Jose Mourinho's chapter at Chelsea ended on a sad note since his return to Stamford Bridge in 2013 from Real Madrid.
Jose's arrival at Chelsea for the second time under owner Roman Abramovich promised a bright period with a settled transfer policy, as the Portuguese wanted to build a squad for the future. Jose had finished third in the Premier League in 2013-14, and the next season his side dictated the domestic campaign to win the title.
Chelsea won the League after a gap of five years after the Manchester duo kept ruling the scene upfront. Jose's return was sensational.
Things summed up rosy for Mourinho who earned a new contract till 2019 this year and he decided to go for a settled squad who could defend the League title.
However, Chelsea's season started on the back-foot with players looking a shadow of themselves as Jose kept himself stirred with controversies on and off the field. Chelsea's poor run seemed as a catastrophe as there was no waking from the darkness as the season progressed.
Mourinho's words too reflected some distrust in his team and finally Chelsea ran out of patience and did what Roman Abramovich does best, sacking!
Despite their qualification in the UEFA Champions League knock-outs, their league form is in shambles after being the first team in the Premier League era to start their title defence in such a bad note. Mourinho who backed himself for the job, was confident in himself to revive the side and fulfill his contract.
But as time looked to run away, Abramovich ensured to stand by his methods and cull Mourinho.
Let's look at some of the factors that paved a way for Jose's exit from Chelsea which ended rather abruptly and the road from here on.
Dismal run a new low for Mourinho: One thing Jose wouldn't have liked to get hold off was the controversies that continued to chase him this term. The Eva Eva Carneiro incident in the first game itself brought a new low light in his managerial spell and misfortnues kept following him. Jose's leading the team to relegation battle was something hard, even for himself who was seeing a new low in his career.
Chelsea's champion players didn't help the cause either. Star players Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Branislas Ivanovic looked impotent and lacked teeth at the same time. Out of form players in Mourinho's side was baffling to watch and the drop in performances failed to change the wind.
Abramovich-Jose dream broken: The owner-manager relation for the second time signalled a new beginning for Jose whose love for the Blues got him back to London. Together the duo had identified a new transfer strategy with the Financial fair Play that was imposed by the UEFA back then. So far so good Chelsea looked like a team with a plan and a powerhouse to challenge the Manchester giants.
Jose was always vocal about the trust Abramovich had in him and that was evident also when he won the title and earned a contract extension. But with the season going so poorly, how long was the Russian gentleman going to trust his manager was the key question. Just when it looked like he would stand by Jose, Abramovich pulled the impatient trigger.
Players discord: Jose's demand from players is a lot just like Louis van Gaal and the retired Sir Alex Ferguson. Mourinho has been a winner all his life and reports of discord with players were highlighted by the technical director of the club. Mourinho's words of betrayal from players after the defeat to Leicester City in Gameweek 16, gave an impression that not all is right.
Though the players can feel betrayed by his words, they too have contributed to it by playing very poorly on the pitch. Both Chelsea's attacking and defensive force failed to kick on from their brilliance last term and Jose identified that, but it didn't help his cause.
Chelsea players have a bigger role at the club and as evident from the past, it is easier for the manager to be culled.
It is hard to understand whether Jose's relation with the players had gone awry or was their a breakdown in the dressing room.
Guus Hiddink and road for Chelsea: Rising very high from Chelsea's unusual position will be a huge task for Guus Hiddink (favourite for the job). Realistically a top half can be more ideal for the Blues. But is Hiddink the right man for the job? The Dutchman has seen a career slump of his own and with the latest being his sacking from the Netherlands team after registering dismal performances since the 2014 World Cup.
Hiddink's association had been with Turkey and Anzhi Makhachkala before the Oranje job to suggest he missed out on some severe intensity that is seen in the Premier League. A new manager next summer and given Abramovich's history it looks unassuring at the moment given the exit of Mourinho who could in turn could have been the perfect leader.
Fans' love for Jose was always evident and the faithful are in a shock without their angel once again, they know they face nervous times ahead.
Lack of trust in managers: The present day managers across Europe don't have one thing by their side, which is time. Well, that`s the way modern football functions and Mourinho too found himself being a part of the same show. With multi billion TV deals, press scrutiny and performance or perish factor push even the best managers in the world to get the sack.
Mourinho's association in his second spell with Chelsea looked to promise a long period of partnership but Abramovich lost the faith. Chelsea FC should have stuck with Jose Mourinho in time of crisis that was the first time in his career but the association was sacrificed. Jose's second home crumbled sooner than expected with pressure growing from all quarters.
Chelsea's players should identify their weaknesses and come out stronger. Under Hiddink, it will be interesting to watch as fans will hope he does a similar job like that of former interim manager Rafa Benitez whose short term spell was met with success.