Jose Mourinho: Jeremy Vine's letter to sacked Chelsea boss
This is a very hard letter to write. You have never met me, but every week I sit with my daughter directly above your position in the Stamford Bridge dug-out.
Her name is Martha and she is now eleven. The first time I took her to Chelsea she was four, and you were the manager. She thought it was very funny that visiting Blackburn Rovers fans sang, "You're getting sacked in the morning," and then you actually were.
That was your first bad patch with us. I told her not to worry - you would find another job and Chelsea would find another manager. In fact we found enough to fill a bus: Grant, Scolari, Wilkins, Hiddink, Ancelotti, Villas-Boas, Di Matteo, Benitez. As my daughter grew older, half the new words she learnt were the names of Chelsea managers.
But it was never the same without you. Abramovich, your old boss, got so impatient with the coaches who followed he actually fired Di Matteo for winning the Champions League. It was as if we all knew the Special One would return.
You came back when Martha was nine. She was as thrilled as her dad. I told her what she needed to know: "Mourinho is off his rocker," I said, "but so are all the great artists." I mentioned Salvador Dali and Van Morrison to explain why sometimes the tortured soul makes the best art. I told Martha you knew how to behave - that the madness would work for Chelsea.
And work it did. Your intensity is incredible and I love the sense of danger you bring to every waking moment. You always reminded me of the most popular boy at school: people would do anything to be his friend, and your players would do anything to impress you.
For a brief moment in time, the midfield were as tight as Led Zeppelin. Although Diego Costa turned out to be a description of a mood rather than the name of a player, for a few wonderful months he was irresistible. Terry's legs actually moved, Ivanovic scored goals out of defence, and I even remember tweeting that "Hazard is now the greatest player in the world," to a torrent of abuse from Messi fans. The point is, you did that; Jose, you made us winners again. You are a stunningly successful manager and you took us back to the top. Martha and I loved you for it despite the madness.
And then something utterly unhinged happened. I had to explain to my young daughter why you had exploded at the popular team doctor (one of the most prominent women in the Premier League) and I could not give her a decent reason. You didn't just demote her and cause her to leave, you humiliated her. You should not have done it and I believe the players were also at a loss as they tried to explain it to their young daughters.
She was popular; they sided with her against you; you lost the dressing room. You caused the doctor to leave and the players sacked you. Do you understand that, Jose? You were fired by your own players. When you realise that is what has happened, I believe you will find the thought unbearable.
We will now get a sane, sober-suited manager, and it will not be the same. I believe it was a terrible mistake for the club not to view this season as a write-off and start to rebuild a new squad around you. Somebody once said to me, "The problem is that Chelsea doesn't have a Beckham," in other words a single figure who symbolises the team. But we did. It was you. As Lynette tells her ex-husband Tom in a moving scene in Desperate Housewives, it was always you.
As a desperate fan, I know there will be no Third Coming. You parked the bus and burnt your boats. You gave Chelsea more trophies than we dreamt of and then we woke into a nightmare: placed sixteenth with our manager blaming Leicester's ball-boys. So take some time off now, Jose. See your family and get your priorities straight. And if one day you regret what happened, rest assured that there's a father in west London who got to spend precious afternoons with his young daughter because she wanted to be taken to Chelsea and watch your magic and madness unfold on the green in front of her.