Jose Mourinho’s future at Chelsea looks ever more precarious after an extraordinary 2-1 defeat at London rivals West Ham on Saturday, where he was sent to the stands for confronting referee Jon Moss at half-time.
Mourinho faces a hugely important week, with Saturday’s game against Liverpool assuming enormous significance after the club suffered a disciplinary meltdown at Upton Park.
Nemanja Matic was sent off, while assistant coach Silvino Louro was also banished to the stands as Chelsea slumped to their fifth league defeat this season.
Mourinho confronted Moss in the tunnel after a disputed offside goal was disallowed and Matic had been sent off just before half-time.
The Chelsea manager was then invited into the referee’s room to be dismissed. He spent the rest of the match in the directors’ box and both he and the club face another raft of disciplinary charges.
The club will face an automatic FA fine for their players receiving seven yellow cards in the game, in addition to the red cards shown to Mourinho and Louro.
They will also be fined by the Premier League after Mourinho failed to fulfil post-match media requirements.
The Portuguese could face a further FA charge for confronting Moss. Rules state that referees should not be approached until 30 minutes after a game to provide a cooling-off period.
However, it will depend on whether Moss chooses to highlight the confrontation in his report tomorrow morning, as some referees are happy to discuss decisions with managers.
Mourinho survived one boardroom meeting with a vote of confidence three weeks ago, but it was clear that the board of directors were deeply unhappy with the manner in which the team have defended their Premier League title and now Mourinho has lost five Premier League games and seen his side slump to 15th.
Carlo Ancelotti remains an obvious replacement if the board decide to make a change, even though his previous stint at the club ended acrimoniously in 2011.
Mourinho has already been fined £50,000 for criticising referees after losing to Southampton and is under threat of a one-match stadium ban if he does so again. Saturday’s confrontation with Moss should not trigger that ban as it was in private.
However, it is clear that Mourinho’s combative style of management is reaching a breaking point unless he can turn results around.