Chelsea fans' taunts won't bother Jose Mourinho – he's only ever loved himself anyway

Republik of Mancunia's Scott Patterson explains that the Portuguese's relationship with a fan base is usually just a means to an end

During Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening, Jose Mourinho was seen holding three fingers up to the home fans.

After their former boss was seen appealing decisions against United on the touchline, some sections of the Stamford Bridge support began to abuse the Portuguese. He responded by simply reminding them how often he'd won the league while in charge of Chelsea.

The Blues' first title in 50 years came under Mourinho; the west Londoners have won the league five times in their history, the majority of which were under his guidance. While it's understandable that Chelsea fans will be a little irked at Mourinho's decision to join a domestic rival, it's a little difficult to work out where the hatred has come from since.

Double firing

Mourinho has managed Chelsea twice, winning league titles and other domestic trophies in both stints, but was sacked in 2007 and 2015

“F**k off Mourinho!” they chanted, the way that opposition fans often do – and the way United fans used to before he became their manager. Some Blues called him “Judas” too, and sang: "It's never your fault."

Mourinho has managed Chelsea on two occasions, winning league titles and other domestic trophies in both stints, but was sacked by Roman Abramovich in 2007 and 2015. He didn’t ask to leave or get his head turned by United or another club. There was no betrayal on his part.

Since joining United, he hasn’t been critical of his former employers or fans. In fact, he's repeatedly claimed that Chelsea will easily win the league under Antonio Conte this term. Granted, he did brand their style of football "defensive" somewhat mischievously, but the accusations of treachery fired in his direction on Monday seem hard to link to that.

Perhaps, though, the Chelsea supporters' source of pain is another comment Mourinho made recently.

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho was first sacked by Chelsea in 2007, then again eight years later

Getting fans on board

I've never seen such unrivalled passion. The stadium is full every time we play and the support the players receive is special

- Jose Mourinho

“I’ve managed several clubs and I have never seen such unrivalled passion,” he said of United fans earlier this month. “The stadium is full every time we play and the support the players receive is special.”

It's worth remembering that only 24,000 fans attended his last game in charge of Chelsea the first time around, and that Mourinho once claimed the lack of noise at Stamford Bridge meant it felt like playing in an "empty stadium".

Chelsea's current boss has been less than impressed with the support too – "there were United fans who kept singing, while ours were in silence after a great performance from my team," he said after the Blues' 4-0 victory in October – it seems unfair for those on the Stamford Bridge terraces to turn their backs on Mourinho for merely hailing the atmosphere at Old Trafford.

Chelsea fans used to display a banner at their home ground dedicated to Mourinho, with the words "One of Us" printed alongside a picture of his face. Perhaps now they're wondering whether he was ever one of them at all.

Similar methods

He developed a siege mentality that all three fanbases bought into, which led to supporters defending all sorts of poor behaviour on his behalf

Mourinho has always been the type of manager that fans adore when he's with their club and hate when he's not – with the possible exception of Real Madrid, where there was never an entirely harmonious relationship between dugout and stands.

Yet at Porto and Inter, much like at Chelsea, he was a hero who was worshipped for the success and silverware he brought. He developed a siege mentality that all three fanbases bought into, which led to supporters defending all sorts of poor behaviour on his behalf.

Chelsea fans thought Mourinho was their Special One, but he's never really held them in the same regard. That's probably the case whereever he's been, although it's interesting to note that Inter is the club he's always spoken most fondly of after leaving.

"Inter is the club I have enjoyed the most, no one else has given me the same happiness," he said in 2013. "It's a family and I will always belong to the Nerazzurri family. When I left I cried more than once."

Jose Mourinho

Mourinho won the Treble in his final season at Inter