Tuesday 20 February 2018

Jose Mourinho becomes latest victim of the hero to zero experience in sport

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has become the latest victim of the hero to zero effect in sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has become the latest victim of the hero to zero effect in sport

Seven months after winning his third Premier League title, Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea for the second time.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of those who have had to endure the uncomfortable experience of a rapid hero to zero descent at some point during their careers in the world of sport.


The second Chelsea coming of the 'Special One' saw a similar story to that of the Portuguese's first spell at Stamford Bridge. Despite a trophyless first campaign back in west London in 2013-14 Mourinho showed he still had the winning habit as he bagged the Premier League title and the Capital One Cup the following season. But seven months and 16 Premier League games later he was gone with Chelsea a point above the relegation zone, technical director Michael Emenalo's suggestion of a "palpable discord between manager and players" adding weight to the argument that he had lost the dressing room.


Spotting a theme here? The one prize that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich coveted above all others was delivered by caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo, who succeeded the short-lived Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012. Di Matteo guided Chelsea to the Champions League final - beating Napoli, Benfica and Barcelona - and to victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup final before the Blues' first European Cup was secured with a shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in their own stadium. A two-year deal was signed, but six months later Di Matteo was sacked and has done little in management ever since.


David Beckham was the darling of the English media when a trademark free-kick in a 2-0 victory against Colombia sent Glenn Hoddle's side into the knock-out stages of the 1998 World Cup in France. Four days later a petulant kick on Argentina midfielder Diego Simeone brought a red card and saw effigies of him being hanged as Beckham was blamed in some quarters for England's tournament exit. But Beckham bounced back spectacularly from that difficult experience to become England captain and was firmly re-established as an England hero when his c urling last-gasp free-kick against Greece in 2001 sent England to the 2002 World Cup finals.


Babies born in 1987 when England won the Ashes in Australia were teenagers when the urn once more returned to these shores. Fighting back from 1-0 down, Michael Vaughan's side won one of the most thrilling series ever played 2-1 and ending 18 years of hurt was marked by a Trafalgar Square parade and meeting the Prime Minister in Downing Street. Strangely enough, there were no such celebrations 16 months later as England, now led by 2005 hero Andrew Flintoff, suffered a 5-0 whitewash - the first time this had happened in an Ashes series since 1920-21.


Drug use always turns athletes from heroes to zeroes and Jamaican-born Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to this category. Johnson was the fastest man on the planet when he set consecutive 100 metres world records at the 1987 World Championships and the 1988 Olympics, lowering the record to an eye-popping 9.79 seconds. But it was all a charade and, three days after winning Olympic gold in Seoul, Johnson was disqualified and left in disgrace in the time it took to say 'stanozolol, an anabolic steroid'.

Press Association

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