Shamik Das

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bye, everybody!

"Hi, everybody! I'm Dr Nick. Your life is safe in my hands!"    "Hi, todos! Eu sou sua equipe de Jose Mourinho. Sou seguro em minhas mãos!"

• Mourinho out • £25 million pay-off • Grant takes charge

JOSE Mourinho's reign as Chelsea manager is over. His departure was announced in a terse statement on the club's website late last night.

Mourinho, the most successful manager in Chelsea's history, is believed to be in line for a massive £25 million severance package – in exchange for the Portuguese’s silence.

Though the club insist Mourinho left "by mutual consent", many observers believe he was sacked by owner Roman Abramovich after the pair had a very public falling out.

Their disagreements stem from Mourinho's displeasure at being forced to play Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack – both signed by Abramovich from behind his back – allied to a failure to land the European Cup.

Former Israel manager Avram Grant, described as an Abramovich stooge in some quarters, was today named the 44-year-old's successor, knowing that nothing less than Champions League glory will do.

The "Special One" follows in the footsteps of predecessors Gianluca Vialli and Ruud Gullit, who, like him, were forced to leave the season after winning the FA Cup. Mourinho also won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the Community Shield.

DEAD MAN WALKING? Big Phil Scolari could make way if the Special One decides on a quick return to management.  NEXT MAN IN? Jurgen Klinsmann has plenty of experience winning European silverware and could be the man to bring the Champions League crown to Stamford Bridge.  RUTHLESS: Chelsea owner Roman abramovich had no qualms dispensing with the services of the man who'd brought him six trophies in three years.

Amongst those being lined up to take over long-term at Stamford Bridge is Jurgen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to the World Cup semi-finals last year and has already enjoyed considerable success in London.

The Italia '90 winner captained his country to the Euro '96 title at Wembley and starred for Spurs the year before, scoring 21 goals in 41 games during his sole season at White Hart Lane.

As for Mourinho, the future may lie back in his homeland, with the Portuguese Soccer Federation set to hold an emergency board meeting next week.

Portugal lie third in their qualifying group for Euro 2008 with coach Luiz Felipe Scolari under renewed pressure after receiving a four-match suspension for an on-pitch brawl which followed the 1-1 draw against Serbia last week.

But the last word must surely go to the man himself, who was quoted towards the end of last season as saying: "There are only two ways for me to leave Chelsea.

"One way is in June 2010 when I finish my contract and if the club doesn't give me a new one. It is the end of my contract and I am out.

"The second way is for Chelsea to sack me."

Jose, we'll miss you my son! You were EGG-CELLENT!!!


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