August 9, 2014: This morning Chelsea gave a press release announcing the termination of Jose Mourinho’s contract, as well as the hiring of virtually unknown new head coach Gregory Johnson. This comes as a shock to the football community as an unproven rookie takes the reigns of one of the world’s biggest clubs. In addition, Director of Football Michael Emenalo has also been fired.
Some reports suggest that Johnson, 32, has been undergoing a mentoring process under the club’s administration, and has spent time learning under the coaching staff at Chelsea affiliate Vitesse Arnhem.
There have been a wide variety of reasons reported as to why club legend Jose Mourinho has been sacked, but a common theme seems to be a dissatisfaction among club officials regarding transfer dealings in the past 2 years, and a divide between administration and coaching regarding weighing long term goals versus short term goals. Several sources report that Mourinho wanted to spend money to win trophies sooner rather than later, while club officials wish to build up a more stable future for the club before chasing trophies.
Evidence of Mourinho’s deposition can be found in the analysis of transfer dealings. Young talent such as Ryan Bertrand and Andre Schürrle have departed from the club, and older, more developed talent such as Javier Pastore, Ever Banega, and Borja Valero have replaced them.
Mourinho was coming off of a moderately successful 13/14 season, winning the FA Cup and suffering a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the Champions League Final to Dortmund. He was less successful in the Premier League, placing 3rd.
Many suggest that Johnson will seek to balance the midfield heavy squad, and attempt to give youth team players the chance to prove themselves in the first team squad.
It may take some time to see if this move pays off, but most people have been voicing their doubts.
Johnson’s first test takes place tomorrow, in the Community Shield match versus Manchester City.