MX23RW : Tuesday, March 19 09:03:57

In Off The Post: The Sam Matterface Column - Jose Mourinho special

In his latest Sports Mole column, commentator Sam Matterface has his say on Jose Mourinho's Chelsea departure.

"Now that your gone, all that's left is a band of gold...." strained Freda Payne in her seminal 1970 hit. Jose Mourinho has gone, but all that is left is a precious metal of a different colour.

There are no players crying. There are no tears shed by the Special One. There are no fans shocked and stunned. Everyone tried, it went on longer than most expected given the circumstances, and in the end the partnership had to come to a conclusion.

Mourinho allowed his ego and personality to damage his relationship with the media (many of whom delighted in his return), he used 2003 approaches in 2013 and alienated people inside the club and out. He made bad decisions, and he believed he was bulletproof. No-one is. No-one ever is.

If, however, you believe this is a problem of entirely his own making, I'd suggest you'd be wrong.

In April, the Portuguese provided a list of the three players that he wanted for the new season. He received none of them. The club sent the first team on a post-season tour to Asia and Australia, and then a pre-season tour to America - both of which irked the playing staff.

A lot is made of the issue involving Eva Carneiro and the now former manager. I can only say I think the genesis of his issues are further back than injury time against Swansea City. Whether he handled it right will be determined by an employment tribunal.

Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro and head physio Jon Fearn treat Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard late on next to referee Michael Oliver during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Bridge in London on A© Getty Images

How Mourinho handled his squad, they were hardly ever rotated, and who is in charge of recruitment of players needs further scrutiny. Baba Rahman is not worth £21m of anyone's money, and how £26m is the going rate for Juan Cuadrado is beyond me.

Either way, Mourinho didn't want them. They were useless for him. In turn he should have used Filipe Luis more, even if he was homesick, and Loic Remy needed more games.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was promised that after the game with Southampton, so were others but the problem with Chelsea's youngsters is that they have been overindulged for too long and they don't have the hunger of Jamie Vardy or Harry Kane.

The club is also trying to become self sufficient, and it is on the verge of building a new stadium. They are not spending anymore, they are selling. Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle, David Luiz, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Ryan Bertand, Petr Cech and Luis have all been dispensed with others raising around £150m. Maybe they were all sold for football reasons (let's see how long Eden Hazard stays in situ). I'd guess the new manager would have liked to have had some of them at his disposal.

That, of course, is where the attention turns now. So who steps into the breach next? Since Peter Kenyon suggested they would paint the world blue, Roman Abramovich has only appointed a successful manager three times out of nine, and two of those were Mourinho. The other was a bit of a tap-in, Carlo Ancelotti, and he was sacked 12 months after securing the only double in the club's history.

Andre Villas-Boas, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Rafael Benitez, Roberto Di Matteo and Avram Grant. For a club that sees itself as elite, it's a string of left-field appointments.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the Champions League match against Porto at Stamford Bridge on December 9, 2015© Getty Images

So for the 10th time in 12 very successful, but ultimately not as successful as he imagined, years, Abramovich is on the hunt for a new beau.

In truth, it's more likely to be a process led by Marina Granovskaia, a woman who has long been Abramovich's trusted advisor and chief negotiator. That might be a very good thing when you look at their track record.

The key target will be Pep Guardiola, but his future is in Manchester. Diego Simeone will appeal because of his fight, work ethic and achievements on a much lower budget. There will be some off the wall suggestions. At Chelsea, there always are.

Chelsea have been here before. In between his appointments they may have fluked a European Cup, but no matter how you dress it up, Chelsea have won five league titles - 1955, 2010 and three under Mourinho.

Replacing him is an unenviable task. Especially when historically, it's something the club does badly.

Mourinho's return was littered with mistakes, by club, manager and players, but it also saw the club back at the top domestically for the first time in five years. And now that he's gone, all that's left is last year's silverware and memories of what could have been.

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Alan Pardew, Manager of Crystal Palace celebrates towards the fans following the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on November 8, 2015
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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