After the public dressing down of "some" of his players on national television following the defeat at Leicester Monday night, Mourinho continued to mince no words about "some" of his players. They no doubt know who they are.
"Some of them need to rethink the way they live Chelsea, the way they live football, they live their job."
"Chelsea is big, football is more than a job, it's a passion. Every match on the pitch you should live with an unbelievable passion. How many millions would love to be football players and they can't be? You shouldn't waste any minutes on the pitch, you should enjoy every minute and you should give absolutely everything."
"Yes, I feel frustrated with some players and I feel that some others give absolutely everything and don't deserve to lose."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Chelsea TV via Mirror
One thing that's become abundantly clear this season, if it wasn't before, is that Mourinho eats, breathes, lives football to the absolute max. It often gets him into trouble, living in such symbiosis with football, when the Machiavellian mask slips and the emotion and the rage takes hold. But it is also what's made him the most successful manager of the past decade and a half and the greatest Chelsea manager ever by quite some distance.
Since his return to Chelsea, it's also become abundantly clear, if it wasn't before, that he demands very much the same from his players. Supreme dedication to the game, and to the cause of winning. It's partly why many have accused him of burning out players, with his methods overstaying their welcome. And while it is his job to motivate and manage the players and their egos, but that doesn't change the fact that the players themselves need to bring their best to the proceedings as well. Can't motivate someone who doesn't want to be motivated.
Mourinho used the word "betrayed" in his post-match interview, which is a very strong accusation indeed and could easily be interpreted as evidence of a serious (even if unconscious) disconnect in the dressing room. We could very well look back on this week as the final make-or-break of this season and Mourinho's future at the club. The players could finally snap out of their malaise and go back to the players we once knew. Or, since we can't fire all of them, we fire the only easily fireable part of the equation, regardless of any compensation or other after-effects to be paid (so much for our stability project!).
(Or we play the kids? I mean, might as well.)