Steve Sidwell has lifted the lid on Chelsea players’ reactions to the sudden news that Jose Mourinho was leaving the club in September 2007.
Mourinho had brought huge success to Stamford Bridge since joining the club in 2004, winning back-to-back Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups in just three seasons.
However, a series of disagreements with owner Roman Abramovich and a slump in form led to the Portuguese’s abrupt departure from the west London club just weeks into the 2007-08 season.
And the news was so unexpected that Blues players were either speechless or overwhelmed by emotion, according to former Chelsea midfielder Sidwell.
“I never felt that tension or thought he was in trouble,” he told The Athletic. “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, 'S***, 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.”
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