Champions Once Again, Chelsea FC Can Finally Move Beyond Mourinho

Sports News - May 09, 2010

Grant. Scolari. Hiddink.

Since the acrimonious departure of Chelsea’s revered and beloved Jose Mourinho, who gave the club its first taste of sustained glory, a revolving door of big-name managers have cast a dark cloud over Stamford Bridge. This is not to say said coaches came and went without accomplishment.

Scolari aside (who was an utter failure and an abhorrent appointment from the onset), Chelsea have tasted success since that fateful 20th of September, 2007. Grant took Mourinho’s team to the final of the European Cup, a place even The Special One himself could not bring Chelsea. Hiddink restored zest and confidence to an embattled club under Scolari, taking the Blues to the Champions League semifinals, and winning the FA Cup last May.

But despite such a modicum of success, a sense of anxiety and angst had been creeping into the Stamford Bridge faithful since the shock exit of their Portuguese hero. A dark cloud seemed to hang over Chelsea fans, for it is not easy to watch the most talented manager in world football, at such a young age no less, leave right as his legacy was beginning to unfold.

Sports News - March 16, 2010

Mourinho’s aura seemingly loomed throughout west London. In the sole interest of hyperbole, did the football gods play a part in John Terry’s infamous penalty shootout slip on that wet, dreary night in Moscow? Did they intervene again in the form of Tom Henning Ovrebo and Andres Iniesta’s right boot in West London last May?

As ridiculous as such notions appear to a rational observer, any sports fan will tell you the notions that sport fanatics hang on to are rarely rational. At times, they are borderline absurd.

In today’s modern age, with million-dollar sheiks and athletes tweeting their heart’s content, patience has gone by the wayside. Four years has seemed an eternity for a league title, and just as Chelsea seemed to be coasting to reclaiming the EPL title, February struck: Terry’s scandalous lifestyle exposed, a loss to Everton, Ashley Cole breaks his foot, a draw to Hull, an embarrassing loss to Manchester City.

Then (as if straight from a Hollywood script) came the man himself to further the damage. The hoodoo of Mourinho re-visited Stamford Bridge in the flesh, and sucked the soul out of Chelsea FC: elimated from the Champions League by March.  The man who had left men crying in their pints with his stunning departure did it again in excruciating fashion.

The season seemed lost. That cutthroat and ironclad winning mentality had seemingly vanished under Ancelotti.

But hidden from the cameras and the pundit analysis, including my own premature indignation, was a calmness around the Bridge. A sense of ease instilled by the crafty Italian that Roman Abramovich had coveted for two summers before getting his man.

In Ancelotti, Chelsea found an anti-Mourinho, whose brash, arrogant style gives players a cockiness they require to up their games to the very best. Mourinho’s startling braggadocio can rub many the wrong way, but no one can doubt its effectiveness. Mourinho is a winner, but he is the type that wins and then lets you know about it.

Ancelotti is the antithesis. Like Mourinho, Ancelotti is the same born winner, just look at his trophy case littered with success as both a player (of which Mourinho had zero) and coach. But Ancelotti is a different type of winner. He gets along with his business, and never gets too high, and most importantly at the managerial position, never got too low this season when it looked everything was lost. His sense of calm galvanized a group of veterans that looked utterly downtrodden after their elimination at the hands of their former mentor.

After their 3-1 aggregate elimination to Mourinho’s Internazionle, Ancelotti’s troops followed up with a poor 1-1 draw at Blackburn when it looked they had to win. The ship was sinking, and fast. But Chelsea players such as Frank Lampard and John Terry have given full praise to Ancelotti for his business-like calm in the eye of a brewing storm. The team channeled the Italian’s cool and composed demeanor and replaced an anxious, frenzied style of play that had crept in with calm yet ruthless performances that led to a torrid run that saw them crowned champions.

Carlo Ancelotti Manager Chelsea 2009/10

Ancelotti should be given a great deal of credit. As much as the media attempted a Mourinho inquisition during those turbulent months in February and March, Ancelotti never seemed ruffled or bothered. He boasts an inner belief in his abilities, and this muted core of self-confidence has become the new Chelsea. It is not the overt, often times over-the-top, snatch-and-grab confidence of the short-lived Mourinho era, but a new tranquility in self-belief that has taken Chelsea once again to the EPL Promised Land. Ancelotti can even do one better than Mourinho and win the League and FA Cup double, bringing Chelsea their greatest ever season.

While Chelsea will always look to those three-plus incredible years under Mourinho as truly special, a new era under a new incredible manager has begun. And perhaps now, just as after any tumultuous breakup, Chelsea can finally say goodbye to Mourinho, and say they have finally moved on.

