It's come to the point where there isn't any need to tip-toe around the giant elephant in the room.
Has this been any other season, any other match, any other day of Roman Abramovich's tenure as Chelsea owner, Jose Mourinho would've been long gone. Possibly sacked in a tunnel away to Everton (what up, Uncle Carlo?) or on the flight home from a Champions League encounter (what up, Robbie D?) or given his walking papers after more comical media appearances (Andre, Andre, what's the score?) or sent on his way with a massive severance after a player revolt (how's it going, Big Phil?) or...
The list of ex-managers is as long as it is illustrious. Mourinho's name is on it once already; right now it would not be surprising to see him get a second such dubious recognition.
The Special One himself is well aware of these expectations, and has pre-empted any sort of rumor or vote of confidence with a public challenge to the board and the owner.
Mourinho: "I know you know the history of this club, you know every time results are not good, was a change..."— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) October 3, 2015
Mourinho: "When I was contacted to go back, I was told 'we had so many managers, we know you are the best'— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) October 3, 2015
Mourinho: "It's time for the club to act in a different way, a position of stability, a position of trust"— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) October 3, 2015
We had a long-term plan in place when we brought back Mourinho, but it was always understood that while building for the future, the present couldn't be ignored. So far, with two trophies in two seasons while ushering out the remainder of the Old Guard and developing a New one, the plan seemed to have been working just fine. Everything was good.
But now, suddenly and far more quickly than anyone could've ever anticipated, we're at a crossroads. Current results are far from good. Do we cut & run? We have limited options for drastic change, and changing managers is the one option that's always available. It may have made sense in earlier seasons, but does it make sense right now?
Mourinho has said before that he would never resign from Chelsea and that he would keep going as long as the owner and the board wanted him. He repeated those intentions today as well. Make no mistake, he wants to fix this situation himself.
Mourinho: "No way I resign. No way. Why? Because Chelsea cannot have a better manager than me."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) October 3, 2015
Mourinho: "No chance I run away. Why? 1 - because I have my professional pride. 2 - because I like this club very much."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) October 3, 2015
Mourinho: "When we were champions least season I said I stay until the owner & board want me to leave. No club can persuade me to leave."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) October 3, 2015
Mourinho: "No chance I resign. That is completely clear. I can't tell you more."— Dan Levene (@danlevene) October 3, 2015
The manager claims he still has the trust of the players and the support of the owner. I think we're about to find out just how correct or incorrect he is about all that.