What you’ve known for more than a few weeks now has been confirmed – Jose Mourinho is the new manager of Chelsea Football Club. Again.
Do you feel the love?
Because there’s so much warm-hearted cheer going on around Stamford Bridge right now that by the time you finish this article you might be nauseous. So let’s get to it.
Mourinho was appointed manager at Chelsea earlier today as he put pen to paper on a four year contract with the club. The Portuguese manager completed the contractual technicalities after flying into London this morning and the club plans on officially unveiling the 50 year old in a ceremony next Monday.
A statement from the club said: “Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Jose Mourinho as first team manager. Mourinho has signed a four-year contract and will return to the club where he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups between 2004 and 2007.”
Mourinho called time on his first stint at Chelsea six years ago amidst reports of disagreements with owner Roman Abramovich. After departing Chelsea he assumed the helm at Inter Milan, where he won the Serie A twice and the Champions League, before heading to Real Madrid and claiming a La Liga and Copa del Rey title.
On his return to Chelsea, Mourinho will be taking over for interim manager Rafael Benitez, who succeeded Roberto Di Matteo after a string of poor results last fall in both Premier League and Champions League competitions. For months Benitez, who previously managed at Premier League rival Liverpool, felt the ire of the Chelsea supporters yet eventually won them over with an impressive array of wins that secured a Top 4 league finish and saw the Blues hoist the Europa League trophy.
Benitez’ departure to Napoli opened the door for Mourinho – stuck in the tail end of grueling three year witch hunt by the Madrid media – to make known his desire to manage at a club where he is ‘loved’.
Until yesterday, however, the man who many consider to be the master of the dark arts avoided specifically naming ‘Chelsea’ as his destination. But we all knew it was coming.
So when he appeared on the TV show ‘Punto Pelota’, no one was surprised when Mourinho named Stamford Bridge as his future love nest. “I feel the people there love me and in life you have to look for that,” Mourinho said. “Life is beautiful and short and you must look for what you think is best for you.”
The support Mourinho has in West London was echoed by Ray Wilkins, the former Chelsea assistant manager. “The people at Chelsea absolutely adore the guy so I don’t see where he is going to have too many problems,” Wilkins said. “The supporters love him to bits, he wants to be loved and he’s going back to the best place where he possibly could.”
Ok, you guys get the point. Mourinho and Chelsea are in love.
Enough of the sap. The real question is – can Mou’s return to the Bridge translate into a Premier League title?
Absolutely. Despite Manchester United running away with the championship this season, most of that damage occurred in the fall when Chelsea was in flux. In the last three months, however, the Blues have arguably played some of the best football in the Premier League, if not Europe.
They are a deep squad with leadership, a strong defense and incredible playmakers. With Mourinho’s arrival at Chelsea bookmakers put the club at 9/4 to win the Premier League, nearly odds-on favorite with United (2/1) and City (2/1).
If they bring in a full-back, a holding midfielder and/or another striker, don’t be surprised if next May, Mourinho and his love birds are back hoisting the trophy.