Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has described Chelsea's season as "really bad" and said their campaign could be described as great only by someone with "the philosophy of a loser".
Mourinho, who left the English club in September, made his comments on the day that the man who succeeded him, Avram Grant, was sacked, eight months after he replaced Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho, asked in an interview with The Observer newspaper whether the season had been a good one as depicted by Grant, replied: "That depends on your philosophy of leadership.
"In my philosophy it was a very bad one because in football 'almost' means defeat and Chelsea almost won the Carling (League) Cup, almost won the Champions League and almost won the Premier League. Almost is nothing.
"After two titles per season for the last three years there were zero titles this season, which in my philosophy means a really bad season. Maybe in the philosophy of a loser this was a great season, which I respect," he said in the interview published on Sunday.
Mourinho admitted to being "very sad" at Chelsea's defeat in Moscow to Manchester United in the Champions League final, adding that the supporters, the board and the players "deserve more".
"I am very sad about what happened. In the last two years this team lost a Champions League final and a Champions League semi-final on penalties. The supporters deserve more, (the players) and some others deserve happiness. I still think of them as my boys."
However, he added: "I believe that after an empty season new success will come to Chelsea. And I will always be a Chelsea supporter."
Mourinho is being linked with a return to Stamford Bridge alongside names including Frank Rijkaard, Guus Hiddink, Roberto Mancini and Marcello Lippi.
Grant was being linked with a move to Manchester City if Sven-Goran Eriksson is sacked by Thai owner Thaksin Shinawatra.
(Editing by Clare Fallon)