Jose Mourinho's Special Relationship with Chelsea Provides an Eternal Story
The Chelsea fans love Jose Mourinho even more than they loathe Rafa Benitez. When Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2004, the Blues were still adjusting to life as a football club that could not only afford to buy grass for the pitch, but could viably threaten the Premier League duopoly of Arsenal and Manchester United that had existed since the mid 1990s.
Chelsea had finished second in the Premier League the previous season, their highest league finish in the top flight since their first, and at that point only, league title in 1955.
Mourinho arrived in the summer of 2004, having won back-to-back Primeira Liga titles alongside the UEFA Cup and the Champions League in two years at Porto. When he arrived for his first press conference as Chelsea's manager, he delighted with his arrogance, and the love story began in earnest.
The fans were still wary of getting carried away, but the £100 million that Mourinho spent on bolstering the squad with the likes of Petr Cech and Didier Drogba paid dividends. Chelsea set about winning the Premier League with a record total of 95 points, conceding just 15 goals in the process.
Any remaining doubters were silenced when they retained their title the following year, with the FA Cup coming in 2007. Throughout that time, Mourinho provided drama both on and off the pitch, with everything from undocumented pets to controversial celebrations.
Then a rift appeared between "The Special One" and "The Ridiculously Rich Russian." The two men failed to resolve their differences and parted company in September 2007. Many managers have brought much success to Chelsea since then, but Mourinho is still the one the fans love best.
The feeling is obviously mutual. He defended his former team when they were criticised for their style of play in their triumphant Champions League campaign, having admitted in 2011 that he still loves the club.
Since his departure in 2007, whenever the managerial position at Chelsea FC has become vacant, Jose Mourinho has been the most hotly speculated replacement. With the man dubbed "The Interim One" leaving his temp job at the end of the season, The Special One is almost certainly coming back to where he is loved.
There will be conditions to his return. Abramovich will need to control his impulse to buy players whose prices are inflated vastly beyond their talent and give Mourinho free rein with the squad. Whether he will be able to do this is a cliffhanger to rival EastEnders, and that is only the beginning of the second chapter of the never-ending story.
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