Chelsea have made a very bad start to this season’s Premier league. This means Jose Mourinho has had to find a reliable scapegoat to safeguard his ‘special’ reputation.
After the opening day draw against Swansea City, it was the club physio and doctor, Eva Carneiro, who was on the receiving end of Mourinho’s tactical blame game. For the following weeks Chelsea’s bad form continued, although the media were more preoccupied with the Carneiro story rather than Chelsea’s bad form. So Mourinho’s poor start had been censored well by the Carneiro smokescreen.
However, Carneiro’s saga took a different angle, as allegations involving sexism and discrimination rightly came to the forefront. Although the pressure soon returned for the press to report on matters on the pitch for Chelsea, as their early season form worsened. Thus proving that football is a results based business, and not a place for important issues to be seriously discussed.
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At this point it suddenly occurred to Mourinho that Chelsea’s bad form was not the fault of Carneiro’s time wasting – or Hazard’s playacting. No, in fact, it was John Terry’s fault all along. Every pundit in the country dammed Chelsea’s back line, only a few months after applauding it.
It is without question that Terry hasn’t been at his best this season. Although the same could be said for Chelsea’s entire defence. So why has Mourinho made club captain Terry the outcast?
There are a few options here, firstly Terry at 34, is coming towards the end of his glittering career. Therefore the former England captain has less time to regain his form. Secondly, Mourinho could be insinuating to club owner Ambramovich, the need to recruit another defender. This is something the Portuguese did during the 2013/14 season, only that time he wanted another striker, so left the likes of Torres and Eto’o on the bench. The result of this was the signing of Diego Costa the following summer, which has kept Mourinho happy, for the time being. Of course the emergence of Kurt Zouma has also impacted Terry’s importance to the team.
However, most concerning for Terry is perhaps Jose’s treatment of his club captain at former club Real Madrid. Iker Casillas was the darling of Madrid until Mourinho decided to capitalise on a bad run of form from the Spaniard. Mourinho’s treatment of the goalkeeper was the beginning of the end for Casillas’ career; only time will tell if he can return to former glories at new club FC Porto.
The pressure Terry is under to perform is also exemplified through Chelsea’s new club policy of only offering one-year contracts to players over 30, therefore making it more likely that Terry will leave at the end of the season if he is not wanted.
Things have changed very quickly for the skipper, who started every game last season for The Blues. Only time will tell if he’ll follow the likes of Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard out of the club after a miserable season on the bench.