Date: 8th February 2016 at 4:17pm
Written by:

He may be gone but he`s far from forgotten – at least if Chelsea social media are anything to go by.

I guess the constant speculation about José Mourinho joining deadly rivals Man United doesn’t help.

So let`s take a quick look at the fan factions.

First there`s the clear majority, a group that I`m proud to be part of as epitomized by our home and traveling fans who cheered José`s name even after his departure.

This is the real Chelsea (sorry folks but it just is), the come hell or high water Chelsea, the fans that believe if you can’t support Chelsea when they lose, don’t bother supporting them when they win.

Yes, they`re probably fans on the older side, those who either remember or respect the club even when they fought their hearts out in the lower divisions and loved those players as much as they love today`s – not that this season has given them much to love.

This group of fans understands that life and love of club is not just about next game up and what have you done for me lately but also about immortalizing past achievements and holding legends forever close.

They believe that it`s only by respecting past achievements that we are made whole as a football club rather than some tourist attraction.

They admire guts and patience and a sense of continuity from ownership and are aghast when a José Mourinho wins our first ever Premiership, follows it with another and is moved to depart shortly afterwards.

They are shocked and saddened when the brilliant and charming Carlo Ancelotti, another who brought us a rare cup and league double, is sacked for the sin? of finishing second in the Premiership!!??

And when absolutely nothing seems to have been learned because our greatest ever manager is again flicked aside just six months after bringing us yet another double – guess what? They start to ask serious questions about the nature of our ownership and its strategy.

This group believes it loves this club deeper than any other fans and it`s because they love this club so much that they so respect their legends, among which José Mourinho stands front and centre whichever way you look at it.

Because they love their club just like they family they’re unafraid to ask searching questions and demand frank answers.

Questions like: why was Mourinho, fresh from a double, denied the players to strengthen the squad beyond middle-table status – something which could never satisfy a winner like him?

And will the new manager also be denied final say on transfers? Because Diego Simeone for one has already publicly declared that he would never think about going to any club under those circumstances – nor would any A-list manager.

These are simple questions to which the Chelsea faithful deserve answers. NOW!

Then there`s the “José`s gone, get over it, no man is bigger than the club!” group.

This is a wrong-headed bunch because they’re trying to mix chalk and cheese: the only thing that MAKES this club bigger than any individual is its agglomerated history and heritage, the fans very love and respect for Chelsea`s most legendary individuals.

The ability to move on so easily from an extra special one betrays a lack of true love and respect for a Chelsea legend and thus for Chelsea itself.

So this latter group has a real intellectual problem it needs to address before it mouths off any more.

Then there are the out-and-out José-haters.

Ok, I`ll admit I`m at a bit of a loss with these.

We`re talking about folks who are not only happy that our greatest ever manager was sacked the way he was but revel in it.

It`s almost as if they literally place themselves inside the skin of Michael Emenalo and feel the joy of having killed the evil José in a hand to hand battle!

Try as I might most true Chelsea fans cannot understand how these people have the right to call themselves Chelsea fans.

We`re not talking about the completely separate groups – the pro-player lot who think bad old José was mean to the poor little multi-millionaires, lol – or the group I can only call gutless/hysterical who genuinely thought that either José or the players would allow the club to be relegated.

No, I`m talking about pure anti-Josés who simply hated him.

They hated him and were already posting negative stuff when we were beating Everton 6-3 on our way to becoming top scorers in the Prem and they hated him when the players got tired mid-season and posted “Aha, I told you so!” stuff with glee, and when Chelsea had to play less expansively because the youngsters in the squad weren`t up to it they spanked José again over not playing youth.

But then, of course, they hated him when he did play the youngsters and got thrashed 4-2 at home by Bradford City for his troubles.

This group DESPISED José when he didn’t just throw in youngsters, yet love Guus when he doesn’t either..?

They`re just abject José-haters without the wit or longevity to understand that hating José`s idiosyncrasies is hating Chelsea and everything about this club`s rollercoaster history.

Then there are what we can only call the trolls, almost certainly with ties to the CFC board – oh yes, make no mistake they exist and post on Vital Chelsea frequently – often in a majority. (A majority of posters, but a teeny weeny minority of the tens of thousands who read without comment, of course. Well, the pro-CFC board posters have a serious – and sometimes paid – ax to grind.)

You can spot them because they claim to be fans but, weirdly, seem to parrot the board and Roman Abramovich – a truly odd kind of ‘fan` that I`ve never come across in all my decades of supporting the Chels, lol.

These ‘fans` counter any argument with a perfectly worded CFC board position, precisely the same as that leaked to the media on any given day.

Sorry little trolls, but if this club is bigger than any one individual it’s certainly bigger than an owner, however rich, looking to buy his way into British society! LOL!

I think that covers most of the groups.

There are some splinters: the ones who fundamentally believe that they are always smarter than any manager and hated José being successful and reveled in his downfall – we have our share of those tiresome know-all laptop warriors as does every club.

Then there are the “How dare you drag our club through the mud!” idiots, up in arms over José`s ‘antics` in front of the tv cameras.

Hard to know what to say to that group other than it`s Mourinho`s very arrogance that we love: the running down the touchline to celebrate goals; the shushing of the dippers; the lunatic satirical press conferences; the battling all enemies, real and imagined.

Dare I say that if you don`t like that, you don’t like life.

If a team is really to stand or fall by whether or not the hideous, venal and borderline racist FA of Greg Dyke favors them then that can`t be much of a team.

I think the point is that José was and is one of us and there simply is no intellectual argument by which you can claim to love Chelsea without loving José.

Is it time to get over him? I don’t think so, not quite, not while his XI continues to trot out every week, one after the other coming out of the woodwork to publicly apologise to him for their lack of form, fitness or effort.

One after the other confirming the question Jonathan Wilson asked in The Guardian on January 21st:

“What if we are seeing not a great squad being brought low by a fractious relationship with their manager but their true level?”

“What if it was only Mourinho`s genius that elevated them last season?”

Does loving José somehow mean you don’t love Chelsea? Not in the slightest. It just means you miss him – frankly, as a true blue, you`d be weird not to.

And some bloodless old caretaker who has already named the day (May 25th) that he`s skipping town hardly makes us miss José less.

Do we want Chelsea to lose to teach Abramenalo a lesson – never! Never ever!

Though the irony of Chelsea being the team that yesterday further nudged our greatest ever into the arms of our greatest enemy hurts – it hurts like hell.

But we`ll get over it real fast because that will be a step over a line that no blue – legend or otherwise – should ever cross.

By going up north José will do us all a favour by expunging our sorrow as surely as if he set off one of those things the Men In Black used to wipe people`s memories clean.

Either way, with or without the Special One we are CTWD.

Did a part of us die that Thursday in December when they sacked José Mourinho? Absolutely.

It doesn’t make you any less of a man, woman or Chelsea fan to admit it, while taking refuge behind contrary bravado just makes you foolish or plastic – you’re your pick.

But though Chelsea FC remains alive and kicking, we have one final achievement to attain: to build an unimpeachable dynasty and legacy like that other Premiership team up north.

Yes, there are those of us who believe that, given the time and the help (as opposed, bizarrely, to the manifest hindrance), José would have changed and adapted and helped Roman Abramovich build that dynasty.

Most of us will continue to be furious until our owner deigns to apprise us of Plan B.

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