Last year I wrote a blog on the returning Jose Mourinho – see link below for a reminder:-
So how has he done??????? – Well lets now take a look at Chelsea’s performances in each competition in turn and how they fared.
Capital One Cup – At the start of the season this trophy was probably the least of the clubs priorities (and probably most teams in the top flight – hence the widespread use of weakened teams), but to be fair to Jose he has always taken this competition seriously, regularly playing strong sides in all rounds, claiming the trophy twice in 2005 and 2007. Away wins at Swindon and then Arsenal were followed with a trip to the Stadium of Light in the quarter finals. An early second half goal from their all time top goalscorer, Frank Lampard, was just reward for a dominant performance and they should have had the game wrapped up from this point. However this complacency came back to bite them in the backside as a late equalizer by an ex player (Fabio Borini – on loan from Liverpool and who would in the future stick another knife into Chelsea – more later) took the game into extra time and then Sunderland took control and deservedly won with a late winner from Ki Sung-yueng. If they had gone through a semi-final against a struggling Manchester United side would have been seen as a great opportunity to reach a Wembley final and as Jose has shown on numerous occasions he is the master in a one off game. Alas their complacency and lack of a clinical goalscorer (a recurring issue throughout the season) was their downfall in this competition.
FA Cup – Routine wins in the third round at Derby and then in the 4th round at home to Stoke were then followed by a trip to Manchester City in the 5th round. 12 days earlier Jose had masterminded a 0-1 victory at ‘Fortress Etihad’ and the blues of Manchester were more than up for revenge. They dominated Chelsea , scored early and the team from the Kings Road never looked like getting back into it. The game ended 2-0 and it could have been more. No excuses from Jose here, sometimes you are just beaten by the better team and there were no regrets to be had about going out of this competition.
Champions League – Chelsea did not even get out of their group as holders of the tournament in the 2012-13 season, so Jose knew this was probably in the owners mind, the competition that was the number one priority. Furthermore it was the only trophy to elude him during his first tenure at Stamford Bridge. And come April true to his word Mour had guided Chelsea to the semi finals. It had been up and down for them, they lost twice in the group stages to Basel and after topping their group and sweeping aside an insipid Galatasaray in the first knockout round, they were nearly knocked out in the quarter finals by a strong PSG side, but a Cavani miss in the second leg proved crucial as Demba Ba, who had been marginalised for a lot of the season popped up with an 87th minute winner to take the English side through. Now Atletico Madrid stood in their way – a side who had managed to keep the might of Real Madrid and Barcelona at bay in their own domestic competition and were having probably the best season (pound for pound) of any team in Europe under their Argentinian head coach Diego Simeone. Both sides were very similar, big and strong with pace in attack and hard as nails defenders, no quarter was going to be given by either side. The first leg was a dour 0-0 draw. Back at the Bridge a goal from Atletico legend Fernando Torres in the 36th minute seemingly put Chelsea on their way to their second final in three years, however an Adrian equalizer on the stroke of half-time gave the spaniards the advantage of the away goal. In the second half there was no doubt who the best team was and two more goals for Atletico sealed Chelsea’s fate. No return to Lisbon for Mourinho. Jose was philosophical after the match, though he did grumble about Chelsea’s lack of a cutting edge up front (not for the first time this season) and an eye was already being cast at Atletico’s prolific striker Diego Costa.
Premier League – What a season it was in the top flight in English football. Once Arsenal fell away, it came down to three teams, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea. The final outcome was that trophy stayed in Manchester for the 4th season running. Chelsea finished third, only four points adrift, but Jose will feel they should have won it. In the run in they lost at Aston Villa and Crystal Palace then only took one point from home games versus Sunderland and Norwich (the former being the first team to beat a Jose Mourinho Chelsea team in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge thanks to a penalty from that man Fabio Borini). So 1 point from a possible 12 against teams that all finished in the bottom half of the table. The galling thing for Mou was that they beat Manchester City and Liverpool home and away but let it slip against the so called lesser lights. Again their lack of quality up front was highlighted by the manager as the main reason for their failings.
So a second successive season with NO trophies for the geezer from Portugesa. However I don’t think it goes down as the disastrous campaign that has been reported in some quarters – but definitely one of massive disappointment (I think Mourinho would mark it 5 or 6 out of 10) – opportunities were there to win silverware of some sort. As Europa League winners in 2013 they were involved in the UEFA Super Cup against Bayern Munich, another game they lost, this time on penalties after the Germans scored a last minute equalizer!!!!!!!
Personally I’d say this was a below average season on Jose’s part – they could in theory have ended up with 2 or 3 trophies but ended up with the same amount as the three relegated teams in Premier League ZERO – despite having a much better season than them (and a whole lot of other clubs) – the margins at the top are so tight. Improvement in their style will definitely be something that Roman Abramovich will be looking to see as it is all good and well playing a pragmatic way when you’re winning, but when not a lot of questions will be asked.
Next season is massive for Jose (let alone Chelsea) if like a London Bus three years of no silverware in a row occurs then I’d expect he would be leaving Chelsea for second time at the bequest of the Russian Billionaire along with a tarnished reputation. I wonder what type of Mour we will see, I’d imagine the acquisition of at least one top striker after the managers grumblings throughout the season would leave no excuses for the so called self styled ‘Special One’
Let me know what you think – you can also tweet me @biggishmouth or go to my facebook page at www.facebook.com/thebiggishmouth