EXCLUSIVE | By Editor
Jose Mourinho is two weeks from the sack, Football Insider sources understand.
Roman Abramovich is ready to dismiss the Portugese in the second week of November if he does not turn around the team’s catastrophic start to the season.
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The Chelsea owner will give Mourinho another few weeks but he is running out of patience amid fears that a top-four Premier League finish is in doubt
The champions slipped to 15th in the table after losing 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday, the club’s fifth Premier League defeat of the season.
The Londoners released a statement last month to confirm that the Portugese retained their “full support” but recognised “results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve”.
Chelsea subsequently beat Aston Villa 2-0 to give hope that a corner had been turned but have followed up with a goal-less draw at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League and a shattering 2-1 defeat at West Ham.
Chelsea face Stoke in the League Cup next Tuesday but sources have said that Mourinho’s destiny is likely to be shaped by the team’s next two Premier League matches, against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge next Saturday and, then, a trip to Stoke seven days later.
Should there be little signs of improvements in results or performances, Chelsea could take the nuclear option and axe the most popular manager in the club’s history.
Anything other than a top-four Premier League finish is unthinkable for Abramovich, who regards Champions League football as a minimum requirement every season.
Football Insider revealed on 5 October that Chelsea had discussed Mourinho’s position as the first doubts began to surface among senior officials about whether he can arrest the team’s slide.
Mourinho still has the support of Abramovoich but some of the owner’s advisers are being tested by the team’s continued dire form.
Mourinho is far from secure in his position despite signing a new four-year contract in July and his status with supporters.
The Chelsea board want Mourinho to create a dynasty and accept that his track record has earned him the right to be given time to climb the table but they will not hesitate to axe the Portugese if they are in danger of not qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Roberto di Matteo was sacked months after winning the Champions League, while Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari were axed mid-season when a top-four finish was in doubt.
Mourinho is settled with his family and is determined to make it work at Stamford Bridge but has admitted that he feared the sack.
“If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I’m not running away from my responsibilities or my team,” he said.