After a six-year absence from the Premier League, Jose Mourinho finally returned to Stamford Bridge. He attended his first press conference yesterday, which was eagerly anticipated by the world-wide media. But there seemed to be something missing.
This person who was being unveiled as the new Chelsea manager was not the Jose Mourinho that we all know and love. It is not the same person who had a strong hint of arrogance and ego around him, it wasn’t the same person who declared back in 2004 that they were the best manager in Europe. This new Mourinho seems to have lost his spark, and his edge, something which he had over all the other monotoned managers in the Premier League, and most football lovers loved him because of that.
So why has he changed?
Mourinho has grown older over these past years, and he admits himself that his experiences with football has changed him. He has a few more grey hairs and has mellowed a lot over the past few years, and perhaps he has lost his motivation for the game. He has won nearly every trophy in each country he has been to, and maybe he has lost his desire and passion he once had to win trophies.
Perhaps, the Portuguese journeyman has been worn out by the Spanish press. They have definitely damaged his ego, he wasn’t ‘loved’ in Madrid, and his constant battles with his players, fans and the hierarchy of the Spanish club looks as if it has tired him out. This is a man who needs to be loved in order to get the best out of him, and that is why he has returned to Chelsea, his passion for the Premier League and because the fans love him, but I have the sense that he is bored of football in general, and perhaps wants to move on with his life in general.
The older Mourinho has realised that maybe it is time for his constant mind games to have a rest, and to let the football that Chelsea play on the pitch to do the talking. It is a sensible action, but sensible and Mourinho don’t go together, and it looks as if he is trying to play the Premier League game in a calmer fashion, than the chaos he stirred the first time round. But the Premier League neutrals need that chaos and entertainment to spice up the League, and it doesn’t look like Mourinho will be bringing that this time.
That obviously could be one of the factors if he was to return to Chelsea. We do not know the real reasons as to why he left Chelsea the first time round, and the enforcement of his calmer character could actually have been a condition of his Premier League homecoming, as Chelsea are surely looking for a period of stability, as Mourinho says he will stay for ‘a long time’ the time round.
Obviously, this is a quick judgement of the new manager after his first press conference and could be too premature. I honestly hope it is as a neutral, and would love to see sparks flying from Mourinho when August comes around.
In the press conference he referred to himself as the ‘Happy One’ but maybe he is not quite that, a more accurate description of his first press conference at Chelsea would be the ‘Mellow One’.