Jose Mourinho’s first press conference was nothing short of a spectacle: his presence, his charisma and his charm are unrivalled in the managing world and it showed.
Around 250 journalists packed out Chelsea’s press conference room to hear from the Blues’ new manager.
The return of the ‘Special One’ is something that Chelsea fans had been hoping on, lusting over and waiting for. The Portuguese has been brought in to help Chelsea but, after a trophy-less season in Madrid, it’s likely to help Mourinho too.
Mourinho’s gone back to a place where he’s “loved” and his initial interview with Chelsea TV - and his recent press conference - clearly showed that he’s happy, and maybe relieved, to be back at a club that he’s familiar with.
Mourinho has previously won trophies at Chelsea and the majority of his successors did the same. The one trophy that Mourinho, despite his efforts, didn’t win was the Champions League. Seen as Roman Abramovich’s ‘Holy Grail’, it was eventually Roberto Di Matteo’s time in charge that saw Chelsea claim the illustrious title.
The continued trophy haul at Stamford Bridge after Mourinho’s departure means that the ‘Happy One’ will need to do more than just win titles.
With high expectation for him to win to at Chelsea, Mourinho’s short term success will be measured in cup victories and ultimately whether he can win his third Premier League title; however a longer term achievement must be on the mind of Chelsea and Mourinho.
Manchester United had continued success with Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26 year management of the club: he developed youth players, won trophies and played attacking football.
Chelsea have brilliant youth facilities and fantastic young talent. Players such as Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalaboah spent last season in the Championship and managed to get game time and experience at Middlesborough and Watford respectively.
Chelsea have also spent vast sums on young European talents. Belgium trio Lukaku, De Bruyne and Courtois are three high prospects that impressed with loan moves last season. While Courtois is set to stay in Spain - with Atletico Madrid - Lukaku and De Bruyne might be given a chance to impress at Chelsea.
Players at the club have spoken about their confidence in their new manager. Players such as Torres and Hazard believe the introduction of Mourinho will transform their game - there is certainly an added confidence around the Chelsea players.
Next season Chelsea will be amongst the favourites for many of the big trophies but a consistent level of winning, regardless of next season’s finish, will likely be the target for Mourinho after his claims that he will stay long term in West London.
The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson now sees a totally new era in the Premier League. The Scot’s dominance in English football has transformed Manchester United and now, with United in a period of transition, Mourinho will have the task of trying to emulate this sustained success for Chelsea.
Now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired Mourinho will be viewed, by many, as the face of a new era for Premier League. He is a proven champion but now there’s a different challenge for Mourinho and that’s making Chelsea a dominant force, for years to come.
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