LMA chief Richard Bevan "shocked" by Jose Mourinho exit
Managers' boss Richard Bevan admitted he was caught cold by Jose Mourinho's Chelsea exit.
League Managers Association chief Bevan and former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley both expressed huge surprise at Mourinho's departure from Chelsea, that was confirmed on Thursday.
Mourinho paid the price for Chelsea's limp title defence, with the Blues suffering nine defeats in their 16 Barclays Premier League matches so far this term.
Guus Hiddink is in the frame to replace Mourinho as an interim boss until the summer, when Chelsea could move for Italy manager Antonio Conte.
"If they change the manager nothing's going to really change, they're going to finish mid-table perhaps, so why change the manager?" Curbishley told talkSPORT.
"It's extraordinary given he signed a new four-year deal in August.
"There's lots of people talking about why it's happened: it's results.
"Some people are saying they weren't shocked by this decision - I was.
"Jose Mourinho with what he's done at Chelsea, he had earned the right to have a bad season."
Bevan called on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to usher in an era of managerial stability at Stamford Bridge, despite the Russian boss' preference for interim appointments while chasing long-term targets.
"I was actually too (shocked) on this occasion," Bevan also told talkSPORT.
"He's an absolute iconic manager, he put Chelsea firmly on the map, the most important manager in their history.
"He was last season's manager of the year. He's a passionate man with a magnificent work ethic and immense knowledge.
"I spent some time watching him in training during his time at Real Madrid and I was really impressed with his work and his man-management.
"I'm really disappointed he won't be there to take on Sunderland, Watford and Manchester United in the coming weeks.
"Chelsea have had nine managers since 2008, so I think the fans should hope that the next manager can be there for a good three-plus years, in order to try to build on the legacy that Jose's left them."
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas offered a warm tribute to Mourinho on Instagram, while cricketer Kevin Pietersen lambasted the Portuguese's exit.
"Thank you for all you have done for me. I owe you a lot and we will all miss you. Good luck in the future," said Fabregas.
Pietersen was far less politic, posting: "Guus Hiddink better than Jose?!?! Filthy sacking? Just absolute filth! #CFC.
Former Holland midfielder Bolo Zenden, who has worked under Hiddink in the past, backed the veteran Dutchman to raise spirits quickly if called into action at Stamford Bridge.
Hiddink held a similar caretaker role in 2009 after the exit of Luiz Felipe Scolari, and could yet be primed to repeat that feat.
"We all know he's a great manager with people skills, I'm sure he's capable of getting their heads right," Zenden told TalkSPORT.
"If he comes in we'll have to wait and see, he's available, there's not too many managers available that have certain qualities to get into the hot seat."
Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said that all has not been well in the Chelsea camp this term.
"There's something not right at Chelsea, let's be honest," Redknapp told BBC Five Live.
"I've seen them get beat in games and felt it's not about getting a decision, a penalty.... It's got tedious.
"Players listen, it's been about Jose, when they won the league it was about him; there's something wrong there and there's a feel of all not being well but at the end of it you're only as good as your players."
Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino believes the Stamford Bridge hierarchy had little option but to replace Mourinho.
"It was a question of when. Was I surprised? Yes, on how quickly it developed into a sacking," Cascarino told Sky Sports News.
"It has been a strange time and I really felt there was no alternative after Monday night in the way they lost the game.
"I don't believe he should have had more time. Chelsea Football Club is an empire, they have won so many things, and Jose has been a big part of this success and Jose earned the right to stay at the football club longer than most and he did.
"Roman had backed him and backed him and it was defeat after defeat.
"There was no alternative. As great a manager as I think Jose is, even the greatest have to fall some time.
"The final weeks have been such a fall, I don't think anyone could have imagined at the start of the season that Chelsea could fall from grace as much as they have done."
Former Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp said on Sky Sports News: "I wasn't that surprised.
"After Monday's result when words like 'betrayal' were used, unfortunately you felt like there was going to be an ending where the manager has to leave. You can't get rid of players obviously because they have long contracts.
"It's always light and shade with Jose but it just feels this year there's been a lot more shade.
"It's unprecedented what's happened to Chelsea after winning the title seven months ago.
"A lot of players who have fallen out with him will be pleased to see the back of him.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for someone coming in because make no mistake whoever comes in, that club is going to fly now. They're going to win a lot of games and in a way prove it's not just about Jose Mourinho.
"I think he needs a break from the game. He's looked very stressed this season and has pretty much had fights with everyone. That can't be healthy for him.
"A lot is going to be said about Jose Mourinho but he's been fantastic for our league. He's a brilliant manager and is obviously very talented but every now and again he has these moments when he really finds it hard that players aren't performing to the level he wants and it always seems to be the same outcome - him leaving the club.
"Someone will be thinking that Mourinho is the manager to win them trophies."