5 Bold Predictions for Jose Mourinho's Second Coming at Chelsea
A lot has been said about Jose Mourinho's homecoming to Stamford Bridge, about how in life, you should never go back. About how if you're going to leave, leave on a high.
In some cases, of course, that is the case, and it happens enough to know that returning after a sour departure can lead to an increased level of bitterness.
But there's something about Mourinho that suggests his second stint at Chelsea may prove to be the exception.
After all, they don't call him "The Special One" for nothing.
If anything, I'd even go as far as saying his second coming could prove to be a bigger success, when you consider his main rival, Sir Alex Ferguson, has retired from his role at Manchester United.
Whatever happens in his first season, everybody knows that Mourinho will strive to improve. We can't wait for his first game in charge, and here are some of our hand-picked bold predictions that could occur during his return to England.
Prior warning: The word "bold" relates to predictions which may be slightly over the top.
Champions League Success in First Season
Even despite all of their achievements in the Champions League, nobody expected Chelsea to win the coveted competition in 2012.
A 3-1 defeat to Napoli at the San Paolo left them with it all to do, but the change in managerial personnel and attitude saw the Blues claim a 4-1 scalp at home, before pulling off a stunning triumph in Munich.
Now though, Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge with the knowledge that the one trophy that got away is there for the taking again.
He's already won the Champions League with Porto back in 2004, which engineered his move to Chelsea, and with Inter as he achieved the unprecedented Treble in the 2009-10 season.
And with the attacking talent of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar, Mourinho may feel there is no better time to go all out to become the only coach to win the Champions League with three different teams.
That being said, in his way stand reigning champions Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola, Real Madrid with new boss Carlo Ancelotti and a host of other clubs who are hungry for success. To win in the 2013-14 season would be a great achievement.
Now that would make him special.
Hull City to Spoil Mourinho's Homecoming
Finishing second in the Championship, Steve Bruce was happy to have had led Hull City to the Premier League, but it was nothing new for the former Manchester United player.
After all, he had led Crystal Palace to the top flight twice previously before taking The Tigers up on the last day of the season.
And now, he will face a tough test on the first day of the 2013-14 Premier League season: an away trip to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
Of course, the Yorkshire-based club came ever so close to securing a perfect scalp on the same day four years ago, only for a Didier Drogba double, including a late freak goal, spared Carlo Ancelotti's blushes in his first game as manager.
The newly promoted side will have a manager in the know, however. The last time Bruce picked up a surprise result against the Blues was back in December 2010 while he was at Sunderland, as the Black Cats stunned Ancelotti with a 3-0 smash-and-grab.
And now Bruce will be keen to have something of a repeat as he comes up against one of the world's most successful managers.
Chelsea Sign Cavani...Only for Torres to Outscore Him
A lot has been made about Chelsea's pursuit of Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, per reports from Sky Sports.
What does the move mean for Fernando Torres? Is £50 million too much for a player who has only played in the Serie A? Would he be another flop like Torres?
Granted, they are all fair questions to ask. But any observers of Uruguay's 2-2 draw with Italy in the Confederations Cup will certainly agree that Chelsea's money would be wisely spent on the 26-year-old
Cavani provided a sublime finish to set up the first equaliser before unleashing a stunning free-kick to send the game to extra time, and his performance has surely quashed all doubts surrounding the dangerous frontman's ability to impress in the Premier League.
Add into the mixture the fact he scored 29 goals in the Serie A last season, and you suddenly realise that the £50 million price tag would be a sufficient amount to spend on a player in top form.
But as Fernando Torres will tell you, the transition from one team to another is not always so smooth. The Spaniard managed just one goal in his first five months at Stamford Bridge, and with the 29-year-old in great form, Cavani will have to train hard to dislodge him from the team.
Torres' total haul of 23 goals may be enough to convince Mourinho he's staying for good, and Cavani will do well to top the former Liverpool striker's return.
Mourinho Gains Full Financial Control as Emenalo Quits
Jose Mourinho must have felt a slight sense of disappointment when Frank Arnesen was appointed as sporting director at Chelsea in 2005.
But this time he knows what he's getting into. Michael Emenalo has fast become one of the trusted advisors for Roman Abramovich, going from head scout to technical director in just a few years at the club.
The Nigerian has a major say on transfers, with The Daily Mail reporting that he had given the go-ahead to sign Wallace and Andre Schurrle while Chelsea were manager-less.
However, the same article reports that Emenalo was willing to offer his resignation in order to ensure Mourinho has total power, a decision both Abramovich and the Portuguese coach rejected.
Nevertheless, it seems inevitable that a clash between the two will eventually occur as the rivalry between directors and managers continues.
It's not clear when that will happen, but what is certain is that Mourinho won't be the one departing if it does.
Chelsea Repeat Their 2004-05 Season Achievements
Most wins in a season (29), most home wins in a season (18), most away wins in a season (15), most home games unbeaten (86, running from 2004-2009), fewest goals conceded in a season (15), fewest goals conceded away in a season (nine), most clean sheets in a season (24), most points in a season (95) and joint-most clean sheets in a season (Petr Cech, 21).
All of those records in one season, you ask? Impossible, you then say. But it's correct, we kid you not.
In his first season in England, Jose Mourinho guided his Chelsea side to an incredible triumph in 2004-05 (with the help of a Russian billionaire).
Never mind the fact it was the club's first top-flight league title since 1955 and, of course, their first Premier League title. It was one of most comprehensive title-winning seasons in recent history, with the Blues finishing a whopping 12 points ahead of nearest challengers Arsenal.
It was hardly dominant in terms of goals scored, as Arsenal managed to score 15 more than the West London club's 72.
But every game was a stroll in the park it seemed; their only defeat of the season to Manchester City prevented Mourinho from matching Arsenal's unbeaten record from the previous year.
They've never gotten close to similar domination, but now that their hero is home, who is to say they can't achieve the unthinkable once more?
All statistics on this slide were provided by the English Premier League.
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