Jose Mourinho’s shock exit from Chelsea 13 years left Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard weeping on the floor, Steve Sidwell has said.
Steve revealed that it was very akward when the Portuguese manager came to say his goodbyes because it felt like someone died with the way everyone was stunned.
According to him, the fact that strong characters like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry did not take it well proved it was a really big loss for the London club at the time.
He added that his exit was unexpected since the players were united, no one was turning against him and he hadn’t lost the dressing room.
His words, “I never felt that tension or thought he was in trouble.
“There were a few games before, you could see things in the press and it really bubbled up. But you didn’t feel it on the inside. The players were all united, no one was turning against him, he hadn’t lost the dressing room.
“The day he went, I was driving my wife to the airport and the news came on the radio. I just thought, ‘Sh*t, he’s gone. What’s going to happen?’ We were then all called into a meeting at Cobham.
“It was awkward when Jose came to say his goodbyes. You could have heard a pin drop. It felt like someone had died. When you see strong characters like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry either crying on the floor or certainly welling up… I got upset as well. It was really weird.”
On his one season stint, “Mourinho was sitting there at the front and he says, ‘Steve, you’re going to wear No. 9 this year.’
“Every player who joins a new club looks at the numbers available and I’d seen the numbers 9, 14 and others that went upwards from there. I just assumed I may get the No. 14 at a push.
“I didn’t know whether he was just testing me. If I said, ‘No thanks’ it would look like I had a weakness in my mentality. If I say ‘Yes’, it may have been that he was only joking. But I thought at least I’d then show him I had the balls to wear it. So I said ‘Yes’ and it turned out he was being serious.
“When I told people, my mates and family, everyone was just laughing. Obviously the number has a lot of history relating to top centre-forwards and that wasn’t me. I went on to score one goal for Chelsea.
“Looking back on why he may have made that decision now, I think he was sending a statement upstairs, to the board.
“That summer he had wanted more money to spend on transfers – but he’s brought in me, Tal Ben Haim and Claudio Pizarro on free transfers. The only big buy was Florent Malouda. Why didn’t he give Pizarro – a striker – the No. 9? I reckon he was making a point by giving it to a free transfer from Reading.”