How things change in the world of football. This time last year Chelsea were smashing everyone in their path as they powered their way to the Premier League championship. Chelsea were so far ahead of the opposition that at the start of this season the smart money was on Chelsea walking away with the Premier league again.
As Jose Mourinho and Chelsea are finding out football is a fickle mistress and this season Chelsea look more like relegation candidates than potential champions. Earlier today little Bournemouth went to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground and despite Chelsea’s poor form no-one gave them a prayer.
The football world sat back expecting little Bournemouth, a team that was in the bottom tier of league football just six years ago, to come long, make up the numbers whilst Chelsea put them firmly in their place.
The problem seems to be that no-one told the Bournemouth players. Bournemouth may have conceded the lions share of possession, unusual for them admittedly, but they looked by far the more dangerous in the first half.
Mourinho brought Diego Costa on at half-time for the ineffectual Oscar. For a while it looked like Mourinho had pulled a master stroke as Chelsea put a huge amount of pressure on the Bournemouth defence. After being on top for 20 minutes Chelsea looked like they had lost belief and Costa became more and more frustrated.
To be fair Chelsea had a shout for a penalty as Simon Francis went to ground in the box to block a cross. The ball definitely struck his arm but a penalty would have been harsh on a Bournemouth side who fought for every inch of ground.
As reported by the BBC Bournemouth brought on striker Glenn Murray for a tiring Josh King and within 90 seconds the big man nodded Bournemouth into a priceless lead. After the match Chelsea manager once again totally failed to be magnanimous in defeat.
As this season has progressed we have seen the Chelsea manager moan and bleat after every defeat. Admittedly a couple of decisions did go against Chelsea today but why on earth can Mourinho not simply congratulate the winning team on a herculean effort. After all Bournemouth have had more than their fair share of bad luck this season.
The newly promoted side have lost the spine of their team to injury and have been subjected to some truly awful refereeing decisions. Mourinho may be the self-styled “special one” but the Chelsea boss could learn a huge amount from the best young manager in football, Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe.
Eddie Howe is a Bournemouth man through and through. He joined the Cherries aged just 13 and has spent most of his career at the little south coast club. Howe took on the managership of a club at death’s door, crippled by debt and has taken them from the brink of extinction to the premier league in just a few years.
Mourinho would do well to look to Howe if he wants to learn how to behave as a manager and as a man. Not once during the course of a difficult season to date has Howe complained about referee’s bemoaned his luck or cried about injury.
Howe is a giant, Mourinho acts like a spoilt child. If you are looking for the “Special One” look no further than Eddie Howe.