Many have tried and failed in reading Jose Mourinho’s mind. It’s indeed an enigma on which many pundits and journalists feed on.
Sometimes he can be as blunt as they come and on occasions, so cryptic that even the clubs’ fans are left wondering what it was all about.
But this time, when he said that he was here to stay at Chelsea for a long time, you get a feeling that he actually meant it. So here are some reasons why it might be true.
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CHELSEA HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HIS HEART
Even though Mourinho had already coached Benfica & FC Porto, even winning the Champions League with the latter, it was not until he joined Chelsea, that he was considered to be in the big league.
Chelsea were in a transition state, fresh with infusion of financial strength coming in the shape of new club owner Roman Abramovich and they offered a perfect opportunity to Mourinho for showcasing his coaching abilities on a much bigger stage.
He was recruited by Chelsea in 2004 and went on to win back to back league titles, first of which came after a 50 year gap for the club. He also won the FA Cup & League Cup double in 2007, but unexpectedly left in September 2007 because of reported differences in opinion with the management.
But Chelsea fans, starved of success for a long time, had already taken to Mourinho. He had brought in an unrelenting attitude to the team and made them a ruthless machine at times. He was for some fans, bigger than the team and the real superstar.
Mourinho received adulation which was reserved for the very best. He did his part too, building a strong core team of players like Lampard, Terry, Cech & Drogba who went to win many more titles together for the club. He even brought Drogba back to guide and play a mentor role last season for the club.
BUILDING A LEGACY
None of Mourinho’s managerial assignments have lasted more than 3 years as yet. He either moved on or has been made to move on for various reasons. This is not an ideal recipe for building a legacy as a manager.
Mourinho admires Sir Alex Ferguson and rightfully so. To coach a team for more than two decades and win everything possible is not a small feat. This is the right time for Mourinho to settle down with a team and build his own across a much longer period to leave a lasting impact which can match the very best in the history of club football.
The man himself seems to want the same thing and has been making all the right noises on this; always insisting that he is going to be with Chelsea for a long time and also trying to promote exciting young talent from the academy.
BUILDING CHELSEA'S NEXT GENERATION
The current crop of Chelsea players can be considered the next generation for the club. The core formed by Mourinho in his last tenure has almost left, with Lampard leaving last season and Cech & Drogba the following year. Terry is the only player left from Mourinho’s earlier team.
The new team has a different shape and style to the earlier one. Also, most players have less than 3-4 years of experience with the club or even in the English Premier League.This provides an opportunity for Mourinho to build a team with his own vision.
The club management will definitely have a say in what they perceive is the right way to go forward, but there will always be enough leeway for Mourinho to recruit the players he wants, either from outside or the academy, and mold the team according to his thought process.
The team is already blessed with excellent quality and with the right direction and management; they can dominate England for a long time to come.
Mourinho and Chelsea’s Management seem to have buried the hatchet that lead to discord last time around. There haven’t been much rumours of one being unhappy with the other and things have been moving on rather smoothly at the club.
There are changes being done in the club. For instance Chelsea’s transfer policy in recent times has taken a different route, maybe because of Financial Fair Play rules or plain wisdom.
But there seems to be a direction behind what is happening at the club these days and Mourinho seems to be completely on board with the new developments, maybe barring Cech’s sale to Arsenal.
The management also, to their credit, has given enough autonomy to the manager in terms of transfer and player loans’ decisions. This bodes well for the club and is also an indication that the new found harmony between Mourinho and Abramovich might last longer than people think.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
Only time will tell how long Mourinho remains at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have reportedly offered him a new deal, which he most probably will be signing.
This will be the best possible sign towards a longer tenure. Chelsea fans will certainly be delighted to see that happen and as John Terry said recently, it might be the best summer signing the club makes.