Friday, 18 December 2015

Chelsea Roman Abramovich finally open up... I didn't want to sack Jose: Roman makes Mourinho confession and then demands improvement from Chelsea flops on Cobham visit after ex-boss returns to see players for final goodbye

I didn't want to sack Jose: Roman makes Mourinho confession and then demands improvement from Chelsea flops on Cobham visit after ex-boss returns to see players for final goodbye

Roman Abramovich told Chelsea's under-performing players that he didn't want to sack Jose Mourinho during an address at their Cobham training ground this afternoon. Abramovich was on site to watch this morning's session, taken by Steve Holland and Eddie Newton, ahead of Saturday's clash with Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea owner spoke to the players in his native Russian and it was all translated into English.

Abramovich, who fired Mourinho on Thursday at the club's training ground, told the players he had been reluctant to sack the most successful manager in the club's history.

He also added that he was left with little option but to fire the Portuguese coach after Chelsea were beaten for the ninth time this season in the Barclays Premier League by high-flying Leicester City on Monday evening.

Abramovich went on to tell the players that it is a fresh start and that he expected immediate improvements following the decision to replace Mourinho.

The club have been in talks with Guus Hiddink for several weeks about taking the job on an interim basis and he is expected to watch Saturday's clash at Stamford Bridge from the stands.

Mourinho was allowed back into the complex on Friday and he addressed the players and reminded them of what it took to be winners last season, when they landed the Premier League and the Capital One Cup. But not all of the Blues' top stars were present.

Although Mourinho expressed disappointment that they have failed to build on last season’s success, it is understood that he wished them well and thanked them for their support last year.

Mourinho's uppity assistant Rui Faria was also present at the club's training ground, but his popularity among the players had reached an all-time low.

Abramovich has been flexing his muscles in recent days and is putting severe pressure on sporting director Michael Emenalo to find the right man to succeed Mourinho.

Hiddink has jetted into Heathrow Airport ahead of his appointment on Friday as he looks to seal a similar role to the one he excelled in at Stamford Bridge back in 2009.

The former Holland manager is expected to lead the club until the end of the season as Chelsea's No 1 target – Diego Simeone – is out of reach until at least the summer.

Speaking to De Telegraaf, Hiddink confirmed he will open negotiations with Chelsea's top brass over taking the reins.

'I want as much information as possible. Chelsea are in a bad situation and there are reasons for that,' he said. 'I want to gain some good insights on that before I make my decision.

'Whether or not I'm visiting their next match depends on my first conversation. Then I'll decide if I should stay in London longer.'

Eden Hazard and Radamel Falcao were absent from Friday's training session as they continued their recoveries from injury but every other member of the first-team squad trained less than 24 hours after Mourinho's departure.

A glum-looking John Terry was among the players who were pictured arriving at Chelsea's Cobham training ground on Friday morning.

The Chelsea captain looked saddened as he made his way to the training facility in Surrey after leading the tributes to his former manager on Instagram with a picture of him and Mourinho with their arms draped around each other last season.

He wrote on the social media website: 'Thank You doesn't seem enough. Sad sad day. Gonna miss you Boss. The Very Best I have EVER worked with, unbelievable memories together #boss #friend #specialone #bestever @chelseafc.'

Terry's fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta also said it was a 'sad day' for everyone concerned with the west London outfit after Mourinho left the club for a second time.

The full back said: 'Today is a sad day. I would publicly like to thank Jose Mourinho for his contribution to this club and for everything he has taught me over the years.

'I want to wish him all the best for the future. With him we have achieved very important titles and memories for the fans that will remain in the history of Chelsea forever. He will always be remembered. Thank you mister.'

Cesc Fabregas, who joined Chelsea at the beginning of last season, sent his former boss a 'good luck' message.

He said on Twitter: 'Thank you for all you have done for me. I owe you a lot and we will all miss you. Good luck in the future.'

Mourinho's sacking by Chelsea dominates the headlines across the continent, with the Spanish newspapers in particular giving the Special One the full front page treatment.