Jose Mourinho, winner of three Premier League titles at Chelsea, does not mean very much at Stamford Bridge any more.
When the Special One leads Manchester United out at Wembley tomorrow, he will be greeted with a mixture of indifference and disdain by Blues supporters.
The great shame is that all the goodwill has gone.
These days, just being Jose is enough to make him the sworn enemy of every Chelsea fan at Wembley.
Managing United only makes it worse.
The genuine affection, the adulation and the love for the man who led Chelsea to their first league title in 50 years has disappeared.
He turned a dressing room of under-achievers, including John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole, into serial champions under his leadership.
Mourinho promised trophies and delivered them in bucket-loads.
MR FREEZE Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola owns a booming ice cream business that now boasts four stores in London and another in Milan
He is the greatest manager in Chelsea history yet he does not command respect or appreciation at the Bridge.
It did not help when he antagonised Chelsea supporters by repeatedly patting United’s badge after Antonio Conte’s side walloped them 4-0 when he returned to the Bridge in October 2016.
A few months later, on the night N’Golo Kante scored the winning goal in an FA Cup tie at Chelsea, Mourinho was taunted with cries of “Judas” from the East Stand’s shallow low tier.
It was only a few idiots but it was certainly loud enough for Mourinho to hear them baiting him a few rows back from United’s dug-out.
He reacted, reminding the fans who remained loyal to him right up until his second spell ended in December 2015 that he was ‘still No 1’.
The reality, as much as Mourinho will hate it, is that Conte has replaced him in the affections of Chelsea’s fans.
There are some who still wish Mourinho’s relationship could one day be repaired.
Trizia Fiorellino, chair of the Chelsea Supporters Group, still speaks warmly about the man who made the modern Chelsea.
She said: “A lot of Chelsea fans hate him, but we should be building statues of him at Stamford Bridge.
“The Judas chants were derogatory, unnecessary and disrespectful to his achievements. Some Chelsea fans actively hate him. The great shame is that the relationship has been soured.
“I’ve no doubt some people will boo him at Wembley, but I won’t be one of them.
“If he acts up, or runs down the touchline, then it will only antagonise people.
“The reality is that both sides should take responsibility because it should not be like this.”
Fiorellino, who backed Mourinho right up until the end of his second spell at Stamford Bridge, is right.
For all the dramas, the arguments and the bust-ups down the years, he is an excellent football manager.
He should be remembered for winning three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, plus three League Cups and a Community Shield during his two spells in charge.
David Chidgey, chairman of the Chelsea Supporters Trust, watched that great side steamroller their way to successive titles when the Special One arrived from Porto in 2004.
Tomorrow, when there is a trophy at stake, Chidgey knows all of that will be put to one side.
He said: “Jose is belligerent, he’s a wind-up merchant and I think Chelsea fans can see that now.
“It is a bit like seeing your ex-wife. When you’re with her, you can’t see any of her faults but the moment you break up and see her for the first time you can see them all.
“We defended him to the hilt when he was at Chelsea, and we overlooked the toxicity and the moods.
“Now he is at another club, we can see him for what he really is, but I am actually very grateful to him.
“He turned Chelsea into a massive club that could win the biggest trophies in English football.”
Sadly for some, it is still not enough.
LOW PAY A SHOCK
IT will come as a surprise to Germany’s World Cup-winning manager Joachim Low that his basic salary is less than Gareth Southgate’s.
Low’s pay packet — which is slightly below the £2.5million-a-year paid to England’s head coach — is boosted by commercial arrangements negotiated by the German FA.
The Three Lions have an informal information exchange with Germany, which includes the wages of some of the top earners in each organisation, as well as training and sports science developments.
Although Southgate is already on a good whack, the rest of his FA contract is all performance-related.
PULLING HIS ALLEG
THE idea Massimiliano Allegri needs an interview for the Arsenal job seems all the more remarkable, considering he was approached about the post last summer.
Former midfielder Allegri, 50, has won four successive Serie A titles with Juventus.
And he already had one in the bag from his stint at Milan by the time he arrived in Turin.
The Italian coach has also made it into two Champions League finals with Juve.
He hardly needs to put on a Powerpoint presentation to get a job with the sixth-best team in the Premier League.
DITCH THE INVASION
FANS of Fulham and Aston Villa can be forgiven for getting caught up in the moment.
But invading the pitch after reaching the play-off final is all a bit much.
Fulham’s players went along with it after they beat Derby at Craven Cottage when they were hoisted into the air by their excitable supporters.
Fortunately boss Slavisa Jokanovic soon brought them back down to earth by reminding his players they still have it all to do in the final.
The two sides meet at Wembley on May 26.
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