In footballing terms Chelsea’s capture of Jose Mourinho on a 4 year deal was conducted in quick fashion. Minimal bravado, few mind games – simply the special one claiming weeks ago that he wanted to return to where he was loved. By his eccentric standards it is safe to say he is attempting to tone down.
For Chelsea fans he can do little wrong. In his tenure in charge he won consecutive Premier League titles. But since his old glory days the spine of his team has been disrupted. His once trusted captain John Terry has been reduced to the bench, Frank Lampard is more frequently used as impact sub and even Petr Cech’s place is in jeopardy this season as the highly rated Thibaut Courtois returns after impressing on loan at Atletico Madrid. Times have changed in his absence as a crop of fresh faces have arrived. The transition started by Rafael Benitez needs to be continued by the revered manager.
This has to balanced with the important task of maintaining old relations with the old guard. John Terry and Frank Lampard can be utilised as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are at Manchester United as leaders of the dressing room. This is vital as Chelsea’s young squad would benefit from the leadership and experience of the two club veterans.
Two of the sole survivors of Mourinho’s original Chelsea squad will have to accept lesser roles if Chelsea are to play the fluid, attractive football desired by owner Roman Abramovich.
The depth of the squad ensures that splurges in the transfer window are not necessary. The lack of striking options is no longer a problem as Romelu Lukaku returns to the club after scoring an impressive 17 goals in limited appearances for West Brom. Mourinho may instead prefer to inspire Fernanado Torres to improve on the modest 22 goals he scored last season.
The most obvious addition would be a holding central midfielder more resourceful with the ball than Mikel. Alternatively, the new boss may slot David Luiz will into defensive midfielder allowing him to recruit another central defender.
The current Chelsea team is capable of dominating domestically.
Much of the success of the new look Chelsea will lie on the shoulders of Eden Hazard. The Belgian has shown glimpses of brilliance at the start and end of last season, His touch, sublime skills and ability to change the game resembles the way Lionel Messi plays. If Hazard can add more goals to his game it is a comparison which can be more readily made. The no nonsense manager must afford some lee way for a player whose undeniable talent outweighs his bad temperament.
After all Mourinho himself has a questionable temperament. The manager is known as much for his tactical pedigree as he is for his press conferences; his comments often provides much needed comic relief and is often used to take the spotlight of his own players. Such comments are refreshing from the mundane answers managers usually give. The cosy relationship he has with the media can be broken by erratic behaviour which will see his reputation sour as it has in Spain. As Luiz Suarez is engineering a move away from the Premier League it is imperative Mourinho limits such controversies – If not he will become the new villain of the premier league as the media turn on him.
Scenes like this are to common when Mourinho is involved, second time round the focus has to be on the football.
Everyone is entitled to a second chance, none more so than a manager who started the cycle of success Chelsea football club has enjoyed since his first spell in 2004 . However, second time round more is expected. He must win the right way both on and off the field.