What now for Jose Mourinho? Will he return to the Premier League?
That “third-season syndrome” wasn’t a thing, was it, Jose? Oh wait...
[ MORE: Timeline of his demise ]
On Thursday Jose Mourinho and Chelsea “mutually parted company” with the Blues languishing just one place above the relegation zone in the Premier League.
The reigning PL champs have fallen fast and Mourinho, 52, lost his job following an incredible run of games which saw the west London club lose nine of their opening 16 matches to start their title defense.
Eventually, something had to give. It was Jose. Yes, his pride will have taken a hit but his stock is still incredibly high among Europe’s elite clubs who are all desperate for success, no matter if Mourinho -- as his track record continues to show -- is only able to stick around for two to three seasons before self-imploding.
[ MORE: What, who next for Chelsea? ]
Now, what lies ahead for one of the greatest coaches in history? Plenty. Don’t weep for Jose, he’ll do just fine.
He is already the 2/1 favorite to take charge of Real Madrid, is listed at the same price as the favorite to take over as the next Manchester United manager and is also at 4/1 to take charge of Paris Saint-Germain. He is still some way off coaching the Portuguese national team and remaining in club management would seem like the way to go, at least for now.
Talk linking Mourinho with United is particularly interesting given the fact that he was one of the red-hot favorites to take over at Old Trafford when Sir Alex Ferguson, a big admirer of his, retired in 2013. With Louis van Gaal struggling to turn things around at United, is Mourinho the man to deliver the trophies the Red Devils faithful desperately want? Time will tell.
Given his track record of success -- three Premier League titles in five full seasons at Chelsea, two UEFA Champions league titles (one with FC Porto and another with Inter Milan), plus titles in Portugal, Spain and Italy -- he will land in a good spot despite being the architect behind Chelsea’s remarkable unraveling which has provided jaw-dropping losses and multiple grab-the-popcorn moments during his post-game press conferences so far this season.
[ MORE: Predicting how final PL table will look ]
Mourinho is Mourinho. He always seems to land on his feet and always seems to be thinking five steps ahead of everyone else. Perhaps that was what was behind him saying he felt “betrayed” by his players and his multiple fines and bans from the English FA this season, among other things.
Just when it seems like he is under pressure -- as he has been for much of this season due to on-the-field defeats and his off-the-field antics with particular emphasis on the Eva Carneiro situation -- Mourinho always seems to have an escape route ready.
He doesn’t need that anymore at Chelsea. He’s gone. He’s out of here.
No matter what you think of Mourinho the person or Mourinho the manager, there’s still plenty of fight and trophies left in him. Now, we wait to see where he ends up next as the circus surrounding the “Special One” is only on hiatus momentarily.
There’s no way this show doesn’t go on. It just won’t continue at Chelsea, the place he considered his spiritual home.