He’s arguably one the most entertaining managers of recent years, from his eccentric celebrations during Porto’s victory over Man United in 2004, to his honest criticism of his own players’ – there’s no Mourinho’s a great ambassador for the English game. The media, which thrive on his flamboyant nature, will warmly welcome his return to reignite their very own headlines – as will Chelsea fans with their own.
Mourinho has moved away from the self-titled the ‘Special One’, in favour of the ’Happy One’, modest, even by his own standards. But Chelsea’s guardian angel has finally returned and that’s what matters to them. That, and the small agenda of the league title.
Chelsea underachieved last season, they have an extensive squad full of talent, but finished 14-points adrift of the top, poor by their own admission. The reinstatement of Mourinho will require an immediate turnaround and I believe he’s the man for the job. I even believe with a few extra signings they can challenge for the league, especially since the arrival of two new managers across Manchester, who’ll require settling in time.
I’ve highlighted a few key points I believe Mourinho will likely implement upon his return.
Stability for the club
A few weeks ago I wrote about the short-term affect heavy spending was having on football, in particularly how Chelsea’s millions was causing immediate success but at a heavy price, the price of their future. However, Mourinho – like AVB who was building Chelsea for a brighter, more sustainable future – stated during his first official press conference, he’d bring stability to the club as he intended to stay beyond his new four-year contract. If Chelsea can merit Mourinho’s contract, stick to the intended four-year deal regardless of relationships with the owner, then they can become the force they once were. Abramovich will come severe criticisms should he sack Mourinho before his contract’s up, Chelsea need certainty and with Mourinho managing Porto, Inter and Real in the past, it’s a testament to Chelsea he’s returned for a second spell. I believe Mourinho’s in for the long haul.
Draw in big names
Although the possibility of another Andriy Shevchenko purchase is unlikely, Mourinho has managed some of the biggest stars in the game, as well as their egos – Ronaldo and Balotelli springs to mind – so he has the credentials to deal with such players. Along with this and hefty financial backing, Mourinho has the ability to attract players currently circulating, such as Rooney and Cavani, by allowing his previous success at Porto, Inter and Chelsea – the first time around – to do the talking. His success was evident in a recent interview when Cavani was asked whether he’d like to work with Mourinho. “The Special One? It would be a pleasure to be managed by someone like him”.
Unrest within the camp
There’s always unrest when a new manager comes in, in the past I’ve known players to worry whether the new manager will want them out, but you’ve got to believe in your own ability and prove this to the new manager. And whilst all pros should approach new management with a similar attitude, I feel believe whilst Mourinho’s installing stability to the club, he’ll also have to deal with players who’ve fallen out of favour recently and not just those from his first spell. Fernando Torres is the first, despite scoring 22 goals in all competitions last season, he’s been utilised in Europe and hasn’t really made much of an impact on the league. He’s set for talks with Mourinho this week to agree on his future, but it’s probably time for him to move on and rekindle the form that earned him his £50m price tag. As for the likes of Terry and Lampard, I believe Mourinho would be daft not to play Lampard after the season he’s just had and whilst I believe Terry has lost confidence and ability, Mourinho might just squeeze out a few more performances from him.
Whilst winning the Europa League was a tribute to a rather unsuccessful season for Chelsea, it’s certainly not the European trophy they’d lust for. But now they can depend on a man who’s claimed two Champions Leagues winners’ medals with two clubs. He’s experienced in Europe and his second leg performance against Man United, when the game was looking over, in this year’s Champions League highlights his tactical mindset. Chelsea will hope their failure to reach the knockout stages last season is a sign of the past, I believe with their squad, Mourinho’s ability to perform on the European stage and the addition of a prolific goal-scorer, then they can certainly progress toward the quarter finals, maybe the semi’s if the Spaniards and German’s are having an off day.