Jose Mourinho watched his Chelsea side throw an early 1-0 lead away as they eventually lost 3-1 at home to Southampton on Saturday evening, leaving the reigning champions on eight points after eight games.
It means Chelsea have now endured their worst start to a Premier League season in 37 years. They were relegated that season, and while nobody is suggesting they will suffer the same fate this term, Mourinho is under the biggest pressure of his managerial career to turn things around.
He appeared to use his post-match interview with Sky Sports to send a message to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, asking to be given time despite the ongoing crisis at the club.
“If the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I am not running away,” Mourinho said after the game as part of an incredible seven-minute response to one question.
“To be champions now is very difficult because the distance is so much but I am convinced we will finish in the top four.
“It is a crucial moment in the history of this club. If they sack me they sack the best manager this club has ever had. The message is that the results are the fault of the manager. This is a moment for everybody to assume their responsibilities and stick together.”
Mourinho now has two weeks to prepare for the Blues’ next league game against Aston Villa, so long as he is still in the job. The Portuguese tactician is as short as 5/1 with some bookmakers to be the next Premier League manager to leave.
Chelsea sit in 16th place in the Premier League after eight games. No club has ever finished higher than fifth after picking up just eight points through the same number of games.