Mourinho: I've no right to ask for January signings
Published 21/11/2015 | 02:30
Although the backing has been genuine, there is an underlying sense that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has got Jose Mourinho right where he wants him with the manager admitting he has "no right" to ask for January signings.
Ahead of today's must-win game against Norwich City, Mourinho's tone could not have been more different from the man who complained of being bought the wrong class of eggs from an inferior supermarket just before Abramovich was widely derided for sacking the Portuguese eight years ago.
Of course, Mourinho's achievements with Chelsea and last season's comfortable Premier League title success dictate that he should be afforded time to turn around the club's fortunes.
But in backing the 52-year-old through such a dramatic slump that sees Chelsea in 16th place in the table, Abramovich has ensured that, not only is Mourinho in no position to call for new players, he will escape scrutiny no matter whether his manager ultimately succeeds or fails.
The Chelsea fans who are singing Mourinho's name are unlikely to accuse Abramovich of being trigger happy if he eventually feels there is no option but to make a change.
Mourinho may be able to point to the signings Chelsea missed out on and where they still need to strengthen if they were simply falling short in the title race, but with his side just three points above the relegation zone he can do little else but accept his lot.
That was made plainly clear in last month's statement Abramovich and the Chelsea board released to give Mourinho a vote of confidence, which said: "We believe that we have the right manager to turn this season around and that he has the squad to do it."
So it was hardly surprising that, when asked whether he would ask for the funds to overhaul his squad in January, Mourinho said: "I will not ask for any changes. I will not ask the board in January. I'm happy with the players. I trust the players. I don't need to clean the dressing room and I don't need to ask the club to spend money in January.
"I'm not saying I won't sign anyone. I'm saying I won't ask the club to do that. I don't have the right to do it, in my opinion. I'd be more than happy with the squad I have now.
"We put ourselves in a great situawtion together by being champions. We put ourselves together in this situation in the Premier League. We have to be together, again, to put it right."
Asked to expand on why he does not have the right to recommend new players to Abramovich in the next transfer window, Mourinho said: "Because our performance during the season in the Premier League is not good enough.
"If I ask for players, or if the club gives me a handful of players, it's like taking a bit the responsibility from us and saying we need extra to reach our objectives. I want the responsibility in my hands, the players to have the responsibility in their hands. I want the players to feel I trust them and don't need other players to reach the objectives. So, I think, we should go together, me and the players."
Despite his conciliatory approach, Mourinho insists he and his players have earned the trust of the Chelsea board.
"We were champions four months ago," said Mourinho. "Not four years ago. Or 10 years ago. The manager is the same. The players are basically the same too. Nobody gives a four-year contract four months ago if they don't trust the person. Nobody gives new contracts to players, like we did to so many of them in the last couple of months, if we don't trust the players.
"There is trust and there are reasons for that trust. But, obviously, the power in the end is with the owner and the board.
"It's important for us to go to a good period because the owner deserves it, the board deserve it, the supporters deserve it so much, but we deserve, I deserve, the players deserve. We are working hard and fighting together, so we deserve it."
Chelsea v Norwich, Live Setanta , 3.0