When Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea he professed to being the happy one and was delighted to be back at Stamford Bridge. Ever since this moment though, he has been far more inhibited lacking the spark we were so used to seeing in his first stint in the Premier League.
When the colourful 50 year old left Real Madrid this summer there was an overwhelming sense of relief in the Spanish capital. The unveiling of Ancelotti as the new boss at the Bernabeu may as well have been boiled down to ‘this is anyone but Jose Mourinho’. This is just a small indication of his troubles in Spain and you have to wonder whether such taunts haunt the man currently at the Chelsea helm?
Jose speaks of his great relationship with the English press in his first spell of Chelsea, those who remember that more clearly would not necessarily say this is the case. Even then he was remembered for being sneaky and manipulating situations to his advantage. In Spain this was taken a step further, as he was and still is referred to as being duplicitous and a liar.
Ryan Bertrand claimed to the press on Sunday that Mourinho has lifted the side but even during the 4-1 win against Cardiff, you got the feeling that the Portuguese manager is feeling the pressure. Despite Chelsea’s upturn in form.
The fact that he was sent to the stands didn’t indicate this, but his refusal to speak to the media after the game did. It was not the first time he has thrown a tantrum at the press this campaign. His most notable one being when he was questioned over his failure to select Kevin De Bruyne in the starting XI. He stormed out of that particular conference in disgust. Even in his longest press conference of the season, there was a real sense that he felt he had to justify himself, which was bizarre when you compare this to the unshakeable figure he was made out to be in his first spell in England.
In Spain they remain baffled at how the English media still praise Mourinho. Expert journalists from the UK that reside in Spain Sid Lowe and Graham Hunter both wince at even the mention of the Portuguese maestro. It is not as if Mourinho got it all wrong either. Hunter even admitted that his decision to bring in Diego Lopez was inspired as was his call to elevate Varane to the first team ahead of schedule.
In Madrid they care little for sentiment, they only want to make brash statements. These are best made by winning trophies. Mourinho was 15 points behind Barcelona and lost the Copa Del Rey final to Atletico Madrid in his final year at the club. It was not where Real Madrid wanted to be or should be. The Special was all of a sudden the ordinary one as he had to adapt to being just short. It must have hurt a man who relies upon confidence and self belief to function.
Mourinho was consistently seen as the cartoon bad guy in Spain, especially when compared to Pep Guardiola, as he received a constant vilification of his character. Has this finally take it’s toll on one of the games great minds? They say that genius’s are so exceptional because they are a little bit crazy, and as they rise in life they become even more crazy. They do they also have their fatal flaws and it has to be questioned whether Spain expose Jose’s flaws more than the 50 year old would care to admit?
He even snipes in press conferences that Real Madrid’s new galactico Gareth Bale was signed to fit into a system and style of play he created, a bold and exaggerated claim at best. He seems to be a man obsessed with the past rather than the present. If he eradicate this bitterness and exert his persona on the media and his players once more then the Premier League title is well within the Blues grasp.
The talk of Chelsea being in transition again has to be a little wide of the mark. The Premier League is well and truly up for grabs this season and you would be surprised and concerned if the Chelsea squad didn’t believe they had as good a chance as any of winning the biggest prize. They should be expecting a title challenge this year.
The Mourinho of old would believe and insist his side will be Champions this season, yet now eludes to a top 6. Now he has got his feet under the table Jose needs to assert his style on Chelsea and bring the team the whole package they wanted when brought back the former Porto boss. A star striker needs to be signed in January as a matter of priority for starters.
He also needs to find a first team and stick to it. Mourinho has now got Chelsea into a position where they are starting to hit their stride and can challenge on all front’s. What they need now is to see is that magic spark from their boss, shaking off his Real Madrid demons. That will make his team believe they can be winners. If he can’t then maybe it is Mourinho and not Chelsea who are finally in transition.
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