In our poll, over 75 per cent of voters responded 'No' to the question of whether Chelsea should sack Jose Mourinho or not. Such overwhelming support, in the stands, in front of the TV, and online is perhaps part of the reason the Chelsea manager has two more games to save his job. Just like last week!
Or perhaps part of the reason is that this most recent report, from ESPN's Miguel Delaney, just like reports last week (from several outlets), are simply incorrect. Maybe the reason Mourinho feels no (extra) pressure to save his job is because there is no extra pressure. The only pressure is to turn the season around.
If Chelsea were to make a change, the international break starting next weekend would seem a decent enough time to do so, giving the new man an extra week or two to settle in. ESPN's report suggests that Carlo Ancelotti, despite the former Chelsea man claiming otherwise earlier, could be persuaded to take over on a temporary basis.
In related news, BBC Radio 5Live presenter Garry Richardson on the station's SportsWeek program* has claimed that at least one player in the dressing room would rather lose than play for Mourinho again. I would humbly suggest we strap this player to a rocket and blast him into space. You play for the shirt, not the manager; don't care how much of a jerk you think he is.
"Let me tell you what I know on the Chelsea story. My information comes from a Chelsea first team player."
"The information was actually passed to me by a football contact. I was told that Jose Mourinho's relationship with many of his players is at rock bottom. I was told they're fed up with the way he's been dealing with some of them. They're fed up with his outbursts. I was told that his relationship particularly with Eden Hazard was under immense strain."
"Here's a staggering quote. One player said recently, "I'd rather lose than win for him". Now that last quote may well have been said in the heat of the moment, but it perhaps gives an insight into the mood of some of the players."
-Garry Richardson; source: BBC via Mail
Of course, Richardson's story could very well be a bunch of hogwash (where is the information coming from again?). Or perhaps it's just someone reading too much into something.
In any case, one of the guests on the BBC program, former Chelsea hero and assistant manager Ray Wilkins doubted the veracity of the story, as common sense would dictate. Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant was also a guest, but he was fairly useless, as one would expect.
"First and foremost, I'd like to pick up what you said about the player in the dressing room - what about winning for yourself and your team-mates? I'd love to know who that guy was, I'm intrigued. I find that an appalling statement that he's come out with. It angers me a touch, I have to say. Get on with your own job."
"You're talking about an individual that's come to you [Richardson], or spoken to you or spoken through a third party who is coming out with these tales. In any dressing room if a player isn't selected, a player isn't happy. He only keeps 11 players happy at one given period. Whichever manager you are, whichever club you manage - you keep 11 people happy. The rest are disgruntled. Disgruntled players will be from 12 onwards."
-Ray Wilkins; source: BBC via Yahoo
There is undoubtedly plenty of disgruntlement in the dressing room. It's the least we should expect in such a horror show of a season. But as many players keep saying publicly, we must keep together and work through this baddest of bad moments.
Mourinho said that the only way he'd leave willingly is if he lost the dressing room. If Richardson's story is true — he did not answer Wilkins' challenge to "name names" but vehemently defended the story — this could be closer than we might imagine. All the more reason to start winning right now.
* You can listen to a replay of the hour-long Sportsweek program here. The segment is at the very start, around the 7min mark.