Jun 052013

Jose Mourinho may only be a day in the Chelsea job, but he doesn’t have much time to waste as he goes about organising his summer schedule. Chelsea have a good squad of players, but there is still a lot of work to do in preparation for the coming season. One of Mourinho’s first jobs will be to assess the squad and decide who stays and who goes. Identifying the needs of the team comes before any big moves in the transfer market, and while some decisions are easier than others, one of the biggest decisions he will have to make is what to do with Michael Essien.

Essien was signed by Mourinho in 2005 for nearly £25 million pounds and quickly became one of the most dominating all-round midfielders in the Premier League. The pressure that comes with such a big price tag seemed to have no effect on the Ghana international, and he became a mainstay in the Blues’ team, but several injuries restricted his appearances. After only 19 appearances in 11/12, Jose came calling once again and signed him on a season long loan at Real Madrid. Essien made 34 appearances for Real last season-many of them in defence. He has since spoken of his love and admiration for Mourinho, and will be desperate to fight for his place at Chelsea this season

Essien has a contract up to 2015, but it remains to be seen whether Mourinho will look to keep him on the books. At Real, Essien was not part of a long term plan – he was merely filling a season long hole in the squad. As Jose looks to build his very own long-term project at The Bridge, he will have no choice but to be ruthless. The needs of the club come ahead of sentiment. That being said, there were times last season where we were desperately short of options in midfield. While we have an excellent first team, our squad options are limited by number, if not ability. Michael Essien has been a great servant to the club, and he could still perform a role for us, but I doubt whether he fits in with our long term plan. Whether he stays to give us a short-term option will come down to one man. Welcome back Jose – it’s time to start working

Jun 042013

It’s taken a while to have confirmed what everyone and their dog already knew, but Chelsea have finally and officially confirmed the appointment of The Special One Jose Mourinho as their new manager. Mourinho has signed a 4 year deal reportedly worth £8.5 million per year, making him the highest paid gaffer in the league. Only 10 days ago, we spoke about the importance of giving Mourinho time to build his own dynasty if and when he returned, and it seems like that is exactly what the man himself has in mind for the club.

In an interview with Chelsea TV, Mourinho was quizzed on his tendency to spend only a couple of years at a club before moving on. When asked whether this had changed and whether he wanted a long-term project, Jose replied
“I hope so. When you look at the profile of the Chelsea squad I think it’s what they need at this time. It’s very important for this club and very important for the balance of the squad, but it’s a young squad with a lot of talent and I think they need stability to reach a high point of their evolution and for their careers.

“They need stability, stability I hope I can give them and between me, the owner and of course the club, we have no doubts about what we want to do and the approach we want to have.

“I am the same, physically the same, but every day you have to think about yourself and about evolution. I have the same nature but I’m much more mature with a different approach to things, I’m more ready to be in a club and stay for a long time.”

Mourinho also confirmed that it was not a difficult decision to return to the club he left in 2007. Reports since then have always said that Mourinho’s relationship with Roman Abramovich has soured, but when asked whether it had taken a long time to come his decision, he said it was quite the opposite.

“It was an easy decision. I met the boss, the owner and I think in five minutes after a couple of very short but pragmatic questions we decided straight away. I asked the boss ‘do you want me back?’ and the boss asked me ‘do you want to come back?’ I think in a couple of minutes the decision was made.”

Mourinho will bring some of his backroom staff from Real Madrid with him – namely technical assistant Jose Morais, goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro and fitness coach Rui Farai. It’s not a complete clean out however, with Steve Holland, Chris Jones and Christophe Lollichon remaining at the club. This is wonderful news for all Chelsea fans – most pleasing of all is Jose’s attitude and humility. He is showing great respect to the club, and his talk of a long-term project is hugely encouraging. We all know Mourinho specializes in short-term success, but we need something more substantial than that now.

We need something “Special”, and I think we’ve just found it.

Jun 022013

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting to hear for sure, and it looks like the Premier League don’t want us to wait any longer! They have published a story on their website, dated Monday 3rd June, confirming that Jose Mourinho has returned to Chelsea and signed a contract of undisclosed length. The page has XX in place of the number of years of Mourinho’s contract, and it seems they have jumped the gun on confirming the worst kept secret in football for the last month.

The statement, which mainly consists of a breakdown of his record as Chelsea boss, states “Jose Mourinho has returned to Stamford Bridge after agreeing to take over as Chelsea manager for the second time. The 50-year-old Portuguese, who guided Chelsea to back-to-back Barclays Premier League titles in his first two seasons in charge, returns to the west London club after an absence of almost six-years.”

The Premier League are not the only ones that are already talking about Mourinho’s appointment as a done deal. Following his final appearance as Real Madrid coach in their 4-2 win over Osasuna, Madrid defender and former Chelsea star Ricardo Carvalho told Sky Sports that he believes Mourinho can win the title in his first year there.

