FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-CHELSEA

English football blog Football Banter takes a look at the controversy around Chelsea’s start to the season.

 The English Premier League season 2015/2016 is almost halfway through, and already Chelsea FC’s controversial manager Jose Mourinho has provided a season’s worth of controversy.

Aside from skilfully diluting criticism of his side’s abject display against Swansea in the opening game (by demonizing diligent and hard-working medical staff), he also made football fans throughout the UK feel sorry for John Terry on Sunday after making him the obvious scapegoat for the Blues’ 3-0 thrashing against Manchester City.

In hauling Terry off at half-time, he appeared to preparing his excuses in anticipation of an inevitable defeat. This is Mourinho’s captain, lest we forget, and a man who managed to defy his age to play every minute of every game in last years’ successful EPL campaign. While the former England skipper was clearly lacking in pace against the mobile Sergio Aguero he has never been described as being fleet-of-foot, while his partner Gary Cahill was far more culpable in terms of the first-half goal and Chelsea’s general malaise at the back.

No, Terry got the boot because he is about as popular outside of West London as the plague, and his withdrawal was likely to generate newspaper headlines that distracted from Mourinho’s tactical failure and inflexibility.

It is also an example of his ability to blame everyone and everything for failure on the pitch, while also protecting his own, self-styled reputation as a managerial genius and ‘the special one’. The worry is that once he alienated fiercely loyal lieutenants such as Terry, he may find himself isolated against a growing army of enemies.

With the owner, the board and many of the players he has brought into the club firmly within the Portuguese’s sights, we have him pegged at this season’s next casualty. A lot of Blues fans will now be getting a pretty strong feeling of déjà vu, As it currently stands the bookmakers show Mourinho is favourite to be the next managerial casualty (even before Steve McClaren from Newcastle). It’s almost like a game of UK Bingo where Chelsea will end up in May, but are the excuses running out for Mourinho once and for all? I would say yes…