Face it, Mourinho, you have lost the fear factor with Chelsea
Mourinho's aura is now completely demolished after Chelsea's 1-0 home loss to Bournemouth
From the fog of the battlefield, Jose Mourinho emerged, his armour dented and smudged with grime and blood.
It's an all-too-familiar scene these days, as the Chelsea war machine continues to careen off its projected path.
Not one to admit defeat, the arrogant 52-year-old Portuguese continues with his usual stance of defiance.
But, beyond the shield, one could detect the fragility of a broken man.
That aura of invincibility is gone.
What remained of it was snuffed out in his own colosseum yesterday morning (Singapore time) by Bournemouth, a team in the top tier for the first time in their 125-year existence.
With two wins and a draw from his last three games, Mourinho thought his team had turned the corner, only to find the edge of the cliff awaiting him.
His star-studded squad were downed 1-0 by starless Bournemouth.
Glenn Murray, who netted the only goal of the game in the 82nd minute, was signed from Crystal Palace three months ago for a fee of £4 million ($8.45m), or what Chelsea pay Eden Hazard every 20 weeks.
The irony cuts like a knife.
With fire and belief, the Cherries beat Mourinho at his own game of smash-and-grab.
This was only Bournemouth's first outright win in 11 games.
Mourinho more than lost a match. He is close to losing the plot.
His defending champions are now 14th in the Premiership table, a whopping 17 points adrift of leaders Leicester City, and a mere three from the relegation sludge.
One of Mourinho's traditional strengths is his ability to mould his home ground into an almost impregnable fortress.
He did it at Chelsea in his first stint, at Inter Milan and at Real Madrid.
Between February 2002 and April 2011, he was unbeaten in 150 home league matches stretching across the three clubs.
This loss to Bournemouth is Chelsea's fourth defeat in eight home Premiership games this season.
Where once Mourinho could develop a siege mentality to rally his troops and get out of trouble, he now finds himself standing almost all on his own.
When the commander and soldiers don't fight as one, the direct consequence is chaos.
Reports suggested he has lost his dressing room, if not all the players then enough to cripple the team.
Striker Diego Costa threw his training top in his direction when he realised he wasn't going to be played against Tottenham Hotspur a week ago.
Hazard, who took over Costa's role up front against Bournemouth, had the temerity to recently "like" an Instagram post linking him with Real Madrid.
Mourinho's own comments after the Bournemouth defeat hinted at the same problem.
Asked how he is going to lift the Blues out of their demise, he said: "I only know one way which is what I know since day one - to work and give my maximum every day and every match.
"If some player is not capable of that, of that routine, it's quite an individual problem."
If Mourinho can't rediscover the mojo that saw him win eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League crowns, he won't be the first.
Decline can come swiftly and without warning.
Guus Hiddink's star plummeted the day he left Chelsea as interim manager in 2009.
Luiz Felipe Scolari never came close to replicating the success of his first stint as Brazil coach, which culminated in the 2002 World Cup trophy, and to a certain extent, with the Portuguese national team.
Despite his current woes, Mourinho may be far too good to see his career collapse as dramatically.
Just recently, he was named as the best in the business in FourFourTwo's 50 Best Football Managers in the World 2015.
But, to revive his fortunes, a change of scenery may be inevitable.
He may have already done all he could at Chelsea.
I only know one way which is what I know since day one — to work and give my maximum every day and every match.
— Manager Jose Mourinho on how he is going to save Chelsea’s wretched season