Mourinho’s exit: John Terry protesteth too much

Tout Simplement means “its just that” in French.
It is also the title of the new book by Claude Makelele which has already generated a fair bit of controversy. The former Blues midfielder claims in his book that John Terry’s unhappiness with his playing time was the catalyst behind Jose Mourinho’s ouster. Essentially, Terry asked Peter Kenyon for an exit after he clashed with his manager over his form.
By now, Mourinho was looked on as a divisive figure, drawing support from some players while alienating others. The club’s poor start to the 2007 season and Mourinho’s dissatisfaction with Avram Grant’s installation as director of football had the owner wavering over whether continuing on with Mourinho was in the club’s best interest. Simply put, the potential loss of Chelsea’s talisman convinced him that the Portugese was expendable.
There is truth to all this even as John Terry strenuously denies any role in Mourinho’s departure and insists that he never asked for a transfer. A revelation like this is potentially damaging and it is significant that his lawyers came out against such claims. It warns parties against future “Turncoat Terry” type defamation.
Terry and Mourinho’s deteriorating relationship forcing the manager’s ouster was already the topic of intense media speculation. It really took a nosedive after the CL fixture against Rosenborg which ended in a shocking draw against the lowly Norwegian side. Mourinho’s departure by mutual consent came after 24 hours of a rapidly developing timeline.
Terry was upbraided by the manager at half time for failing to stop Mika Koppinen’s set piece. The defender failed to accept responsibility. Earlier in the day, Terry found out Mourinho had gone to the club’s medical team to find out if there were physical reasons responsible for Terry’s decline in performance following spinal surgery to remove a disc. It seemed to have disturbed Terry to the extent that at first he refused to join the warm up prior to the match apparently preoccupied “with things on my mind” only agreeing after a team mate convinced him.
Peter Kenyon, in an emergency board meeting brought up the Terry dispute as evidence that the manager had lost his players support which the board accepted prima facie and Mourinho was asked to resign. He refused and “by mutual consent” was agreed upon.
It would be very interesting to hear Mourinho’s side to the story. He would probably support Makelele’s claim. After his ouster, he supposedly texted Terry “sarcastically thanking him for talking to the club’s hierarchy.”
I think Terry was really spooked by Mourinho’s sleuthing. A physical reason would rule out a transient loss of performance and potentially mean early retirement. Terry had a lot riding that summer signing on with Chelsea on a multi year deal which made him England’s most expensive player.

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