Tuesday night saw Real Madrid knocked out of the semi-finals of the Champions League. It also saw the biggest glimpse yet that former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is anticipating a return to Stamford Bridge.
It is fair to say that Mourinho is a legend among Chelsea fans. After joining the club in 2004 he was instantly dubbed ‘the special one’ by the English media. He proceeded to lead Chelsea to their first top-flight domestic title in 50 years, cementing his place in Premier League history. He left England having been the most successful manager Chelsea have had, after winning an impressive six trophies in just three years at the club.
Not only did he enjoy club success in England, he enjoyed a unique relationship with the British press. With his distinctive honesty, he was arrogant but brilliant. But yet he has an undoubted passion for the game; he wants to win and despises losing. Something he has always been vocal about.
Mourinho went on to have further success in Europe, after joining Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Hence there is no doubt he is an outstanding manager. But I worry that if he was to return to Chelsea this summer, would he be able to emulate his previous success at the club?
It is widely known that if a manager fails to succeed at Stamford Bridge within a season or so, or less if you include Andre Villas-Boas, they are replaced without a second thought by the clubs owner.
I am sure the celebrations will begin if, and when, Jose makes his returns to South West London. Chelsea fans will no doubt rejoice at the special ones return, and the ‘interim ones’ departure. But how long will the honeymoon period last this time? If he fails to win the league, if Manchester United continue to dominate, if he fails to bring home the coveted Champions League title, which he failed to do first time round, will he be sent packing? How much of his bravado and stubbornness will Abramovich tolerate this time?
I also wonder if English football prepared for the return of the ‘Special One’. It will no doubt be great for the journalists, providing the coveted headlines and engaging post-match interviews, something that has perhaps lacked since Jose’s departure in 2007. But at times he pushed the boundaries perhaps a little too far, something he has not hated during his recent spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Controversy seems to follow him.
These are questions that only time will answer. I think it will be a very exciting football season ahead if he does make his return as it is safe to say, there is never a dull moment with Jose Mourinho involved.