Chelsea recorded yet another loss over the weekend, this time against AFC Bournemouth, to continue this most depressing 2015-16 Premier League campaign. It was yet another bad result that put more pressure on manager José Mourinho, especially with more and more many fans seeing his sacking as the only way out of this mess.
But despite the pressure, Mourinho feels he still has the backing of Roman Abramovich, and points out that things aren't so simple that changing the manager would suddenly fix everything.
"I don't think [Abramovich] is a person to change with the wind. I know the wind of the results is an important wind. I know this wind is strong because the results in the Premier League are really bad. But I think the owner knows who I am and what I give to the club, and the owner believes that I am the right person to do the job."
"And now I don't speak about the owner, but just about the reality of the situation: you can read these bad results and focus everything on the manager; you can look at the results and look to players with performances below acceptable [levels]; you can look to this and look to the unlucky decisions we're having in every competition, not just the Premier League; you can look in many directions and decide this is not a one-man responsibility."
-José Mourinho; source: Guardian
Fans and media alike have argued that Chelsea's best way to guarantee a spot in the Champions League next year would be through winning the Europa League this season. This would require Chelsea to finish 3rd in the group by losing to Porto on Wednesday. But Mourinho has different plans instead, aiming as high as to win the Champions League so the Blues don't miss out on the competition.
"I know that in this moment, it looks that to win the Europa League would be an easier way to be in the Champions League next season than to finish in the top four. But there is another possibility, which is to win the Champions League. Yes, it is harder than winning the Europa League, but this is the competition where we are."
"I was always against the teams that are knocked out of the Champions League going to the Europa League because I think there is such a difference in the level of competition. It is not fair for the teams that are in the Europa League to do the group phase then in February to get the teams that are knocked out of the Champions League."
"I think if you are knocked out of the Champions League, you should go home and focus on domestic competitions. We want to play Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern - we want to play all the big teams and for that we need to win tomorrow."
-José Mourinho; source: Sky Sports
Mourinho has never been under such a bad spell in his managerial career. Even at his first - and only - low-profile job as a manager at União de Leiria, the Portuguese got the mid-table side to 3rd place during his short reign. But Mourinho is human after all and is using his struggle to learn more about how to handle these hardships, and also learn more about himself:
"As a manager, I think all this makes me better. This is a first for me. It's a new experience, something I was not used to, and I never thought I would be so strong and so highly motivated to another defeat and, the next morning, I wake up again with the same or even more desire to go and work..."
"It has made me know myself a bit better than before under new circumstances, and I found myself stronger than I thought. When you win all the time and have happiness with the results, it's a wonderful life. When you have bad results it's more difficult, but I found myself really strong. A good experience."
-José Mourinho; source: The Guardian