Jose Mourinho would have hated this summer.
For five weeks during the World Cup, no one was interested in the Chelsea manager.
All the talk was instead about how Joachim Low had brilliantly harnessed the talents of this German side and turned them into World Cup winners or how the innovative approach of Mourinho’s old mentor Louis van Gaal had taken the Netherlands to third place in Brazil.
The Portuguese likes to be the centre of attention; his rampant ego demands it, and so he will be relieved his time in the shadows is over.
This season will now be all about Jose Mourinho.
The Chelsea manager will not have enjoyed last season; he doesn’t do failure and will have been distinctly uncomfortable finishing as low as third in the table.
His first year back at Chelsea was always going to be a difficult one, and he himself, as reported in the Mirror, branded it as a "transitional season."
Despite this, Chelsea still finished only four points behind the champions Manchester City.
But throughout last season, even when Chelsea were lurking around the summit of the Premier League, as reported by the BBC, Mourinho characterised his team as "a little horse" unable to mount a serious challenge for the title:
The title race is between two horses and a little horse that needs milk and needs to learn how to jump. Maybe next season we can race.
Mourinho also added: "I want to start the next pre-season and say this season we are going to win the league. This season, I can't."
Last summer, after an absence of six years, Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge and inherited a squad randomly assembled by his seven successors and their failed regimes.
He would need time to root out the players who didn't fit into his plans and reshape the squad back into his own image.
Over the last 12 months, out has gone Juan Mata, Demba Ba, the erratic David Luiz and the ageing Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, and in has come Willian, Andre Schurrle, Nemanja Matic, Mohamed Salah and, this summer, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
This is now a Mourinho team, defensively strong, energetic, ready to press and possessing a clinical and muscular presence up front.
It means Mourinho has got his swagger and confidence back, and as reported in the Mirror this week, his language has also changed.
"If I didn't think we would win the Premier League I would go home and let somebody else take charge of the team,” he said.
Last season, even without a team he completely trusted, Mourinho proved his tactical genius when he successfully devised plans to nullify and beat both Manchester City and Liverpool in their own backyards.
We will see even more of these Mourinho flourishes this season, as Chelsea are now ready to win the race.
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