Wednesday 26 October 2016

John Giles: Jose fate decided when he took on Dr Eva

Mourinho's experience a lesson for the next man in and it could be Guardiola

Read John Giles exclusively in the Evening Herald every Wednesday and Friday

Published 18/12/2015 | 19:54

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Tortured, betrayed, isolated and finally, sacked. Call it mutual consent, call it what you like but from about two weeks into this season, I could see only one end to this. My mistake was to think that Mourinho might walk.

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It's funny, after Mourinho and Chelsea were confirmed as champions last season, I wrote a piece suggesting that Roman Abramovich and his manager were in a position to build a dynasty at Stamford Bridge which could dominate the Premier League.

But during July and in the early weeks of the season, I saw definite signs that there was something seriously wrong with Mourinho and that even after they announced a new four year deal.

Mourinho complained about a wish-list which he handed in at the club back in April and which clearly had not been fulfilled. That was the clinched for me and told me that Mourinho would not be the Chelsea manager for too much longer.

Ultimately for Abramovich, this is a decision based on results but he had his own part to play in Mourinho's downfall and so did Eva Carneiro, perhaps the most significant contribution of all.

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When he clashed with the club medic it went beyond the bounds of football. You can get away with a lot under the banner of the game we all love but this was something more than a manager ranting about a referee or his opposite number or any one of the thousand different excuses we hear on a daily basis.

For me, it was a clear sign that he had no control over himself or the situation he found himself in. I'm not sure why Abramovich decided to keep his cheque-book in his pocket during the summer months other than to dive in for a player, Pedro, who Mourinho didn't want.

I don't know whether that was the advice he received from the people he has hired to run the club but I'm certain he wasn't listening to his manager. That should be remembered and noted, particularly by the next man in. Could it be Pep Guardiola? I think it might.

I take my hat off to Guardiola. It gladdens the heart to see so many wealthy men climbing over each other to get at him. He is in a unique position. Good managers are always in demand but none that I have ever seen have followed PT Barnum's motto so well. Leave them wanting more indeed.

There's a few in the game with the wherewithal to pull this off. Gus Hiddink has followed his own star and has carved a nice position for himself in which billionaires ring him and plead for help.

Carlo Ancelotti never dwells long and always seems to get the best out of players for a short time before moving on with another big wedge in his pocket.

On the face of it, Chelsea would seem like an unlikely stop on Guardiola's tour. Abramovich has never hesitated to meddle in the running of the team and it doesn't seem like a great fit anyway. But for Guardiola, just like Mourinho, buying power is a key element in his decision-making and that requirement is satisfied at Stamford Bridge.

Abramovich has envied what Guardiola represents for a long time and usually, what the Russian wants he gets. Until we know for sure what Guardiola's intentions are regarding Bayern Munich, it is hard to predict where he will end up but it does seem as if the German club is not waiting around for him and is actively chasing Ancelotti to step in for next season.


The German media have made up their mind and Manchester City seems to be the hot favourite to sign Guardiola as far as they are concerned but I think you have to factor in Old Trafford and as I've said, Stamford Bridge too.

Before the news started to come out this week that Guardiola may have itchy feet, Louis van Gaal was under pressure but I thought that the Glazer family would stick with him into next season and even give him more money.

But if Guardiola is on the loose, that changes everything and I would think that the Dutchman is shifting nervously in his seat right now.

Manchester City have made no secret of their desire to hire Guardiola and the new deal they gave Manuel Pellegrini was optics as far as I'm concerned.

In the end, it will all come down to Guardiola's choice.

If he wants to hire him, Abramovich must convince Guardiola that he will be allowed the freedom to work without interference or restriction at Stamford Bridge, something no manager has had since the Russian bought the club

That will be a big job in itself.

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