Back...But Did Jose Ever Go Away?

In Chelsea Top Trumps, the cult of Mourinho outranks even that of JT and Super Frank - it's that standing which will prove his biggest asset in his second spell. No ghosts here...

Last Updated: 10/06/13 at 15:43 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Van Gaal Signs Off In Style...

Post comment

Louis van Gaal might have hoped to avoid the World Cup third-place play-off, but that didn't stop him masterminding another impressive victory for Holland in Brasilia...

Cole's Choice A Refreshing Move...

Post comment

Despite receiving lucrative offers from MLS after his Chelsea deal expired, Ashley Cole chose to join Roma. Hopefully it will encourage more English players to move abroad...

All Articles

Chelsea football club's new manager

Chelsea football club's new manager

They say he's a nomad. That he cannot stay at a club for longer than three years. Of course, it's worth noting that he was the Real Madrid coach for twice as long as any of his nine predecessors, Inter have had six managers in the three years since he walked away and - most tellingly of all - there have been seven successors at Chelsea since he exited English football. But the real irony is that, in a sense, he never left Stamford Bridge. We are entering Jose Mourinho's tenth year as the main man at Chelsea Football Club.

His presence has continued to pervade the club. It is not just the chants of his name that have provided the backdrop to the reigns of Avram Grant, Andre Villas-Boas and Rafael Benitez - it's normal for supporters to herald former heroes. More significantly, it is the fact that many key players never truly abandoned the idea of Jose as mentor-in-chief. As Porto president Pinto da Costa told Gazzetta della Sport last year when Villas-Boas was still clinging to his job at Chelsea: "He needs time to mould his own team and he can't do that as long as there are players, as I've heard, who exchange text messages with Mourinho."

As he begins his second spell, that established relationship with the club could prove Mourinho's biggest asset. The senior players who have proven so problematic for other managers are unlikely to be such an issue. In Chelsea Top Trumps, the cult of Mourinho outranks even that of JT and Super Frank. He already has the authority that is needed.

And Mourinho is clearly aware of these intangibles. "It's the first time I arrive at a club where I already love the club," he told reporters in his opening address to the media. "The first time, I had to build an emotional relationship. This time, I know many of the people involved at the club and I know the mentality of the ambition they have."

Those people include senior players John Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien. "There are still a few boys from my (first) time," added Mourinho. "It's always good to have those players who gave absolutely everything for me while I was here. But it is important to know - not them, they already know - that there is no privilege with them. They do not have an advantage in relation to the other people."

A clear message it would seem, but the decision to allow Thibaut Courtois to stay on loan for a third season at Atletico Madrid is a revealing one. The young Belgium international goalkeeper has a burgeoning reputation and there is a strong case for him to be installed as the Chelsea No.1. But Mourinho recognises the importance of retaining strong senior players who can help integrate his ideas and Cech, who joined the club from Rennes in 2004, can be expected to play a key role.

Others will play their part even if they are forced to accept a reduced playing role. This is a challenge he has tackled before and overcome with astonishing results. Marco Materazzi was a senior defender at Internazionale in 2008, having averaged more than 26 league appearances per season over the previous four years. Under Mourinho, Materazzi played nine Serie A games in the first season and a dozen in the second. And yet, he remains fiercely loyal to his former coach. "Anyone who speaks ill of Mourinho just does it because of envy," Materazzi said only last month. "I really liked his style of management."

That style of management remains distinctive. While much of the attention will now be on his tactics and which players will suit his style of play, the man himself is likely to be focusing on the psychological - how he can get the group to work together. "The club is much more important than ourselves," he was quick to point out with that faux-humble deadpan delivery that is surely his trademark. "We are nobody without the club."

These words will resonate with the fans who sported their 'Chelsea is our religion and Jose is our God' T-shirts outside the ground on Monday lunchtime. Their concern is likely to be whether their new manager has the same appetite and strength of purpose as the old version, amid suggestions that an exhausting spell in Madrid has sapped his enthusiasm. But Mourinho has a retort for his critics. "I have the same nature," he says. "But I am, of course, a different person. In 2000 when I started my management career I thought I knew everything. Thirteen years later and I realise that I knew nothing."

But what he has always known is that fostering a united team spirit is a proven template for success. And at a club where continuity has proven impossible since his exit, it is the man who has proven so divisive in his absence who is best placed to galvanise this Chelsea squad going forward. Mourinho is back. In truth, he never went away.

Adam Bate - Follow @GhostGoal

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

am jealous but i do wonder why he's never done anything for barca and why they seemingly don't give two hoots that he's leaving. they clearly rate suarez more than him, that much is inarguable

bobsy
Sanchez Is A Game-Changer For Arsenal...

L

uis Suarez: on his way to Barcelona. Liverpool : on their way to the Conference.

wotyomamased
Liverpool agree sale of Suarez

D

aryl Janmaat, a cheaper alternative to Micah Richards? World Cup semifinalist versus Man City's backup, England's... what, fifth choice right back? That really hammers home the English premium.

harry hotspur
The Blank Gossip

Latest Photos

Footer 365

World Cup 2014: Netherlands beat Brazil 3-0 in third place play-off

Goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum saw Netherlands beat Brazil 3-0 to finish third.

World Cup final: Bastian Schweinsteiger wary of Javier Mascherano's pack of wolves

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has compared Argentina to a pack of wolves, with Javier Mascherano its leader.

World Cup final preview: Germany face Argentina in Maracana showdown

A wonderful World Cup will draw to a close at the Maracana as Germany and Argentina battle it out to become champions.

Mail Box

Alexis Sanchez: Really Not THAT Good

The backlash has begun: Why are Barca letting him go if he's any good? We have mails on Alexis Sanchez, Luis Suarez, the World Cup and the wonder of F365...

Stop Your Sobbing And Man Up...

Oh and honey, put the kettle on. We have more World Cup mails but it's mostly an orgasmic explosion at the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Could this be Arsenal's year?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property