It's unclear why the football world seems to be giving so much time to someone (or a team of someones) hiding behind the moniker of "The Secret Footballer," this seemingly all-seeing, all-knowing insider to everything Chelsea (and probably all the other teams, too), but his "revelation" that it is Cesc Fàbregas leading the "mini-revolution" against Mourinho inside the Chelsea dressing room runs against just about every single bit of publicly available or deducible information about the relationship between the ex-Arsenal man and the Chelsea manager.
The two of them have spent the best part of the past year and a half bigging each other up in the meida, with Cesc talking specifically about how Mourinho made him feel important and wanted in the first place, with Jose speaking repeatedly about the key role that Fabregas plays in the team, and about how he's a winner and has the qualities required of leading a team to great new heights, etc. Fabregas was one of first to speak in no uncertain terms about supporting Mourinho in these troubling times. And why wouldn't he; he's been the most undroppable player in the squad, even more so than Hazard or Matic or Ivanovic.
But people are talking so the Chelsea midfielder has seen fit to jump on Facebook and clarify a couple things.
"I would like to clarify that contrary to a few reports form some online websites, I am extremely happy at Chelsea and have an excellent relationship with the manager.
There maybe certain individuals from the outside trying to destabilise this club but I strongly believe that we will bounce back and come good again."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Facebook
So, now that we've cleared that up, let's move on to this wonderful graphic from Gazzetta dello Sport, courtesy of the fine folk at Sport Witness.
Mourinho, the center of the universe as one would expect is orbited by a highly populated inner circle, then a more sparse neutral belt of bodies that could go either way, and finally an outer ring of Plutos, who would like nothing more than to escape the gravitational pull of The Special One's massive ego. Among this latter group are Oscar, Azpilicueta, Matic, Ivanovic, and Falcao, with the insinuation being that at least one of these five is the source of all the unrest, including, probably, that incendiary quote reported over the weekend by the BBC.
Gazzetta are no doubt just guessing of course. Ivanovic seems like a ridiculous player to include in the outer ring, with the manager sticking by him while holding everyone else's feet to the fire. Perhaps the vice-captain has some solidarity with his countryman Matic, but by all accounts no such solidarity is needed, with the midfielder recently claiming that he holds no grudge and just wants to get past all this nonsense and drama and get back to winning. Azpilicueta was criticized publicly and quite specifically as well, but he's also spoken very recently in support of Mourinho. As has Oscar, despite getting dropped and left behind a couple times in the past few weeks. Which I guess leaves Falcao. But of course the only reason Falcao's here is because of Mourinho. Could he be so ungrateful to the manager so quickly?
We will probably never find out the truth. Or perhaps we will one day, when everyone's retired and happily doing whatever's next in the lives. Until then, we could just take every player's words at face value and remain strong in our belief that they are indeed united behind the manager. Just like Frank Lampard did on Monday Night Football. Just like Pat Nevin urges in his weekly column.
(At least until he gets sacked, right?)