Some fascinating comments and insights from Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas on Monday Night Football as the midfielder admitted former manager Jose Mourinho paid with his job for trusting the players “too much”.
Mourinho was fired in December with the Blues struggling at the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League after losing nine out of 16 games.
Fabregas says Mourinho rewarded his title-winning squad after they secured Premier League and League Cup silverware.
The Blues were granted extra holiday by the Portuguese coach and added responsibility, but Fabregas feels the side failed to repay their manager’s faith and played a key role in his demise at Stamford Bridge.
“A lot has been said, and many wrong things, about that,” Fabregas explained on Monday Night Football.
“I love Jose, and I even consider him my friend. We still keep in touch right now and some of the things said were unfortunate.
“But I have huge respect for him, and I think Jose’s biggest problem was that he trusted us too much. He gave us more holiday because we were champions, he believed in us more, he trusted us more, and we let him down.
“The whole team, all the players. And that was the main reason why, at the end, he had to go – and myself, and all the team, feel bad for that.”
Chelsea players started pre-season training a week after everyone else, apparently because Mourinho believed that the squad would report to its pre-season camp in North America fit and ready to go.
That was not the case as the defending Premier League champions lost their first preseason game to the New York Red Bulls 4-2 and were never able to recover. Fitness levels were an issue all season and as a result players could not work as hard, exposing the soft underbelly of the Chelsea defense, like Manchester City did at the weekend.
I don’t expect Mourinho to replicate this mistake when he takes over at Manchester United this summer. So United players have been warned. Expect a lot of running in July and August!