Jose Mourinho infamously returned to a place he calls ‘home’ last summer and as a result, the Blues are now the favorites in the run in for the title with just less than 10 games left to played. Last season was a disappointing season for the most part even though it ended in a glorious fashion with Champions league qualification sealed and a consolation price of the Europa League after the Blues failed in 7 of 8 competitions they took part in.
In addition to the disappointing performances in games, the sacking of Roberto DiMatteo months after winning the Champions league angered the fans even more and created a hostile image of the club against the unpopular interim Rafa Benitez. After all the disappointments and frustration, Russian owner Roman Abramovic prepared a great gift for the club he loves and for the fans in summer of that season which marked his 10th anniversary or a decade at Stamford bridge: Jose Mourinho!
The return of the Special one on a FOUR year contract sparked another new era of dominance ahead of us as Roman Abramovic plotted for a 2nd decade of dominance at the bridge. Now, let’s look ahead at how things panned out so far this season under the 2nd reign of the Special one and see the main 5 areas he improved to transform the inconsistent and depleted team of last season into a solid, high spirited title challengers this season against the odds.
Show the players who is in control-
One of the worst thing that can ever happen in the dressing room or at any club is the manager losing the control or respect from his players. That was exactly what ruined Mourinho’s regime at Real Madrid which ended in bad terms with most established stars in the locker room not to mention any names or egos. Once he returned, the Portuguese knew he wouldn’t face such problems with the veterans and many stars he knows very well from his first time at the club. But, the way he handled the Juan Mata situation and also the bravery of benching one of the top left back in the world in Ashley Cole for Azpilicueta sent a big message into the dressing room that only the manager is in control. Great improvement compared to last season with how fragility of leadership were shown under DiMatteo and Benitez.
Better Tactical awareness and usage of players-
Jose Mourinho is the master tactician of any football manager you can find on this planet. Even the revered Pep Gardiola can’t play the variety of tactics and switches Jose performs within half time of a football game. He alters his tactics depending on the situation and chooses the players best suited to a get a result from the game rather than stick to one formation the whole time and also use the same players. He identified Oscar is the best suited for the No. 10 spot and Mata’s name as player of the year in two years running didn’t matter in the decision to drop the Spaniard in favor of the Brazilian.
Impact transfer signings suited to the job-
We have seen the Nemanja Matics and Samuel Eto’os already and there will be more and more to come in the future. Players who don’t suit his style or the direction of the team would have no place in Mourinho’s team and that might be the fate of Torres this summer while Rafa and RDM played last season despite his poor performances for the happiness of Abramovic who spent a record sum on the Spaniard. Mourinho though doesn’t make a mistake on transfers and he knows exactly which type of players he needs and the January signings of Salah and Matic are bearing fruit already as the Blues surge on into the league title in May.
Getting the best out of the veteran players-
One of the key things Mourinho has done since his return was to stress the importance of the old guard as the media refers to them, John Terry and Frank Lampard. In the eyes of Mourinho and the fans, the two legends are influential role models for the youngsters to follow and they know the club inside out. Having such players in the dressing room and their leadership on and off the pitch is what helps bring the best out of players like Hazard, Oscar and Willian not only this season but for many seasons to come.
Brought back the winning mentality and instinct to Chelsea-
Last but not least, is the winning mentality the special one carries to every club he moves and it is arguable if we had the winning mentality of old ever since the double winning season under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010. Since, then the Blues have managed to win our first ever Champions league trophy plus the Europa League. The team’s success in the past 5 years was down to Mourinho’s work in building the squad for a decade when he began his first reign at Stamford Bridge. Nonetheless, He has returned this season to implant another winning team for the next 10 to 15 years and it will be a great ride to watch for all Chelsea fans.
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