Crisis Talk Is Far Too Premature for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2013

COBHAM, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Jose Mourinho of Chelsea speaks during a press conference on September 17, 2013 in Cobham, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

History repeats itself—first as tragedy, second as farce.

Without appearing too melodramatic where Jose Mourinho is concerned, the former struck for Chelsea supporters in September 2007 when the Portuguese departed Stamford Bridge.

Six years ago, it was a full-blown crisis in West London; a disaster of epic proportions.

For too long the unrest had rumbled on and when the tense atmosphere at the club eventually begun to damage the team's prospects on the pitch, it was only going to end one way.

Mourinho's relationship with owner Roman Abramovich had broken down, and despite attempts from those surrounding the pair to assist in them finding a common ground, it eventually ended with him leaving.

Right now, however, the problems suffered by Chelsea in the early weeks of the season are more to do with football than politics or any other contributing factor. And they resemble something far less than a crisis, as Mourinho has been eager to point out himself this week.

On Friday morning, Blues fans awoke to reports in the Daily Mail of their manager holding crisis talks with his players following a defeat to FC Basel, although Mourinho has other thoughts on the matter.

Basel inflicted defeat upon Chelsea this in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Basel inflicted defeat upon Chelsea this in the Champions League on Wednesday.Clive Rose/Getty Images

"Crisis of what? Syria?" Mourinho asked the gathered press pack during his pre-Fulham briefing on Friday as reported by the Daily Express. "For me, no crisis, for me two bad results."

And he's right.

Chelsea have been involved in their fair share of dilemmas this past decade—mostly self-inflicted—to understand that what the club is going through now is merely scratching surface of what a crisis truly is.

Back-to-back defeats against Everton and Basel will annoy and frustrate, but with barely a month into the new season, we shouldn't let ourselves get carried away.

Indeed, it happened last year. Under Roberto Di Matteo, the Blues were seen to be running away with the title come October only for it to all fall apart, the manager to lose his job and Chelsea to crash out of the Champions League in the group stage.

Now that was a crisis. The fact that Di Matteo was replaced by Rafa Benitez, a man with a chequered history when it comes to Chelsea relations, only amplified their problems in the eyes of fans and the media.

He may never have received total backing from the terraces, but Benitez soon turned things around. His legacy as Chelsea's interim coach wasn't based on his first few weeks in charge, it was created by the Spaniard guiding the Blues to an FA Cup semifinal and third in place in the Premier League before winning the Europa League.

With another nine months and a potential 58 matches to go—if Chelsea reach the finals of each competition in which they're competing—it will be the same for Mourinho's Chelsea.

"We have lost nothing," the Portuguese continued at his news conference (via BBC Sport). "You like to compare things but we didn't finish third in the Champions League [after defeat to Basel], we did not get relegated to the Europa League and we did not finish third in the Premier League [having lost to Everton last weekend]."

Teething problems, sure. But a crisis? Chelsea are more value than that.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @garryhayes


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