José Mourinho has left his role as Chelsea manager, seven months after taking the club to the Premier League title with the London side hovering above the relegation zone.
Mourinho leaves Stamford Bridge two-and-a-half years into his second spell at the club. The Blues lost 2-1 at Leicester City on Monday, their ninth defeat in 16 league games this term. They are 16th in the English top flight, just one point clear of the relegation zone; no announcement has been made about a caretaker or successor.
A club statement read: “Chelsea Football Club and José Mourinho have today parted company by mutual consent. All at Chelsea thank José for his immense contribution since he returned as manager in the summer of 2013.
“His three league titles, FA Cup, Community Shield and three League Cup wins over two spells make him the most successful manager in our 110-year history. But both Jose and the board agreed results have not been good enough this season and believe it is in the best interests of both parties to go our separate ways.
“The club wishes to make clear José leaves us on good terms and will always remain a much-loved, respected and significant figure at Chelsea. His legacy at Stamford Bridge and in England has long been guaranteed and he will always be warmly welcomed back to Stamford Bridge.”
That sacking has created a major hole to fill for the Blues, and Sam Wallace is reporting that Chelsea are turning to a familiar face for the rest of the campaign.
This is the second time that the Blues’ front office has turned to Guus Hiddink to rescue a season, the first coming midway through the 2008/09 season. Hiddink did an amazing job for Chelsea during his initial spell with the club, leading the Blues to the FA Cup title, and was the single worst refereeing performance in history away from guiding the London outfit to a second straight UEFA Champions League final.
With any luck, Hiddink will do one better in his second spell in charge, and help Chelsea win their second Champions League title. As it was the first time they did so, that’s probably the only option left available for the club to return to the competition again next season.
Mourinho returned to Chelsea in summer 2013 and last term guided them to a league and League Cup double. His first stint in west London, from 2004 to 2007, brought two titles and one FA Cup as well as two UEFA Champions League semi-final appearances. Mourinho won Europe’s premier club competition with Porto, in 2004, and Internazionale Milano, in 2010.
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