The knives are out for Jose Mourinho as Johan Cruyff and Fabio Capello criticise struggling Chelsea boss

If Jose Mourinho was in any doubt that the knives are out for him, now two huge names in world football have rounded on the beleaguered Chelsea manager.

A 3-1 home defeat to Southampton at the weekend meant Chelsea have lost four of their opening eight Premier League games this season.

As a result, the reigning champions are 10 points behind leaders Manchester City and four points above the relegation zone.

They also sit in third place in their Champions League group as the pressure mounts on the self-styled 'Special One'.

Delivering a seven-minute rant after the latest defeat, Mourinho claimed the Blues were "always punished" by officials because "there is always a question mark" from the media.

He has since been charged with misconduct by the Football Association for those comments, as reported by BBC Sport, but it is not just the football authorities out to get the 52-year-old.

Big name duo lambast Mourinho

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff and former AC Milan and England manager Fabio Capello have both had their say on the Blues boss in highly critical separate interviews.

Capello, who was sacked as Russia boss back in June, told Fox Sports Mourinho is to blame for the West London club's slump.

"It is true that Chelsea are paying for some of their absences - like [Thibaut] Courtois - but there have also been tactical errors from the coach, who this year is not preparing for matches very well," Capello told the TV station.

Even more stinging criticism was to follow from Cruyff, regarded as one of the finest footballers of all time, in an interview with Sky Sports.

While he admitted he respected Mourinho, Cruyff blasted the Portuguese's behaviour.

"It's probably because of his background, where he's never been cheered by 100,000 people, or whistled at by 100,000 people," Cruyff told Sky Sports.

"Maybe it's because of that, maybe because of the interest from the press, but I don't think he is educating children to play football or educating for life.

"He should behave better because he will be in the press all over the world."

Criticism playing into Mourinho's hands?

Both managers make salient points and both their opinions carry weight, given their achievements in the game.

Many fans and pundits think this is the perfect time to play Chelsea, given their troubles.

But knowing the way Mourinho operates, he will use the criticism from the likes of Capello and Cruyff to help foster that famous siege mentality.

If he manages to instill that 'us against the world' mindset over the international break, you have to feel sorry for Aston Villa, who travel to Stamford Bridge next.

This may be the worst spell of Mourinho's career, but it seems inevitable that he will have the last laugh.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch