The inevitable end seems nigh for Jose Mourinho. A fifth league defeat of the season at the weekend to West Ham leaves Chelsea stranded in 15th in the Premier League table after 10 games, with the Portuguese, his assistant and Nemanja Matic all sent off, with five other players booked. Matt Stead thinks Jose has become the biggest victim of his own siege mentality at the club.
So what’s next at Stamford Bridge? According to the Daily Mail, Mourinho could be sacked within a week. The piece by Sami Mokbel states that Mourinho’s future at the club is under significant scrutiny from Roman Abramovich, who could repeat his September 2007 feat in mutual consenting the manager.
What’s striking is the limited choice of potential replacements Chelsea have. According to the Mail, the familiar faces of Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by the club in 2011, and Guus Hiddink, who managed the club in a short-term spell two years prior, are the only real options. The theory is to bring in a manager until the end of the season until a Pep Guardiola or Diego Simeone becomes available, with the Telegraph claiming the club are targeting the former in particular. Are they forgetting Tim Sherwood is currently unemployed?
The Daily Express stoke the Mourinho fire, stating that defeat to Liverpool next week will decide Mourinho’s fate. Both outlets state that the Portuguese would be in line to receive around £30million from the club if he is sacked, with a new lucrative four-year deal having been agreed in the summer.
The Sun offer a slightly different view, with Andrew Dillon saying the club’s hierarchy ‘retain faith’ in the manager and ‘his job remains safe for now’. Then again, he closes his article with this line: ‘But a defeat against Liverpool at home on Saturday could prove to be a tipping point.’
Basically, Jurgen could end him.
VILLA KEEN ON GARDE
Remi Garde, David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers, Nigel Pearson. The Guardian believe those four are the main candidates for the vacant managerial post at Aston Villa, with Frenchman Garde the frontrunner.
Garde is currently out of work after leaving Lyon last year, as are two of the other three. However, the former Arsenal midfielder is the ‘overwhelming favourite’ for the job according to Stuart James, with Villa having contacted Gunners boss Arsene Wenger for advice on the 49-year-old. It is thought that Garde’s tactical acumen and penchance for developing young players fits in perfectly with Villa’s long-term vision.
As for the other three, Moyes is apparently not keen to leave Real Sociedad despite their recent struggles, Rodgers wants to take a break from the game after his sacking at Liverpool and Pearson is Pearson.
In terms of Sherwood, he is widely reported to be in line to receive a £2million pay-off for his efforts. The Daily Express even believe they have Tim’s next appointment, with Swindon Town interested in his services. Current chairman Lee Power, a former team-mate of Sherwood’s, has recently praised the Englishman as “one of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking men currently in the game”. The Robins are currently second-bottom in League One, but questions remain as to whether Sherwood would even be good enough for that post.
CAPTAIN, LEADER, QATAR
You’d think John Terry would take the hint, having been linked to the likes of Fenerbahce, China and other Premier League footballer graveyards in recent times. With Chelsea and their captain in dire straits currently, perhaps the former England skipper would contemplate his latest link.
According to John Cross of the Mirror, Terry is a target for Qatari club Al Arabi, managed by Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola. Terry is out of contract in the summer, and his former team-mate is considering an ambitious move. Qatari clubs are also looking for big names to join the league
Cross adds that Terry is ‘sweating on his Chelsea future’ – as he should be – while ‘there will be no shortage of takers’ if he is to leave this summer. That may be true, it’s just that Terry may not exactly like his options.
WENGER TO GROOM VIEIRA
Over to the Daily Mirror now, who claim Arsenal are ready to do a Manchester United with their managerial future.
Where United are clearly grooming club legend and assistant manager Ryan Giggs for the role after Louis van Gaal’s exit, Arsenal are apparently interested in doing the same with Patrick Vieira. The Mirror, who use the Sunday People’s Steve Bates as their source, believe former Gunners midfielder Vieira can be prised away from his current role as Manchester City youth development coach if the carrot of managing Arsenal in the future is offered.
Steve Stammers of the Mirror also reports that Arsenal are preparing a new contract for Wenger to take him into 2019. Which is strange, considering the Mirror claimed Wenger was going to leave in 2017 just 10 days ago.
VARDY STORY GETS MORE MENTAL
Debate rages on as to whether Harry Kane is real or not after his revitalised hat-trick against Bournemouth at the weekend, but there is a new contender for his crown. Step forward Jamie Vardy.
The Leicester striker was linked with Spurs and Liverpool at the weekend after becoming only the eighth man to score in seven consecutive Premier League games, but now the Metro, via Fichajes, have just gone batsh*t mental.
The Spanish website claims that, in their search for a striker in order to avoid complacency creeping into Karim Benzema’s game, Vardy has been identified as a target by Real Madrid.
For what it’s worth, Fichajes also claim that Manchester United have sounded out Antoine Griezmann’s representatives with a view to signing the Frenchman. I bet he can’t wait to sit on the bench next year while Wayne Rooney drags himself around the pitch for another full 90 minutes.