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30 thoughts on “Champions Once Again, Chelsea FC Can Finally Move Beyond Mourinho”

  1. Chelsea were always beyond Mourinho. Avram took them further in Europe than Jose ever did.

    There’s nothing he could have done in the last few years to change the course of things. Too much buying into his hype machine: He forgets to mention that “his Chelsea boys” were actually Ranieri’s first.

  2. Lets make this simple… Chelsea were the best team in the PL this year. Yet, Ancelotti is hardly a Alf Ramsey. Chelsea won the title the same way West Ham stayed up… The other teams just were worse.

    This was perhaps the anti hero year. A season to forget. Well take that with a grain of salt as I am a West Ham supporter, and I do HATE CFC. But at least trying to be objective There was no run away winner, no team to remember, the only real story line that will ever remembered about the 2010 season is Pompey.

    Play up Pompey… and come on Engerland!!!!!

  3. Chelsea needed this quite badly but they also need a Champions League Title to cement their legacy as a team that has turned the corner into winners on the whole

  4. Patrick – how is this not a champion to remember?

    103 goals for, 32 against. That is a fantastic goal difference, plus Chelsea broke the EPL record for most goals scored with 103(and became the first since 1963 to score 100 in top-flight), and went 6-0 against Liverpool, Arsenal and Man U. Both amazing feats. A team that puts 7+ goals up four different times is surely a team to be remembered.

    This is an incredible record, and the only reason the points total was lower this year was because the rest of the teams got better and evened the playing field (Aston Villa, Tottenham, Man City, e.g.) It is silly to say everyone got worse, when in reality everyone got better.

    1. CFC had some games where most managers would have called off the dogs. There is no need to be attacking up 5 nil. But… same old Chelsea… but they won more than one that way… I hate ManUre but you don’t ever see Fergie doing that, that’s probably cause he’s not worried about getting sacked.

      and no they where not great… just the best. my opinion. but I won’t remember this team as even one of the PL’s greatest let alone English greats. Not even in the same league as the undefeated Arsenal squad.

      1. If anything had gone down to goal difference and my club had called off the dogs at some point earlier in the season, I’d want my managers head on a platter unless he was doing it to protect them from injuries or getting them ready for another game.
        Chelsea won it. They deserve it. Tottenham and Man City definitely got a whole lot better. While Everton had Donovan they were almost unstoppable. Birmingham was suddenly on par with Villa and Everton. Villa was probably about the same. Arsenal was on the whole probably about the same but they were great until Van Persie went down. Liverpool and Man United were worse.

        1. I said they deserved it. What I was addressing is the insecurity of CFC. That you feel the need to beat up clubs when they are down. Sure it gets the supporters pumped up, but today for example… I watched Inter kicked the ball around for a half hour when they where clearly the best team. Gave up a goal that made it close then went forward. Then Chelsea went on a 30 minute goal frenzy when they clearly had the game won. It was classless and unsporting, but I don’t expect a team whose players are more concerned about golden boots to understand that.

          Its the sorta thing that makes those that hate you hate you more… Never liked Chelsea, but I did have the pleasure of seeing them play in 1988… a team that’s support was a lot like Millwall’s, playing in the old 2nd division and the Bridge smelling like garbage. So I’ve seen CFC’s image change radically. I’m not here claiming you bought the title, I’m saying you won by a point, got knocked out of champions league, and never really did the things that make a great club be remembered. You won the league and congrats, but this is not a team to remember. Its a great team, but not among the greatest. and SHOCKER there has always been upstart teams in England and teams that go down, like Chelsea for example.

          1. I’m not attempting to be petulant even if I am coming off that way. All I am saying is that as long as goal difference is potentially relevant to Champions League, relegation, promotion, winning titles, and the like, that it is ridiculous for a team to not try to score more goals unless they are trying to prep for another competition. You could certainly say that that should go out the window when it’s mathematically impossible for goal difference to matter any more (as it was today) but there is an ingrained culture that the matches are supposed to continue to be played by both sides even when one side is up. I personally prefer to know that the match continues without some American little league mercy rules but to each his own.
            And yes you are right, Chelsea has had a lot of ups and downs. We’ll probably continue to have them just like other clubs.

          2. Hey, patrick:

            Sorry your team wasn’t that good this year. My team was. Better luck next season, and if you don’t like your team’s spot in the table, perhaps you should worry about what’s happening with YOUR team, instead of another.

            You can rant and hate all you want, but it won’t change the fact that Chelsea won.

            Also, if you think that running up the scoreline in a league where goal difference is a factor, you’re not just emotional, you’re stupid.

  5. I’ve been hearing a lot of Mourinho bashing lately. I’ve come into the “Chelsea don’t need Mourinho, Mourinho needs Chelsea” sentiment a lot this year.

