One of the most anticipated storylines in the last 2 years is how Jose Mourinho would settle back into the English game. After stints in both Italy and Spain, Mourinho returned home to West London. Chelsea were the first team where the Portuguese tactician grabbed hold of the spotlight, proclaiming himself “The Special One”.
Mourinho is one of those elite managers that enjoy success wherever he goes. He has won several trophies at every club he’s coached. Therefore, when Abramovich had to decide who would succeed the wildly unpopular Rafa Benitez, Mourinho was his obvious choice. Although there was reported tension between Mourinho and the Russian, they both seemed willing enough to bury the hatchet.
In June of 2013, Mourinho was named the new manager at Chelsea Football Club. And the Blues haven’t looked back since. Chelsea are seemingly back to their winning ways. While there is always work to be done, the early signs of dominance are there.
Mourinho is well known for his tactics. The Portuguese manager has always gone against the grain, using a defensive strategy, with the ability to counter attack. This is instead of trying to adopt a Barcelona-esque Tiki-Taka football style, like most teams are attempting to achieve.
Mourinho also knows how to pick the correct squads for the big games. For example, his use of Kurt Zouma in the midfield during the Capital One Cup final was brilliant, and unexpected.
The 51-year old has shown that he is prepared to make changes to the side if need be. He is willing to sub players off early, and make impactful changes, that often determine the context of the game. His tactics often get the best out of the players he works with, which is why he’s had so much success.
However, Mourinho’s genius goes well past his tactics on the pitch. He also acts as a brilliant general manager. His knowledge and decisions made in the transfer market are the major reason behind Chelsea’s success in the past few years. Jose has been ruthless, and swift in his transfer dealing since returning to Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho is one of the only managers that can sell players like David Luiz, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, and Andre Schurrle without thinking twice. All of these players are considered stars in Europe. However, Mourinho was able to part company with them easily, knowing they didn’t fit into his picture of how the squad would progress. This shrewd business has allowed the Blues to bring in players like Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic, Willian, and Filipe Luis. Decisions of that magnitude can only be made by a handful of managers, and Jose is one of them.
The Portuguese tactician is also the perfect man to install stability at Stamford Bridge. Given his past of leaving clubs after a few seasons this seems questionable. When taking a step back though, there isn’t a better man for the job. He has already begun to build his squad, filled with youth. Jose is the perfect manager to facilitate the transition from the Old Guard to the newer youth talent that Chelsea boasts in excess.
He is just 51 years of age, and has mentioned that he plans to coach for another 15-20 years. Mourinho has claimed he will stay in West London as long as he is welcome. He has also made it a priority to incorporate the academy players in Chelsea’s plans.
The Portuguese manager was quoted saying, “If, in a few years, Baker, Brown and Solanke are not national team players, I should blame myself.
Those are words from a man who plans to make youth talent a major focus. He is the perfect man to pilot Chelsea through the next decade. He is already showing signs of success, and looks ready to build on it. With the young talent currently on the Blue’s books, it looks like an exciting time to be a Chelsea fan. And with Mourinho at the helm, we can rest assured that they will have the direction to be successful. Get ready England; the Blues are set to dominate for years to come.
Contribution from Tyler Strauss