They say never go back. However, in 2013, that’s exactly what Jose Mourinho did when he sealed a second spell at Chelsea.
Yet, as the proverb warns, it ended in similar and if not comparably ignominious fashion when a horrendous start to the 2015-16 season saw him sacked.
Despite this, upon the Special One’s return to Stamford Bridge with Manchester United, talk has been frequented about the incredible possibility of a third spell. Ahead of the game, Mourinho has responded.
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Having won the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004, Roman Abramovich secured Mourinho as the second manager of his reign.
In a tenure that stretched to 2007, the 53-year-old secured two Premier League titles, two league cups and an FA Cup. Nevertheless, a mediocre start in his fourth campaign saw club and manager go separate ways.
After spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Mourinho made an improbable return though in what marked a fairytale comeback.
The 2013-14 season proved one of consolidation for the Portuguese, before a League Cup and Premier League double arrived a year later. Yet again though, a whimsical start to a season saw the sack produced a second time.
Since then, the 53-year-old has tried to salvage his reputation at the helm of Manchester United. This inevitably resulted in the Special One’s first Stamford Bridge return, which will finally take place this weekend.
Incredibly though, this west London reunion has prompted improbable talk of Mourinho eventually returning to Chelsea for a third time.
Evidently his current commitments lie at Old Trafford, but given the brevity of Mourinho’s reigns, could a hat trick of spells be on the cards?
As per the man himself, it’s an emphatic no. After all, it would prove ludicrous if a manager was to re-sign with an employer that had sent him packing twice in the past decade.
According to The Sun, the 53-year-old stated: "Honestly, I hope not because I would like to stay here (Man Utd) for many, many years.
"That would mean that probably I wouldn’t be finding or searching for another club in the Premier League. I hope not. I don't expect a negative reaction even if I go with a Man United badge and I go to fight for Man United, there is no reason for a bad reception, I think.
"If they are going to give me a very good reception, I don't know because I'm not their manager any more. I'm defending a rival club. But it doesn't matter about their reaction. I'll be grateful always.”
Consequently, it is clear that Chelsea holds a special place in Mourinho’s heart still and that he adores the supporters, but not to the extent he feels compelled to return.
Nevertheless though, this weekend proves the perfect opportunity for the Special One to deal defeat to his old employers. With the United squad he has on his hands too and his renowned tactical nous, you certainly wouldn’t put it past him.
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