Football

Chelsea's young prospects will rot under Jose Mourinho

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Mourinho has stalled the careers of many youngsters (©GettyImages)
Mourinho has stalled the careers of many youngsters (©GettyImages).

Jose Mourinho has shown no signs that he has changed since arriving back at Stamford Bridge for his second spell in charge of Chelsea this summer.

After arriving from Porto to manage Chelsea in 2004, he quickly made his stamp on the team by bringing his best friends Ricardo Carvalho and Paulo Ferreira along with him at great expense to his new club.

Other additions, including Didier Drogba and Alex, soon followed giving the Chelsea team a distinctly different feel from the season previous.

Mourinho's reluctance to use young stars was evident right from the get-go. Young England full-back Glen Johnson was quickly shifted out of the squad in favour of Ferreira and Scott Parker was cut in favour of Claude Makelele.

Equally, an up-and-coming hopeful in Robert Huth was expelled from the team in favour of Carvalho.

The experienced squad quickly brought success at the expense of those young hopefuls. Chelsea won back-to-back Premier League titles with Mourinho and no Chelsea fans were complaining.

Mourinho's first spell in charge of the west London club was a magical time for Chelsea fans but it also saw the careers of many young hopefuls stal. This was due to Mourinho's misuse of them, his reluctance to use any player under the age of 24, and his disregard for future consequences.

By the time Mourinho stomped out of Stamford Bridge in 2007, the team was in certain decline. They managed to scuffle their way to the Champions League final under Avram Grant but, for an ageing squad, the only way was down.

Luiz Felipe Scolari failed to get the team in order before the axe came down on his Chelsea career and it wasn't until Carlo Ancelotti took over that the team finally recovered from Mourinho's antics.

Mourinho did the same at Inter Milan. He refused playing time to young stars Mario Balotelli and David Santon in favour of his own additions. Once again, these were old and experienced players. Instant success followed as Inter won the treble in the 2009/10 season before Mourinho swiftly left his sinking ship filled with soon-to-be retired stars.

Rafa Benitez attempted to pick up the pieces at the San Siro but ultimately failed. Thanks to the excessive money spent by Mourinho in his two seasons in charge, estimated to be around £130m, Inter had little or no funds to replace the ageing stars that had little or no resale value.

Inter's demise was highlighted by their ninth place finish in Serie A last season.

Mourinho wasn't allowed to make the wholesale changes to the Real Madrid squad he usually demands. As such, his success at the Bernabeu was limited.

At Chelsea however, he has been given free reign to do as he pleases and is again showing signs of rebuilding an aged squad, showing disregard for the future.

No doubt Mourinho is building a squad capable of winning major titles but a squad of old experienced players leaves little room for young talent to develop. Short term success is again being championed in favour of sustained excellence.

By signing Samuel Eto'o, he has effectively set Romelu Lukaku's career back another season. The Belgian will continue his development at Everton but without Champions League experience, he is unlikely to take the step up his development needed after an impressive season at West Brom.

Youngsters that came on leaps and bounds under Roberto Di Matteo and Benitez like Ryan Bertrand and Victor Moses won't feature for Chelsea nearly as much as they had grown accustomed to. Moses was shifted out on loan along with other young stars Gael Kakuta, Oriol Romeu and Thibaut Courtois in favour of older counterparts.

If Mourinho continues his same practice, most of these young stars will falter under his management. Just like Shaun Wright-Phillips, Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell and Glen Johnson did in his first spell.

Once Mourinho has got what he wants from the club - an increased reputation and a Champions League medal - he will unceremoniously agitate until the club release him. And he will attach himself to another willing club, before sucking the youth out of it. 

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League
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