Well the worst kept secret in football was finally confirmed on Monday afternoon. The news of Jose Mourinho’s return to the Chelsea hot seat was something we all knew (and hoped) would happen ever since Roberto di Matteo got sacked back in November. What Roman will want is the same trophy-laden success from a team ready to build on their triumph from our Europa League success last month. Mourinho knows that every fan would crawl over broken glass for him however, the owner will still be as demanding for instant results as he was back in 2004.
Jose will find a squad capable, on its day, of going toe-to-toe with any team in Europe but there are a few niggling matters he must address, chief of which will be the form and fitness of our captain, John Terry. It was quite clear that towards the end of last season Benitez didn’t trust John to perform in the ‘bigger’ matches so-to-speak. He struggled to shake off an injury and when he did play, as painful as it is to write, he seemed like he’d lost a yard of pace. Nothing to worry about I hear you say because, as we know, Johns’ reading of the game is second to none however, Mourinho likes his teams to be stable throughout and tactically aware of any situation on the field of play and if he has any lingering doubts over Johns long term fitness, he may need to address this immediately.
He will of course be surrounded by familiar faces in Petr Cech, Ashley Cole & Frank Lampard, all of which (especially the latter) performed excellently the longer the season progressed. He will of course, have in the back of his mind the long term replacements for these 3 and what to do with them. I’ve stated before I would love to see Thibaut Coutois back next season and given a role similar to the one Costel Pantilimon was given this season at Man City to further his development but there’s a question on if Coutois even wants to come back to Chelsea. Ryan Bertrand had a good season but still doesn’t fill every fan with complete confidence so will we dip in the market for Luke Shaw from Southampton? I’ve also seen on Twitter in the past 48 hours the ‘Hulk to Chelsea’ rumour (no thanks – I think we’re all sick of this one) and more interestingly Edin Dzeko, which I think would be an excellent signing. Proven Premiership goal scorer with a point to prove for £20million? I’d be interested to hear peoples opinion on this.
There also will be, inevitably, players leaving in the summer and the one rumour that doesn’t seem to go away is David Luiz to Barcelona. Now I follow Luiz on Twitter and Instagram (Which I’m sure most of you also do) and its quite evident from what he posts that he is absolutely bonkers about Chelsea. He’s somewhat of a loose-cannon though when he plays and I get the impression sometimes that he actually isn’t sure what he’s actually meant to be doing(!) But he CAN play football and he does so with a smile on his face which I absolutely love. His penalty against Bayern when we won the European Cup will live with me for a long time; little wink to the goal keeper and about a 40 yard run up for the ball the nestle in the top corner. He plays with that mischievous look on his face and of course, him rolling around smiling at the Man Utd fans to get Rafael sent off last season was hilarious. But with all this in mind, does he have a place in a Mourinho side? Again, a question only Mourinho knows the answer too. Of course, whether Torres, a somewhat different player under Benitez, will continue his form into next season will be interesting to watch. People were saying he’d go and join Benitez at Napoli but will Mourinho want to keep him? If there’s one thing Mourinho does well, its instil confidence into a player. I’m sure every one of us will be watching intently at Senor Torres to see if he does indeed continue where he left off last season.
We are dealing with an older and wiser Mourinho. A Mourinho wanting to give Chelsea an identity and style that will be centred around our younger players (Mata, hazard, Oscar, Lukaku etc.) A few tweaks here and there and I’m absolutely confident that we will enjoy the success his first stint as manager brought.
I’ve not spoken to anybody outside Chelsea who aren’t delighted with this appointment. I hope that the owner can relax a little, comfortable in the fact that finally, he’s delivered the manager we never wanted to see leave but always wanted back. Its hard to imagine Abramovich handing over too much control to Mourinho but its obvious some sort of compromise has been met with all parties happy with the arrangement. Mourinho is a football man and he is back where is feels most happy. Roman will know this and would be silly to rock the apple cart again (I mean, he’s never made a silly decision before has he?!)
One thing with Mourinho though is that he is a footballing ‘A-lister’. He divides opinion, will say things that are hilarious and controversial in equal measure and will always wear his heart on his sleeve. This is what we’ve been missing. Finally, if by some twist of luck, anybody remotely linked with the club reads this I’ll leave this; Thank you Roman for bringing him back. To Jose, I speak for every fan when I say; We love you and we’re delighted you’ve found your way back to us.
Thanks for reading!
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