It has been quite a topsy-turvy one year as a Chelsea fan. The last three months of 2016 were the ones to cherish as we as fans got to witness a new system of football at Stamford Bridge under Antonio Conte.
But one question in my mind is still unanswered; and may never be answered What if Mourinho was still in charge of Chelsea even after that horrific 2015-16 season? Could we be title contenders or be at the position where we are now?
On the 17th December, 2015 the football world was shocked by the news of Jose Mourinho’s sacking and I am pretty sure the fans must have had a terrible feeling about this incident. A tragic end to our club’s most successful manager of all time and a fan favourite of Chelsea.
Nobody had ever though Mourinho would return to Chelsea after 2007 till 2013, when he announced his return to the club he transformed completely the first time he was here. The fans kept on criticising the first team players but never did they say a word about our manager (excluding some fans).
Chelsea fans kept supporting him through thick and thin, chanted his name throughout the 90 minutes during tense situations in matches that were played at home last season, but the thing that seemed inevitable happened.
Our team’s sinking ship was saved by an experienced Guus Hiddink, and in April 2016 the fans were in for a bit of surprise.
Antonio Conte was appointed as the permanent replacement of Mourinho at Stamford Bridge. And after the season was finished it was revealed that our beloved manager had signed for Manchester United a direct rival.
Since then we have seen a different Mourinho altogether, and it was nothing like the one we knew and loved. Incidents like him refusing to sign a Chelsea jersey, taunting Chelsea’s playing methods came into limelight, and the fans started to have mixed opinions about our special one. He seemed to take a dig at Chelsea in almost every press conference and interview he gave to the mainstream media platforms.
On the other hand Conte has grown up to be a fan favourite among the Stamford Bridge faithful, and is also liked by fans of other teams.
But every time we see Conte winning games, deep inside we all know that this was the similar spirit that Mourinho used to have when he was Chelsea manager. Now we see a very quiet, serious Jose at press conferences; and he does not mention our club name, he says ‘my previous team’ every time he wants to say Chelsea.
In only one interview I have noticed Mourinho praising the Chelsea, and that too before facing us at Stamford Bridge. The Return seemed to be a tense encounter, but we all know what happened next. 30 seconds were enough to get over the feeling of Mourinho being at the Bridge but in the opposite dugout.
Chants of “you’re not special anymore” were sung at one end of the Bridge and clearly no Chelsea fan would have liked that at all. But on the other hand, how Mourinho is responding to Chelsea fans in particular is also a bit disturbing sometimes.
The fans were the ones who always stood by him in the difficult times that led to his sacking. Though Conte is leading Chelsea to the top currently, real fans will never ever forget the contribution Jose has made towards the development of the club and all the trophies he has achieved over the years with Chelsea.
Even now I am pretty sure Chelsea fans would love to cheer him and get their shirts signed by him but it is time our ex manager came to good terms with the fans, for they are not at all responsible for his sacking.
There is a saying,”You either die a hero or live long to see yourself become a villain.” Well as Chelsea fans nobody would like to see Mourinho develop a bad reputation among Blues fans for all they gave him was love, affection and support.