17th December 2015 – this date is one of the worst dates if you are a Chelsea fan. It brings back all those terrible emotions. The emotion of losing someone dearest to you, the emotion of anger towards the board, Roman Abramovich and most of all towards the players. I still remember getting the pop up on my mobile “Chelsea and Jose part ways by mutual consent’”. Hoping against hope, I searched “Chelsea” on Google only to be shattered completely. Chelsea had indeed let go of Jose Mourinho.
I know that talking of sacking a manager in such a dramatic way sounds strange especially since it is Chelsea, but I (and believe me MOST Chelsea fans) cannot help themselves. Jose Mourinho is (yes, it is not a typo, he IS) still SPECIAL to us. You cannot possibly be a Chelsea fan and not have a ‘thing’ for him. I see a very similar trend/cult following/fanaticism emerging in the United fans too. The same United fans that could not stand Jose’s tactics and the word ‘pragmatism’, have today let go of the ‘United way’ and are seen preaching about the very same pragmatism. Truth is I do not blame them. There is just something about that man that makes you gravitate towards him (or makes you absolutely loathe him).
Amongst Chelsea fans, Jose will always have a ‘special’ place. For us, he is a demi-god, a messiah, a hero and most appropriately now, a fallen angel. Not many Chelsea fans begrudged him going to United and becoming the second highest paid manager in the footballing world. After all, we are well aware, at the end of the day, football is a business and Jose is one of the best in the business. What followed has been an emotional roller-coaster.
It started with small jabs that Chelsea fans are way too familiar with. The “Jose-ish” jab of the Chelsea team being ‘defensive’, United fans being the best in the world, wearing the United logo bearing coats just for the games against Chelsea. It seems that Jose is going out of his way to hurt the people who sang his name louder than ever just two months after his departure. The same fans who readily booed the players currently playing for the club for an individual who most probably will never again be associated with the club. The same fan base that Jose said that he was a part of, remember “ONE OF US”.
Do not get me wrong, I am not expecting Jose to say “I love Chelsea and I am here just because things did not work out the way I expected” in his first interview for United. I know and I understand he is a United manager and would do everything in his control to make it the club that it was under Sir Alex Ferguson (or maybe even better). However, I also do not expect him to purposely disrespect the fans that have been loyal and loving to him, giving him a standing ovation when he came to Stamford Bridge with Inter Milan or with Manchester United.
I have seen Drogba come to the Bridge and play a Champions League fixture for Galatasaray and remember each of his touches being cheered. I have seen Cech come to the Bridge in Arsenal’s colours and still get the respect he deserves. I have seen Lampard score an equaliser for Manchester City and still get a standing ovation from the Chelsea fans after the game. All of these legends were a part of Chelsea longer than Jose ever will be. Yet, none of these legends have seen their legacy tarnished despite playing for some of our fiercest rivals. Jose, on the other hand, is becoming just another name on the long list of Chelsea managers due to his antics. Wearing the United logo is not going to bother Roman Abramovich or Michael Emenalo. For sure, it is not going to affect the Chelsea players. The same ones who apparently threw him under the bus. The only people it does affect are the Chelsea fans, who have loved him no matter what and in no way deserve the things that are coming their way.
I surely wish things were different, that Jose was still the manager at Chelsea. However such decisions are not for the fans to take. Fans simply make do with the hand that is dealt to them, be it Jose getting sacked or Wenger continuing for 2 more years (sorry, but could not stop myself from taking that dig). We will continue to hold Jose in the highest regard possible, we will continue to love Jose no matter what, if only he can simply stop alienating us in every possible situation.