If Jose Mourinho Walked Out On Chelsea, Where Would He Go Next?


Forget the Champions League win over a meek Maccabi Tel-Aviv. How do you solve a problem like Jose Mourinho's Chelsea?

Here we have a stellar squad who machine-gunned the Premier League fodder last season, transformed into a malfunctioning mess who have conceded more goals than Sunderland this campaign. The team Roman Abramovich bought could find themselves in the relegation zone with a draw or loss against Arsenal on Saturday. I'm no expert, but you probably don't stay an oligarch long suffering results like that.

We all know Mourinho is edging towards rogue. He's reverted to full-on siege mentality and we should expect his behaviour to become evermore erratic as the season progresses. The Eva Carneiro thing, whatever really happened, was weird and embarrassing for Chelsea. The swearing at Roberto Martinez thing was just embarrassing. Those problems Abramovich can handle, but losing at home to pretenders like Crystal Palace just won't cut it.

So let's play out a believable Mourinho disaster movie.

Let's say results gradually improve - as they of course will - but that Chelsea are so far off the title race by Christmas we're starting to genuinely wonder if they will finish inside the top four. Meanwhile, the Special One is on an anti-charm offensive and falling out with star players, fellow managers and medical staffers on an hourly basis.

If all that happens and Stamford Bridge is rocking for all the wrong reasons, Ambramovich won't be long for the placating. As tensions rise, might Mourinho walk away in a frustrated rage to protect his pride?

If that were to happen, or if Abramovich were to make it happen, where might the Special One go next? It would be the end of his seventh job in management and Mourinho's longest tenure would still be three years. Those looking for their very own Sir Alex Ferguson, to guide their project for the next decade or two, should look elsewhere.

Mourinho is not that man. He's not media-neutral enough for the likes of Barcelona , Bayern Munich or Manchester United these days either - clubs whose global image is too valuable to risk on a man who values winning so far above what anybody thinks of him, or his team.

So where next? Which teams might realistically take a punt on Mourinho should his second marriage at Chelsea fall apart like the first? Here are my picks for his potential destinations.

 

1 England

San Marino v England - UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier : News Photo

Roy Hodgson has done everything that's been asked during England's Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, but that all counts for nothing if the Three Lions are woeful at the Euros proper in France next summer. Even if they perform well, you get the feeling Hodgson is not the FA's preferred long-term option.

Depending on Mourinho's availability and the timings involved, he could be seen as the ideal man to instill a new, hardened tournament mentality in the squad. Taking the role would certainly appeal for his need for attention. The challenge of curing English misery would represent the biggest of his career.

 

2 Liverpool

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-BOURNEMOUTH : News Photo

With Brendan Rodgers struggling to deliver on his blueprint and get his team moving in the right direction, this season might prove his last at Anfield if they don't win a trophy or qualify for the Champions League.

Rodgers has talked about Mourinho coming close to managing Liverpool a decade or so ago. The club's romantic history and huge global profile are a pull for Mourinho and he might be seen as just the brand of results-orientated leader they need to shift the slump.

What chance Mourinho with Steven Gerrard as his assistant? Don't rule it out.

 

3 Portugal

FBL-EURO-2016-ALB-POR : News Photo

Portugal are going well in Euro 2016 qualifying under Fernando Santos, but you'd have to imagine Mourinho would be a very tempting option if their tournament performance is anything short of sensational next summer.

Taking the job would reunite Mourinho with Cristiano Ronaldo and set things up nicely for a shot at the World Cup in 2018, but Mourinho has said in the past he only wants to do it as the last act of his career. Might he change his mind for the chance to take Ronaldo to a major tournament?

Perhaps it's time for the world to see Mourinho as a battling underdog again.

 

4 Paris Saint-Germain

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-MALMO : News Photo

There's something about the PSG set-up that screams Mourinho. Perhaps it's the super-rich owners who have rocket-launched a club back to Europe's top table by buying up every decent player going?

Laurent Blanc has been very successful as the club's manager, but if another season goes by without winning the Champions League, might they look elsewhere for a man who has won the prize before? If they do, who better than Mourinho to turn Blanc's squad into a streamlined winning machine?

 

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