The Blues supporters never took to the former Liverpool boss but their unhappiness was nothing compared to the backlash Maurizio Sarri is now enduring.
Not since Rafael Benitez has a Chelsea manager been as disliked as Maurizio Sarri.
Blues supporters have grown bitterly disillusioned with the Italian’s dogged tactical approach, which they feel is responsible for the Blues being knocked out of the FA Cup, and dropping rapidly down the Premier League table.
The recent 4-0 and 6-0 losses to Bournemouth and Manchester City, respectively, were historically bad results but Chelsea’s overall form across the winter period has been wretched.
By contrast, everyone wanted Sarri to succeed when he arrived at Chelsea during the summer.
The Blues fans were seduced by the prospect of the kind of expansive, possession-based football that has rarely been seen at Stamford Bridge, with the club’s previous successes having been achieved under pragmatists like Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
Less than eight months on, though, and that dream has died.
Chants of “F*ck Sarriball” came from the Matthew Harding End in Monday’s FA Cup last-16 loss to Manchester United. It was a landmark moment, the first time Chelsea fans had turned so viciously on their club’s manager over his tactics.
It is not that Chelsea don’t want to see good football but, as Sarri says, he is a “dreamer” and the club’s most passionate supporters now believe that the Italian is in sleep-walking towards a cliff edge.