Could Mourinho-less Chelsea challenge the Ipswich Town of 1962-63?

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho - Credit: Archant

Jose Mourinho’s sacking comes with Chelsea on track to become the worst performing defending top division champions since Ipswich Town in 1962/63.

Ipswich fans and players celebrate success in 1962. It didn't go so well the following year.

Ipswich fans and players celebrate success in 1962. It didn't go so well the following year.

The Blues won the old First Division title, which remains the only in the club’s history, in 1961/62 but endured a dire season the following year when defending their crown, finishing 17th and only avoiding relegation by four points.

After winning the final title before the start of the Premier League era in 1992, Leeds also finished 17th the following year, four points better off than the Blues when taking into account the change from two to three points for a win.

While Leeds recovered to finish fifth the year after bombing, things went from bad to worse at Portman Road as Ipswich slipped through the relegation trap door in 1963/64, before returning four years later.

Manchester City, Everton and Aston Villa have all dropped out of the top 10 a year removed from lifting the trophy, with an average finishing position of fourth for defending champions during that time, but none have performed worse than the Blues.

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Mourinho leaves Stamford Bridge with the reigning Premier League champions 16th in the table, a point and two places clear of the drop zone and with 15 points, meaning whoever replaces the ‘special one’ needing to guide the west Londoners out of trouble.

With Guus Hiddink, Pep Guardiola and Juande Ramos in the frame the Chelsea squad, on paper at least, appears more than capable of pulling well clear.

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