Mourinho and his professed love for London and its Blues

By Jayanta Oinam | Last Updated: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 20:22
 
Jayanta Oinam
For the game
 

For a football manager who has conquered some of the biggest and toughest leagues in the world, it will not be easy to settle in a place for long. For the desires to face new challenges and conquer new frontiers will always be there. However, when Jose Mourinho declares that he will never leave Stamford Bridge again, it certainly demands serious consideration.

If England is the capital of modern football, where many a footballing dreams translate into reality, it is also a place where managers are hired-and-fired at will by the owners. So far, not less than seven managers have been shown the exit doors in the top-flight league. So, it`s safe to assume that it`s never safe for a manager in England. And consider a club like Chelsea, owned by the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Chelsea, since the arrival of Abramovich in 2003, has seen as many as ten managers at the helm, all in a decade`s period. And the list includes such legends like - Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Claudio Ranieri and Rafael Benitez, to name a few. So, Mourinho`s declaration that he will never leave the London club is fraught with danger.

Known as the Special One among the Chelsea faithfuls, Mourinho is indeed their messiah. The Portuguese helped them win back-to-back league titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. The first title was the club`s first in almost 50 years. Besides the league titles, during his three-year reign in London, the Portuguese also lifted a FA Cup and two more League Cup trophies. But much more than winning the trophies, his team was always in contention to win everything.

Having already achieved continental success with his native club, FC Porto, his failure to conquer Europe with the Blues drove him to seek a different atmosphere, another set of supporters. In 2008, he moved to Italy to manage a club seeking new challenges, like himself. There, with Inter Milan, he won the treble by lifting the scudetto, Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League.

His Italian sojourn soon finished with the invitation coming from Real Madrid. However, his stay in Spain proved less fruitful, as he often found himself embroiled in back-room affairs. He did manage to win the league title in his first season, but against a backdrop of global stars and an ensemble – comparable to Galacticos, his performance was constantly measured and watched from the top. Adding to their internal affairs, his enduring rivalry with Barcelona manager – Pep Guardiola, didn`t make things any better. Thus came the end of his Real Madrid stint in 2013, after managing the world`s most successful club for three eventful years.

All this while, the London club was having its own bouts with managerial changes. In his absence, the Blues have won their `elusive` continental trophy under Robert de Matteo. But the club`s reputation was a taking hit – especially for the type of the game they play, and more importantly, the frequent managerial changes. That`s when the prophecy of a Second Coming was written all over over London.

Having already spent half of the season upon his return, and still in contention to win some more trophies, Mourinho certainly thinks that future is in London. No doubt, he has been often-times heard talking about a special project, which he and the owner only know. For the outsiders, it`s a mystery. But it will take only a season, which is upon us, to know what really is there. And what does the trigger-happy boss thinks about the Special One`s professed love for London and its Blues.



First Published: Monday, January 20, 2014 - 02:19

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