I'm generally not a fan of wallowing too much in the past. Nostalgia is the most toxic impulse. No regerts. No ragrets. No regrets, even. What's done is done. You deserve what you get. It is what it is. Etc.
But as we approach, finally, the end of this wretched season, we can perhaps allow a moment for a few final words. We had some on the whole Kevin De Bruyne story the other day (punctuated oh-so fittingly by City's walloping of Chelsea on Saturday), and now here are a few more on José Mourinho, courtesy of Cesc Fàbregas who was the featured guest on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football during which Spurs closed the gap at the top to just five points.
In true synergistic Chelsea-Arsenal style, Cesc also trolled Spurs, and talked a bit about the anticipation and expectations surrounding Conte's arrival, but the relevant quotes about Mourinho should serve as a decent coda on a most egregious episode in the club's history.
"A lot has been said, and many wrong things about that situation. I love Jose and consider him even my friend, we still keep in touch now and some of the things said were unfortunate."
"I think his biggest problem was that he trusted us too much. He gave us more holiday because we were champions, he believed in us more, trusted us more, and we let him down. The whole team, all the players."
"That was the main reason why at the end he had to go. And for that, myself and all the team, will feel bad for him."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Sky
Cesc — who despite his close relationship with Mourinho was often proclaimed by the media as some sort of instigator of discord — is of course not the first, nor will he probably be the last to accept the lion's share of the blame for Chelsea's implosion at the start of this season. And while players shouldering the blame at this point will not change anything, nor is their performance the only reason for the way things turned out, perhaps it will serve as an example for them of what not to do next season.
Despite his horrible record this season, Mourinho remains Chelsea's best, most successful, and most decorated manager of all time, and it's not even close. For that, we will forever be grateful. We may not have gotten our fairy tale of a decades-long dynasty, but real life and especially modern football is a harsh place. Once the drama of this season is long forgotten (and the possible drama of him managing a rival like Manchester United is long over as well) we shall welcome José back with open arms, tearful eyes, and full hearts. He is one of us, after all.