Blame Mourinho for Chelsea freefall
The Sulky One, who has no respect for referees, has clearly lost the respect of his players
WEST HAM 2
(Mauro Zarate 17, Andy Carroll 79)
(Gary Cahill 56)
Chelsea's crisis has officially descended into a full-blown meltdown.
If this proves to be Jose Mourinho's last stand in the English Premier League, he ensured that it would be one bowed out in a blaze of glory.
A man down on the pitch and stripped of their manager and a member of his backroom staff off it in their fifth defeat of the season - owner Roman Abramovich would be well within his rights to consider calling the increasingly beleaguered Portuguese's bluff.
Mourinho does not do walking away; to even entertain it would be a bruising admission of failure on what has been a sparkling managerial CV.
To be pushed rather than jump appears to be his preferred method of downfall at Stamford Bridge.
With the fallen champions in continued freefall, the only person currently appearing weak and naive is the Special One himself.
Embroiled in controversy in both his professional and personal life, his debonair has given way to ill discipline.
His attempt to storm into the referees' room at Upton Park, off-limits to managers, at the interval exposed how low Mourinho has sunk in the space of five months.
Arguments that he is shown no respect by the English press have become null and void when he does not even have respect for football's figures of authority, let alone himself.
Should he miraculously survive the savagery of Abramovich's bear pit, an anticipated stadium ban may actually do more good than harm to Chelsea.
They appeared a calmer and more adventurous prospect in the 45 minutes after Mourinho's snarling presence had disappeared.
Misfortune has provided a key sub-plot to Chelsea's worst start to an EPL campaign for over 15 years.
In a league of narrow margins, Kurt Zouma's disallowed goal by mere millimetres and a Cesc Fabregas offside goal continued that hard-luck story narrative.
But all that has befallen them has been largely by Mourinho's own hand.
The reaction to Nemanja Matic's sending-off, following a second bookable offence, bordered on smug, suggesting that the storm currently engulfing Chelsea is a perfect one for his personal missive.
Stood in the directors' box, his response when Gary Cahill's ultimately futile equaliser bulged the hosts' net was indicative of his current ambivalence.
Where he would previously produced chest-thumping and often incendiary celebrations, he looked on, motionless.
The bond between the manager and his players has been downgraded from a communion to sheer disconnect in Chelsea's rapid fall from grace.
They no longer appear intent on giving heart and soul for the man who strolled them to the title last season.
Mourinho had insisted that the reigning champions be judged in late December, when a "better picture" of the EPL running order can be gauged.
It is a tapestry that see them far removed from it and one that is unlikely to change in the space of the next two months.
Stamford Bridge's current incumbent will not be praying for Christmas this year - he will be very fortunate to see it as things stand.
"You’re getting sacked in the morning! You’re not special any more!"
- West Ham fans predicting Jose Mourinho’s fate during the game
By the numbers
6 Jose Mourinho lost six of his last 12 EPL games as manager. Before this run, he lost six in his previous 64 in the EPL.
LAST NIGHT'S OTHER RESULTS
- Aston Villa 1 Swansea 2
- Leicester 1 Crystal Palace 0
- Norwich 0 West Brom 1
- Stoke City 0 Watford 2
- 8pm: Sunderland v Newcastle
- 10pm: Man United v Man City
- 10pm: Bournemouth v Tottenham
- 12.15am: Liverpool v Southampton