“I’m sure in two, three years they can but even in his first year he can win it again. When we arrived together in 2004 Chelsea had not won the league for 50 years so I hope now they can win it again. Jose is a special coach and I think he deserves all the best because he works very hard. Chelsea are a special club for me and I wish for them to win the Premier League again.”

Mourinho, usually one for the theatrics, signed off quietly and gracefully after the final game. Quickly in to the dugout just before the match started, he took the time to briefly acknowledge, applaud and thank the Madrid crowd before disappearing down the tunnel. Despite talks of him not being welcomed in Spain, he was given a rousing send off by the crowd who seemed genuinely appreciative of his work there. One team’s loss, however, is another’s gain, and Mourinho’s return is now all but guaranteed. It looks like tomorrow will be the day of the official announcement, but the time is coming. Brace yourself folks – it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.

May 012013

There have been rumours and reports for quite a while about a possible return to Chelsea of the former manager and fans favourite Jose Mourinho. His main priority recently, however, has been trying towin the Champions League trophy for his current club Real Madrid.

The Spanish champions gave Borussia Dortmund a scare last night, but their second goal came too late and left just minutes to get the goal that would have taken them to the final. Mourinho and Madrid still have the Spanish cup final on May 18th, but thoughts are already turning to next season. Mourinho’s thoughts seem to be turning to Stamford Bridge.

“I know in England I’m loved,” said Mourinho after the game last night.

“I’m loved by the fans. I’m loved by the media that treats me in a fair way, criticising me but giving me credit when I deserve it. I know I’m loved by some clubs, especially one.”

There will be no announcement, at least until after that final, and the Spanish Primera Liga carries on until June 1st, but it seems ever more likely that Mourinho will soon be back with the Blues. Our Premier League rivals should beware, because the Special One is coming!

Apr 222013

Real Madrid are ready to part ways with Angel Di Maria, with Chelsea keen on bringing the winger to Stamford Bridge.

Di Maria has made a huge impact in Spain since making his move from Portuguese outfit Benfica, but has struggled to remain fit, suffering various short-term injuries. This is thought to be the key reason behind Madrid’s willingness to negotiate a deal to move the player on.

Manchester United as well as Chelsea have been linked with moves for the audacious winger, with the Blues interest thought to be the more serious.

Chelsea currently have a good working relationship with Real Madrid, with Roman Abramovich in constant contact with Jose Mourinho, but that could soon change should Jose leave Real on bad terms and make a sensational return to the West London.

If the Blues were to sign Angel, and keep him fit, along with a top goalscorer to challenge Demba Ba next season, Chelsea will have no excuses not to challenge for the Premier League title next season, as well as an exciting run in the Champions League.

Di Maria is an outstanding player, who could add another dimension to our right wing. Moses is not the complete player yet and could learn a lot from the Argentine. A midfield starting XI including Hazard, Mata and Di Maria, with Oscar and Moses as back-up is an exciting prospect. With the gelling and maturing of the stars we already have in our camp, I believe we have an exciting season ahead, with or without Di Maria. I hope with…

Apr 042013

When Chelsea agreed to loan Michael Essien to Real Madrid for the season, there was not too much complaining from Chelsea fans, probably due to the fact that the 30-year old had made just 14 Premier League appearances the previous season and did not look the same player he once was. His form has got better since joining Madrid, however, and he has become an important player for the Spanish champions.

Watching him play against Galatasaray, who had another former Chelsea player Didier Drogba in the side, in the Champions League quarter-finals made me think that he should be back at Stamford Bridge. It’s a shame we can’t bring him now, with the Chelsea squad groaning under the weight of the fixture pile up.

Perhaps it is the influence of Jose Mourinho at Madrid that has brought the best out of him again, or just the fact that he was injured at the start of last season and took time to come back. If the rumours are true, then he could be working with Mourinho again next season, but in a Chelsea shirt.

The versatile player seems to expect a return to London at the end of the season, and I;m sure he is hoping that Mourinho comes with him.

Mar 252013

Jose Mourinho will be at Stamford Bridge tonight, but it has nothing to do with Chelsea. I would not be surprised, however, if there is a meeting between the special one and his former employer Roman Abramovich, as it seems ever more likely that Mourinho will return to Chelsea as the manager before the start of next season.

The Real Madrid boss will be the guest of the Brazilian football authorities tonight for the friendly international between Brazil and Germany. He was last at the ground in 2010 when his Inter Milan side knocked the Blues out of the Champions League on their way to a famous continental treble. Mourinho is still on target to steer Real Madrid to European cup glory and become the first coach to win it with three different teams.

Although he has a contract in Spain for two more years, Mourinho is widely expected to part company with Madrid at the end of the season. There are a number of clubs chasing him, with PSG ready to offer him a fortune, but he has suggested that he may return to the English Premier League and has now given further hints that it will be with Chelsea.

