Usually on Bad Management we take a look at entire managerial tenures where just complete and utter failures with no redeeming qualities to speak of. This week we are changing that up slightly because the man under the spotlight is one of the most successful managers of the modern era, Jose Mourinho. While his media antics at the moment are annoying his spell as Manchester United manager has nothing on the last season, well half season, that he spent at the end of his second spell at Chelsea. While things do tend to go wrong for Mourinho in his third season nobody could predict just how badly the Portuguese could have it.
Of course we all know the Jose Mourinho success story by now. Despite not having much of a playing career, Jose proved to be an exceptional manager, with his early success culminating with a Champions League win in 2004 with Porto. This followed with back to back titles with Chelsea, winning the treble with Inter and even managing to beat Pep’s Barcelona to the La Liga title once. Jose then returned to England, with Chelsea more specifically, and during the 2013/14 season managed a top four finish followed by another Premier League win in 2014/15. Mourinho was on top of the world and everything was looking good heading into 2015/16.
The season started with a 2-2 draw at home to Swansea, although the result is not what the game will be remembered for. This is of course the site of the Eva Carneiro incident. Chelsea chief doctor rushed onto the pitch to attend to an injured Eden Hazard to the absolute fury of Jose, as this delayed the game and Chelsea’s search for a winner. Carneiro would leave Chelsea shortly after this and seemed to cast a cloud over the entire season.
The rest of August would not go well for Chelsea either. The blues would only win one of their three remaining games, losing heavily to Manchester City and an unthinkable home loss to Crystal Palace. This coupled with minimal transfer reinforcements meant that things were not looking great at Stamford Bridge. The whole period of September and October was pretty horrific too. Collecting a possible seven points from 21 is not a good look and losses to Everton (via a Steven Naismith hat trick, yes seriously), West Ham (where Jose got sent to the stands at half time) and Liverpool, with new exciting boss Jurgen Klopp at the helm compiled Chelsea’s woes.
Going into November it was clear Jose had lost the dressing room. Diego Costa was so angry he physically couldn’t score a goal and the likes of Fabregas and Hazard were nowhere near their high level of the previous season. The month ended with a disappointing return of four points from nine and it was clear that the situation was make or break for the increasingly irate Mourinho, who seemed to be losing it every time he was asked a question.
A homes loss to newly promoted Bournemouth seemed unthinkable at the start of the season but it happened at the start of December and things were reaching a boiling point. It was pretty clear to everyone: fail to win at surprise leaders Leicester (who went on to have a fairly unmemorable season) and he would have to go. Well a 2-1 loss left Chelsea left the West London club a point above the drop zone and Mourinho was given his marching orders. Guus Hiddink came in to salvage the season, although even he could only manage 10th place.
We had seen defending champions crumble before but this was on another level. While Jose Mourinho was massively let down by his own players his constant press conference explosions only made things worse. A collapse this spectacular was almost inexplicable, although perhaps not as inexplicable as Antonio Conte coming in the next season and winning the league. Obviously Jose landed on his feet and got the Manchester United job, and while their fans may complain now, it could always be worse.