Chelsea: 5 Potential Pitfalls Should Jose Mourinho Return to the Blues
Given the Blues are still within a realistic shout of reaching the top four and have just qualified for the FA Cup semifinal, it's a tad harsh on Benitez that his departure will be celebrated along the King's Road in similar style to the Blues lifting a trophy.
If Mourinho should indeed return, however, it could prove a summer of celebration for Chelsea fans as they welcome the self-titled "Special One" back to Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese remains a hero in West London after his first spell in charge saw Chelsea lift the Premier League twice, along with the FA Cup and League Cup.
It's understandable the potential return of Mourinho is being eagerly anticipated. Yet for all he has achieved in football, for some football fans—Chelsea or not—he isn't the manager many claim him to be.
Confrontations with officials, the opposition and even players would prove too much to bare for some, although he reveled in such controversy during his three-and-a-half years with Chelsea.
Without wishing to burst Chelsea's Mourinho bubble, Bleacher Report considers some potential pitfalls if he makes good on the rumors and makes Stamford Bridge his home for a second time.
Could Damage Continuity
It's almost laughable to suggest that appointing Jose Mourinho could damage Chelsea's continuity. The club has done a good enough job of that themselves in the past decade, hiring nine managers in one form or another.
What the club needs now, though, is a manager willing to lay strong foundations and remain in charge for a prolonged period of time. That needs to start this summer as the club can ill afford to continue as it has in recent seasons, firing managers at will.
For Chelsea to be considered as serious contenders for domestic and European supremacy, they need continuity in the dugout to ensure the talented squad they have can go on and achieve the success it is more than capable of.
Mourinho's track record is at odds with this, however.
There's no questioning his affection for the club, but his managerial career has been defined by short spells with clubs where he wins major honours before moving onto the next project.
Thus far, he hasn't lasted anywhere more than the three years he had in West London, and he'll need to last longer than that this time out if it is going to be beneficial in the long term.
Personality Clash with Abramovich Could Divide the Club
It happened before, so why not again? The reason behind Jose Mourinho's departure from Stamford Bridge in 2007 was down to a personality clash with Roman Abramovich, so what would be different this time out?
Mourinho demands total control of any club he works for and if Abramovich allows that, the Blues could very well dominate world football. If not, it will be another acrimonious fallout that could threaten to divide the club.
Six years ago, the fans protested in the streets and at matches but soon overcame their heart break at losing the "Special One." If it were to happen again, though, could Chelsea fans forgive Abramovich a second time?
Well, you would like to think they would, as the Russian deserves a little more respect than that after he has pumped so much money into the club. After all, it's his money that brought Mourinho to West London in the first place.
Football is an emotional business, though, and logic is not often the overbearing characteristic for most supporters.
Another public fallout could divide Chelsea further than the appointment of Rafa Benitez this season. Were that to happen, it could have a far greater impact.
Style of Play Could Regress
During his first season at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho used the talents of Damien Duff and Arjen Robben to devastating effect, but as his time at Stamford Bridge developed, there's no doubting he adopted a more pragmatic approach.
Now this season, the Blues have by no means been world beaters, but as they showed in the 1-0 defeat of Manchester United in the FA Cup quarterfinal on Monday, Chelsea's "Three Amigos" are beginning to prove a devastating trio in attack.
Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar appear to be very much the future of Chelsea. But would Mourinho see things that way?
He fields an offensive lineup at Real Madrid right now, but given the dangers of the Premier League, would he take that risk at Chelsea?
It's only recently that Rafa Benitez has shown courage to do so, and Chelsea have benefited as a result. Mourinho is a fine manager, but he hasn't always been celebrated for the aesthetics of his tactics, so there's no guarantee he would allow Chelsea's threesome to flourish, which could prove detrimental.
High Player Turn over
With Financial Fair Play rules beginning to slowly have an impact on the modern game, it's imperative Europe's leading clubs get their houses in order.
There have been signs of that, with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, for instance, spending less lavishly than they may have done in the past.
With Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea, though, there's every chance the Portuguese could have a complete overhaul of the squad in order to build the team in his vision.
With any new manager, that's always a considerable risk, but Mourinho's vision at Chelsea, Inter Milan and, to a lesser degree, Real Madrid has seen his teams play with more substance than style.
It's been very effective, with league titles and European Cups aplenty, but this Chelsea team hasn't been assembled with that in mind.
Mourinho will need to either change his approach and work with what he has, or change this Chelsea squad dramatically. If it's the latter, that could spell trouble for the Blues.
Trophies May Not Be Forthcoming
So Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea and everybody is happy. What next? Trophies, right?
Well, it's not going to be as simple as that. The Portuguese will be inheriting a squad in a very different condition that the one he ran in 2004.
Back then, Chelsea were on the rise and were very much unique in football. Now they are suffering from managerial changes and the landscape of English and European football has changed.
Manchester City can out-spend them if need be, while teams across the continent are arguably stronger than ever before.
Mourinho's path to success at Stamford Bridge is going to much more difficult this time out, but will Chelsea fans accept that?
Their memories of the "Special One" are of success. What if that is harder to come by during his second spell? What then?
It will guide Mourinho's relationship with Chelsea fans into uncharted waters, and that will prove very interesting, indeed.