Jose Mourinho, the exciting, controversial but generally successful self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has finally returned to Chelsea and English football. And while there are celebrations and tributes coming from all across Europe, there’s a question that has to be asked, given that this might eventually define his second stint at Chelsea. The general question is: What kind of play pattern will Jose employ at Chelsea this time?
It is no longer news that Jose doesn’t like to lose. He, therefore, employs all possible antics to see to this. Mind games, defensive plays and anything else that can help him win a game. He has a propensity to attract controversy, he’s unequivocal, brass and represents different things to different people. In his first spell at Chelsea, he built a brutal, direct, winning machine that concede as less as possible, arguably because the Chelsea team of 2004 don’t play much attacking football.
Today, the tide has changed. Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch that owns Chelsea has asked for an attacking style of football, something sexier and the quest for this has led to the recruitment of the triumvirate of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar. They’ve been brought into the side to breathe some excitement into how the side plays and help them attack more. Last season being their first, they flourished and the whole of Europe is already talking about how deadly the trio could become playing together, complementing each other.
However, with Jose’s arrival, many fans of the round leather game are already at loss as to what might happen. It is rumoured that the trio are not the kind of players Mourinho likes and that he might try to break the triumvirate in order to bring in more powerful, defence-conscious midfielders as replacements. And while some say the Chelsea hierarchy has already told him that he’d have to play with the trio, it seems logical to say we would just have to wait and see.
Now, attacking football has a downside, it requires balance or the team in question will ship in goals with reckless abandon like Manchester United in the past few seasons. Mourinho knows he’d most likely not find this balance in his first season and might want to get results anyhow, thereby resorting to a defensive approach against attack-minded oppositions. To Chelsea fans, this might be unacceptable but, let’s wait and see what concessions they’d eventually be willing to make as they aspire to continue winning every year (ask Arsenal fans about that).
To neutrals, Jose hasn’t changed, but to Chelsea fans, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that their brilliant, record-breaking coach has returned. And though the Premier League is different from 2004 and Mourinho wouldn’t expect a roller-coaster ride this time. He’d nonetheless have some measure of success based on what came of his last job at Madrid. For, more than anything, Jose now has to prove to the world yet again, that he is indeed the ‘Special One’ yet again.
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