    I think its ridiculous to get carried away like that. Manchester United lost 8 games this year. Manchester United in a league winning year have never lost 8 games. If you look at the 85 points Manchester United finished on they wouldn’t have won the Premier League at any point in the last five years with so little points. Blowing this out of proportion is ridiculous.

    Chelsea won the Premier League but that isn’t to say it was an imperious season that proved Chelsea made Mourinho and not the other way around. Mourinho is still bigger than Chelsea and he proved that by beating them and then beating a team they couldn’t. Chelsea fans may not like Mourinho but this bashing is ridiculous, Mourinho is a better manager than Ancelotti, Chelsea did better under Mourinho and Mourinhos current team are better than Chelsea are likely to be anytime soon.

    1. It’s a tiny minority of CFC fans that don’t adore Mourinho and it’ll always be a tiny minority of CFC fans that don’t adore Mourinho. We will always be grateful to Mourinho for everything that he did for Chelsea.

    2. Utd lost 7 games this season not 8. Maybe your imaginary season ticket was for somewhere else and u just thought it was Utd who lost 8.

  6. Chelsea would have been going for a treble if the refs had been doing there job properly against Inter.Kalou through on goal, brought down from behind
    by Samuel,penalty,red card.What no pen,why?.Stamford Bridge,Chelsea need
    to win 1-0 to beat Inter.Corner Shed End Drogba runs near post,spins round and heads for the far post,the whole stadium can see that he’s being Rugby tackled by Lucio and dragged to the ground,definite penalty,no, why?
    Had one of these been given Carlo would be going for the treble.
    Moanrinho was good for Chelsea while it lasted but he had to go for the good of the club.The football got so dull with the fullbacks never crossing the halfway line.Carlo has the right idea,attacking football,goals are what the game is all about.Wait till he gets some of his own player in plus the return of Bosingwa and Essien.
    What is wrong with that Patrick, is he bitter or what, but then again if you were watching that crap West Ham are playing every week i suppose we
    would be as well.

  7. What a moment! Carlo is a cool & grand style champion who does play under pressure.what an attacking minded coach chelsea had ever produced. It is a superb finish- up for the blues. They are better team. Carlo is a good manager, his approach to each game always tactical with good application of mgt techniques. He knows how & when to talk to his boys & what to tell at a point in time. Stand-up for the Champion, emerge the king of England. UP BLUES by NOLA

  8. What a moment! Carlo is a cool & grand style champion who does not play under pressure.what an attacking minded coach chelsea had ever produced. It is a superb finish- up for the blues. They are better team. Carlo is a good manager, his approach to each game always tactical with good application of mgt techniques. He knows how & when to talk to his boys & what to tell at a point in time. Stand-up for the Champion, emerge the king of England. UP BLUES by NOLA

  9. Hello tru blues fans kudos 2 carlo and mourinho both are world best coaches but I Love josé more and i want him 2 win the scudetto and the champions league

  10. As much as we would like Mourinho things had to change and for the better.

    Mourinho was a winner but mostly boring games. 1-0 games are not best and they keep fans anxious for most part of game. Attacking football is the way to go and Cfc is the best .

  11. chelsea fc is the best team in the world so far.Forget about Manchester United and other small teams in Europe.

    1. nayasha..I can imagine the euphoria implicit in your comment but in truth your comment is not objective nor factually correct. Congratulations to Chelsea nontheless, the better team this season.

  12. 5 star article, just when i thought the billionaire had just killed the club he built by shunning managers who doesn’t deliver in one season. chelsea has just revitalized and move on from mourinho. congrats to chelsea from a pool fan

  13. I’m a Chelsea die Hart Fan, I have been sporting over years back, I’m happy now that the are the champion of premiership and I believe the will win the FA cup tattle this season, I don use to pray for my self but I pray for Chelsea pro grace and I believe one day I will be in Standford bridge to wash Chelsea march good luck to all Chelsea player,

  14. Just to clarify to all, I am the biggest of Mourinho fans. This article had nothing to do with bashing Mourinho. It was merely a moment to reflect that perhaps the club can move on from the Mourinho legacy and start to create new memories.

    Mourinho is the best manager in the world for my money, but Chelsea fans and the club itself now have a new, great manager to celebrate.

  15. Rem Carlo only needed 86 pts 4da league title, dn’t he achieve it..? Not until he gets Carling, Community,PL and Champs league nxt season, he’ll nt settle…
    kudos tru bluz!!!

  16. Fegie is a legend,wenger an economist,benitez a conservatist,carlo a movement, and His Eminent Jose Morhiono an entity and a school of thought. Chelsea has become a religion in football make sure you obey its must be wise.blues infinito.

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