Those Chelsea fans that were hoping for Pep Guardiola are no doubt saddened by the news that the former Barcelona manager is going to the extremely attractive and prosperous city of Munich. But at the same time, with Guardiola out of the way, it could easily signal the return to Stamford Bridge of Jose Mourinho.
There are many reasons why “The special one” may want to return to Chelsea, not least because of the financial inducement that would come his way. Mourinho and Chelsea are made for each other. Since they parted company in 2007, the two parties have longed for a reunion. Mourinho has never burned his [Stamford] bridges and needless to say, Abaramovich has said nothing.
There’s unfinished work at Chelsea for Mourinho. His Chelsea would never have lost at home to QPR, surrendered a two-goal lead so tamely, lost to Swansea in a two-legged tie or, let’s face it, allowed itself to go out of the Champions League in the group stage. Admittedly, the same Chelsea could be cautious at times, adopt a little of the Italian game circa 1970, and also play “cat and mouse”. But you knew where you stood with Mourinho’s Chelsea. And but for the odd controversial semi-final goal and a penalty miss here and there, they would surely have conquered Europe with a team that would have a decent chance of retaining the trophy. It’s the one thing missing from Mourinho’s time at the club.
There were down-sides to Mourinho. Guardiola won’t poke an opposition player or coach in the eye, won’t get involved in mind games, and will not inflame the emotions of rival fans. The Portuguese will always be capable of the unexpected. That’s part of the Mourinho package.
So why not Manchester United or Arsenal? Or even Manchester City? I don’t think Old Trafford or the Emirates would gamble on Mourinho. Bobby Charlton has said as much in the press recently. And Arsenal, well, they are a conservative club with a capital C and after the valium-drenched dugout that Arsene Wenger presides over, I cannot see them welcoming Jose.
Manchester City? I somehow don’t think the pressure on Mancini is as great as the media would have you believe. Anyone who thinks you can create a European master-force in two or three years is seriously into illegal substances. It takes time to get yourself into the seeded elite – and City have not done that, hence they get lumbered with the Real Madrids, Ajaxs and Dortmunds of this world. The psyche of the Middle East is different from Russia!
That would leave a left-field candidate to employ him. Liverpool? They would take to him like Chelsea fans have adopted Rafa Benitez. That might leave Paris St.Germain, who are throwing cash around like it’s the Weimar Republic all over again. It’s a possibility and it might be a nice fit. Great city to ply your trade in.
My money is on a “special one reunion” and the circus will start again. It’s not hard to compare 2013 with 2003. Chelsea are in a bit of a mess with a disjointed team of under-achievers. It may be time to rebuild and recapture the spirit of 2004-05.