Jose Mourinho may feel most secure in English football, a country that is accepting of his ways, both as a football manager and a personality away from the dugout.
But that’s when drawing comparisons with what he faced in Italy and Spain, and not necessarily to say English football will hold unwavering tolerance of the Portuguese manager.
Mourinho parted company with Real Madrid last year because fires erupted on numerous fronts, notably in his clash with club captain Iker Casillas. It eventually led to a breakdown in relationship with a host of senior Spanish figures inside the dressing room. His relationship with the media then spiralled into disaster, with much of the criticism being that he failed as Real Madrid manager.
The Chelsea manager has his ways, his methods for either protecting or enhancing his reputation. At the same time, clubs are also mindful of what needs protecting. As is often the case, it’s easier to dispose of a manager than it is to reshape a club, either in its squad or hierarchy.
At this stage, it’s difficult to see Mourinho playing on borrowed time. Chelsea knew what they were getting when they opted to re-sign the Portuguese, and if anything, this season has seen a more subdued Mourinho compared to his first stint in English football.
But that doesn’t mean Chelsea are likely to continue to offer free reign to Mourinho and allow him to trumpet on in the way he does. It’s questionable whether he’s aware of the damage his comments can do, and if there is immediate remorse, maybe it is time to evaluate how much freedom he has when speaking to the media.
As a club, Chelsea simply can’t go on in the way they have done, firing and acquiring managers based on a handful of results. If Financial Fair Play is to be taken seriously, by both the members of Uefa and the governing body itself, there simply won’t be room for the club to commit to compensating numerous managers, as well as the need to break future targets out of their contracts.
The worry is that Chelsea as a whole are not completely aware of how destructive their actions can be either. Whether it’s incidents of players attacking European referees, or domestic officials being wrongly accused of racism, there has rarely been an immediate response from the club to right any wrongs.
Any response from Mourinho’s latest actions, his thinly-veiled criticism of referee Mike Dean and accusations of conspiracy, will arrive due to the reaction of English football as a whole. Publically Chelsea will back their manager, but it will have an effect on future goodwill if they don’t at least acknowledge the wrongs being carried out.
Privately and publically there is sure to be a feeling that Mourinho is the right manager to bring about title success at Stamford Bridge, and in his constant battering of his striking options this season, he’s making it known that it is possible to win the league, but not unless the problem is addressed via the market.
As much as football management has turned into a climate where tenures roughly last two-three years at a club, it’s difficult to see Mourinho’s time coming to an end at Chelsea in the near future. He may be crude in his assessment of others, often disrespectful and evidently poor in defeat. But a curb on his outspoken style seems more likely than a dismissal.