Manchester United and their manager David Moyes have struggled mightily in this campaign and many fans and pundits have called for the Scotsman to be sacked less than a year after taking the job. It was never going to be easy for Moyes to take over after the greatest manager in Premier League history but no one expected him to struggle as much as he has. Manchester United have already lost eight matches in the Premier League and must still face Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton, and Manchester City so that number will likely increase. The way the club have been playing though, especially in the dismal loss to Stoke City and draw against Fulham, no fixture can be considered an “easy” win. With the rumors of Moyes being favored over Jose Mourinho for the United job over the summer and with Chelsea’s propensity for firing struggling managers, the question arises, would Mourinho be given this kind of grace period at Chelsea?
The short answer, if recent history was to be repeated, is a resounding no. Carlo Ancelotti was fired just a year removed from a domestic double, Andres Villas Boas halfway through his first season, and even Chelsea hero Roberto Di Matteo was sacked after winning the Champions League and FA Cup in his first half-season in charge. If Chelsea were sitting seventh in the league and had already been knocked out of the FA Cup, all signs would point to Jose Mourinho following his predecessors out the door. Mourinho has insisted that this season has always been about rebuilding the squad and putting the pieces together for the future but it would be hard for him to build any momentum if the club was struggling like United.
Imagine for a minute that Chelsea were in danger of not even qualifying for the Europa League next year with a squad of full internationals and previous Golden Boot winners. Imagine that Stamford Bridge became a ground where clubs like West Brom and Swansea City felt not only hopeful, but confident, of coming in and claiming all three points. Would Chelsea faithful still be singing songs for the manager and proclaiming that “In Mourinho We Trust”? Not likely.
Mourinho was always going to be given a grace period and even if he fails to deliver silverware in his first season back in West London he would not get the sack. The goal for this season was to improve on recent league finishes of fifth and third, add some key pieces for the future, and still be in the race for several trophies in the later stages of the competitions. Those goals have been accomplished and now the focus has moved on to bringing a few more trophies home. Thankfully for Chelsea faithful, they do not have to ask themselves if their faith in Mourinho would waiver or if he would be sacked if he struggled like David Moyes because he simply has not and it is possible he never will.
Follow us on Twitter at @PrideOLondon
Like us on Facebook at The Pride of London