Back-to-back defeats have left Chelsea and Jose Mourinho reeling on the edge of the abyss once again. Everyone's frustrated, angry, confused, shocked, sad, or all of the above and all at the same time. After a couple decades of consistent success, these are the ultimate trying times, to be sure. (At least until we drop further towards relegation.)
Two major, though slightly conflicting reports emerged over Mourinho's future on Tuesday. The Telegraph ran a Q&A-style rundown of the situation, summing up most of what's happened this season, but ending in a rather ominious paragraph.
So, are they going to sack him?
Yes. It is becoming abundantly clear that it is a matter of when and not if Mourinho will be sacked. Abramovich and Emenalo have done their best to stick by him, but they must also put the club over any individual.
Of course, the vast majority of managerial appointments end in a dismissal — was it Carlo Ancelotti who said that getting sacked was basically a part of the job of being a football manager? — but chances are that the Telegraph weren't going for that technicality. While they do not put a concrete timeframe around when this 'when' might happen, the insinuation is that it will be soon.
Meanwhile, over at the Daily Mail, the story is that the Chelsea brass (who may or may not have included Roman Abramovich) held a 9-hour (!) meeting over the future of the manager, which seems rather excessive but maybe someone's a slow talker. I'd also assume that Abramovich would be involved in any final decision over the fate of Mourinho, so if he wasn't there, I'm not sure just how "crunch" these talks could've possibly been.
[Chelsea] club chiefs held a crunch meeting to discuss Mourinho's future the day after the shock defeat by Premier League newcomers Bournemouth on December 5.
It is understood those talks, which started in the early afternoon, lasted well into the evening as they decided to give the Special One more time to turn the club's season around.
Both reports touch in the issue of potential compensation as well, should the seemingly inevitable happen, with the Telegraph claiming the existence of a lottery-winnings clause that would give the manager the choice of either one year's compensation up front (£10m) or continuing his regular paychecks until he finds another job (which, presumably, wouldn't take too long.)