Jose Mourinho was easing into the philosophical, waxing about “being where people love him” until he was rudely cut off by ITV’s unfortunate interviewer. Mourinho is not often cut off in press conferences – especially when it’s the English media asking the questions – but was there any real suspense in what Mourinho was going to say if his interview hadn’t been bushwhacked by beckoning commercials?
Mourinho is headed back to Chelsea. It’s been a near certainty for months. Chelsea need Mourinho, and Mourinho needs Chelsea. The club has to retrieve some of the soul that has fallen away in the last few years, and was completely assassinated with the inhumane sacking of Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea are also mindful of appeasing the fans who have revolted in the face of Rafa Benitez.
Mourinho, on the other hand, really would like to return to a place where he is loved. Constant bickering and back-biting this season at Real Madrid have taken a toll on The Special One, who seems generally worn out from an incredibly high-stress three years in the Spanish capital. Both the club and manager are in need of rejuvenation. The return of Mourinho makes sense for all parties.
Who is going rule Chelsea? Is it going to be Mourinho or Roman Abramovich? The power struggle between two of the most egotistical men in football wrecked the pair’s first marriage, and it is the single dark cloud hanging over their reunion. It’s been said that the pair have buried their hatchets since their 2007 falling out, but with Chelsea in a rebuilding period in which the squad and style of the team will be turned over, who is first in charge? Who signs the players?
For instance, it has been widely reported that Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle. Now, the Blues don’t have a manager – Rafa Benitez surely has no say in new signings – so who wants Schurrle?
The owner makes the signings, and it doesn’t matter if the manager wants the player or not. Will that fly with the dominating and controlling Mourinho at the helm?
Will Abramovich continue making demands over who plays, and decisions over the contracts and the captaincy and new players? Because that’s how Abramovich operates. He’s always done it that way. Sometimes it works – often times it doesn’t.