“It could be a destination where I have coached before. There are things that may be about to happen that no-one could imagine.”

A former colleague of Mourinho’s from his Porto days, Rui Sa Lemos also posted on Twitter a picture of Stamford Bridge next to the words, “Mourinho’s home next year. I’m not guessing, I’m giving news.” The account was quickly shut down, and there is no official word as yet, but hopefully we will soon know for sure. After all the managerial changes since he left in 2007, Chelsea could do with a stable manager for a while, and there is nobody I’d rather have than Jose. Maybe he can then steer Chelsea to the only trophy he missed when here before and become the undisputed king of the Champions League.

Feb 232013

The most successful period for Chelsea was also the most successful period for the manager at the time Jose Mourinho. The `special one` has also proclaimed those three-and-a-half years as his happiest time in football. The beautiful friendship could soon be rekindled, according to another former manager of the Blues Ruud Gullit.

The Dutchman thinks that Mourinho is set to take over from Benitez at the end of the season, and also that he was going to come back to Stamford Bridge last summer. The only thing that delayed his return was that Roberto Di Matteo guided us to Champions league glory.

“Rafa Benitez’s main objective this season is to qualify for the Champions league and then to make way for Jose Mourinho. I have a gut feeling that Mourinho will come back to Chelsea.

“I have a feeling that he was meant to come back after the Champions league final, but then when Chelsea won it I think he thought better of it. It’s no coincidence that right after the final he signed a new contract with Real Madrid.”

That would explain a few things. Mourinho has not really had his mind on the job with Madrid this season, and has spoken about returning to England, despite his new contract. He has fallen out with a lot of the Spanish media, not seeming to care if he ruins his relationship with them for the future. He has been spotted back in London on occasion, and it is no secret that Benitez is only an interim manager.

Of course, it is up to Roman Abramovich, but he has surely realised now that he should have kept hold of Jose before, and we have never been as good since he left.

Jan 232013

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has agreed a one-year extension to his current contract, keeping him with the West-London club until at the summer of 2014, and I personally believe it is because ‘The Special One’ is returning home.

Cole had been expected to leave the Blues at the end of the season for free, with Chelsea previously said to be unwilling to offer the 32 year-old a new deal.

The England left-back’s agent was in Madrid earlier this month to hold talks over a possible move to Real, but with Jose Mourinho leaving Spain this summer he decided to look elsewhere.

‘The Special One’ is said to have been in contact with senior Chelsea stars Ashley Cole, John Terry and Frank Lampard since his time at Stamford Bridge, and I believe he is the reason Roman Abramovich and the Ex-Arsenal defender have been able to agree terms.

Jose is widely expected to return to Stamford Bridge for next season, having been in constant contact with Roman this season. He is said to be consulted on football matters on regular occasions having reconciled their relationship in the past year.

Mourinho is and always be a favourite at Stamford Bridge, having brought instant Premier League success with back-to-back PL titles in his first two seasons. He has always spoken highly of Chelsea and the Premier League and is as short as 5-4 favourite with one bookmaker to become the Blues boss this summer.

Chelsea fans have wanted Jose to return since the day he left, and we finally look to be getting our wish. The Portugese manager has proved his tactical abilities in Spain and Italy, and has declared himself that he wishes to return to England soon. Is Jose really coming home to Chelsea? I believe so…

Jan 222013

Chelsea Football Club have today confirmed that left-back Ashley Cole has signed a one-year extension to his current deal, which was set to expire at the end of the season.

Cole had firmly expected to leave at the end of the season, along with Blues legend Frank Lampard, following rumours that the Chelsea hierarchy were unwilling to offer the 32 year-old a new deal.

The 99-cap England defender’s agent was in Madrid for talks over a possible move to Jose Mourinho’s current club, Real Madrid, at the end of the season. He has also been linked with reunions with Ex-Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain but has decided he would rather stay exactly where he is for now.

Cole said: ‘I am pleased I will be starting my eighth season at Chelsea. I have great memories here and I enjoy coming to training every day. The staff are amazing and I enjoy training with the lads.

‘I have been able to fulfil nearly all my ambitions at Chelsea. I have won the Champions League, the League, I have won FA Cups here but of course you don’t want to stop winning trophies and being at a big club, you are always fighting to win a trophy.

‘Being here for seven years and being at Arsenal before that playing for trophies, you never lose that hunger. I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies. That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone.’

We will all be happy to see the best left-back around staying at Stamford Bridge for another season, and are now hoping Frank Lampard will be next. There was no possible player who could replace Cole’s ability or influence on the team so for me it was a no-brainer. Well done Roman, now all we want is you to hurry up and extend Lampard’s contract, and confirm Rafa Benitez will not be staying on beyond the summer.