Monday, June 17, 2013

The Return of the King

As Darth Vader said in Star Wars, 'the circle is now complete'. The ghost of Jose having seen off several previous managers at Stamford Bridge has now been replaced by the real thing again.

Chelsea fans - including the writer of this blog - are united in their unabashed glee at the return of their hero. The question of course is where does it all go from here?

As just mentioned, the writer wanted Mourinho back at Stamford Bridge above all others, but thinking about it harder, one has to question the motivation for that desire. Is it the best thing for the club or like a jealous ex, you simply didn't want anyone else to have them?

The thought of Jose Mourinho (an entirely improbable eventuality as it turned out) in the home dugout at Old Trafford directing the forces of evil was almost too much to contemplate. It was hard enough watching him at Inter or Real, he was and is after all 'our manager'.

No matter that Mourinho would not tow the line previously and engineered his dismissal from Chelsea, we have put that to the back of our minds in the same way that it has been swept under the carpet during his recent press conferences. Inter fans are apparently largely the same despite the obvious similarities of the contrived departures despite protestations of undying love. We are falling for it again and yet we care not a jot.

On the upside, Chelsea have again a manager with a track record for delivering trophies that few other than the very very best can aspire to. The thing is however, winning trophies is not Chelsea's problem, it's the level of dysfunction at the club.

Many have however begun to state that the shambolic nature of Chelsea's existence matters not given the owner's proven track record in acquiring the best players. The trophy cabinet from the last ten years does not lie.

Many many clubs have spent huge amounts of money in the past but not won nearly as much for such a long period. They must be doing something right and it is a model that has served Real Madrid fairly well over the years after all.

The problem is as ever that we only have Mourinho's version of previous events. Abramovich's silence undermines the entire club when a simple interview even to in house TV would help so many fans to understand his true vision.

It seems highly unlikely - whatever the spin - that a reconciliation was either's first choice. Guardiola was unquestionably Abramovich's only wish and we will never know the truth about Mourinho's desire to go to Old Trafford. Neither Chelsea nor Mourinho were deemed suitable however for either option.

There is little doubt to the writer's mind that Chelsea will be stronger next season for his return. Their squad requires only a couple of additions to be truly excellent once again and had it not been for the fan led implosion between November and February last season, Chelsea could and should have finished second comfortably.

The addition of a quality striker and a central midfield presence to take the pressure of the ageing Frank Lampard and the hopelessly inadequate Obi Mikel would see Chelsea again as true title challengers.

Mourinho will settle in quickly and impose his style from the outset. Suggestions that he will not be able to integrate the likes of Oscar and Mata are nonsense given the team he has been managing at Madrid and people forget or overlook how exciting Chelsea were with, Duff, Robben and Joe Cole.

One issue is that Chelsea's transfer policy has improved dramatically. Players such as Luiz, Oscar, Hazard, Lukaku, Courtois and now Schurrie are all players who will almost all certainly rise in value. Is Mourinho however the right manager to develop this young talent?

Mentally he improves players dramatically but he has no track record of working with young players, in fact he doesn't even appear to be interested.

Chelsea's opinion no doubt is that the club structure is in place now regardless of the manager who is now more than ever, a continental style coach who is as replaceable as any player and that may well be the reality now. There is simply no place for a Wenger or a Ferguson, all powerful and who dominate their club at every level. His job is simply to pick the team and tactics.

Next year will undoubtedly be highly entertaining with Mourinho back in the chair and should Chelsea win either the Premiership or the Champions League, no one will give a hoot about long term planning. The King is back on his throne, we just hope he lives a little longer this time - No Nonsense.