With Chelsea successfully recording their first silverware of the season in Sunday’s triumphant Capital One Cup victory of Spurs, Jose Mourinho is now well and truly back in business within English football.
The win goes down as his first major trophy since re-establishing himself back at Stamford Bridge, and as the Blues continue to strive on in both the league and in Europe, this really could be just the beginning for the ever enigmatic Portuguese boss.
Chelsea fans throughout England – and perhaps the world considering the extent of the club’s global reach as well as the inevitable ‘glory-hunting’ tag that comes along with most successful teams – will therefore have every reason to rejoice as they sit back and ponder on how 2014/15 has played out so far.
Their team are playing some really exciting stuff in the Premier League, the Champions League remains a tough, but albeit realistic target, and with Mourinho solidly back at the helm at Stamford Bridge at least for the foreseeable future, Blues supporters have their best man in place to govern over their team’s proceedings.
Yes – the season remains far from over and achieving even more silverware will certainly take a great deal more effort and application, but with Chelsea looking as formidable as they have done so far this season, is Jose Mourinho fast on his way to becoming the new ‘Sir Alex’ of the Premier League and English football?
The signs so far seem to suggest that he is. Alex Ferguson was responsible for not only creating a successful team that did their talking with trophies time and time again, but he also created a legacy that saw Manchester United carry out their activity completely in his image. Roy Keane acted as his manager’s mouth piece on the pitch as captain, the team employed a determined never say die attitude that saw the players seemingly never give up on the three points – and as the Scot seemed to rule with an iron fist in a total dictatorial sense – no player who didn’t see eye to eye with Sir Alex was given much of a future down at Old Trafford.
Whilst Mourinho isn’t quite as authoritarian in his approach, the team he has built up since returning to Stamford Bridge certainly seems worthy of testing the great Manchester United sides of old. The difference is however, that Ferguson sourced a great deal of his talent from Manchester United’s own youth set up. Jose Mourinho simply isn’t as gifted at developing raw gems and turning them into world renown stars, but as today’s current footballing climate seems to benefit those with cash over those with the real know-how, such discrepancies hardly seem to make a difference in the minds of many.
Chelsea therefore, although continuing to operate with nothing truly confirmed, have so far been the strongest English side this season by quite a distance. The likes of Manchester City and Arsenal have too often shot themselves in the foot to be considered real title contenders for the Blues, and with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, and of course Diego Costa simply proving too much for most teams to handle this term, Chelsea’s impressive style looks set to continue.
Whether or not such form can be maintained in the Champions League remains a debateable issue however. To create a legacy in similar fashion to that of Sir Alex, Jose Mourinho must prove a dominant force in Europe as well as the Premier League. A tricky second leg against Laurent Blanc’s expensively assembled PSG could prove to be the unwanted spanner in the works for Chelsea this season, but if such a task can be successfully dealt with, the Blues will have every confidence that their side can go on to achieve the ultimate prize in club football by the end of the season.
Much of the proposed Mourinho legacy therefore rests on the fate of his team by the end of this campaign. If they can continue in their rich vein of form for the remainder of the season, then the future really is limitless for everyone involved with the club… as long as the Russian money continues to flow, that is.
In place of Manchester United, currently under a testing, yet pricey, transitional phase with Louis van Gaal, Chelsea have every chance of making history in 2014/15. With the necessary foundations in place to start their course of European domination, then this really could be a new golden era for the Londoners – marking the start of a Mourinho legacy that could certainly one day rival that of Sir Alex.