Leciester City, Liverpool and Arsenal are all in with a strong shout of a top-four finish.
Consequently, the Stamford Bridge side’s chances have only been hampered by Mourinho’s arrival at Old Trafford.
While it would have been impossible for Chelsea to foresee the move, some would argue it is karma for their lack of patience with the ex-Real Madrid boss.
The fact rumours are circulating of the Special One snatching Willian and Nemanja Matic augments the bad news for the Blues. They could face a fight to retain a number of their stars on the sole basis of Mourinho’s switch.
If regrets over the sacking of Mourinho were believed to have dissipated by the turn of 2016, this now proves questionable. Not only have they remerged but accelerated in frequency.
With Mourinho arguably proving the man who made modern day Chelsea, now at Old Trafford, he could be the man to break them. Hindsight is convenient, yet the Blues are now well and truly questioning their treatment of the Special One.
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