Kevin Garside: This time around Jose Mourinho needs to win a lot more than just trophies at Chelsea

After 10 years, Abramovich wants his team to capture the imagination

Were Jose Mourinho to announce that he no longer ate sausage, the internet would be ablaze in a nanosecond: "Jose drops a banger." So we should not be surprised that a dismissive line about his affection for Chelsea over any other club might be cause for the recall of Parliament, especially when one of the institutions overlooked is Manchester United.

Jose has been back only a week and already he is controlling the agenda with jaunty asides that are presented casually, but are anything but. Of course you would not have taken the Manchester United job, Jose. The fact that you were not considered, or worse, that you were considered and overlooked, is not a detail that would ever disturb your conscience.

Interesting, too, that he should let us know how close he is to Sir Alex Ferguson. You would have to be special to be "trusted" with the biggest secret in football – that Ferguson would be leaving at the end of the season. The inference being, had he really wanted the United job, he would have pushed hard then. That he didn't is rolled out as evidence of his intention always to wait for Chelsea.

Pull the other one, Jose. In massaging the past in this way Mourinho exposes how ego is still driving his ship. It matters how he is perceived. Woe betide any should think him not good enough. Forget the shift from "special" to "happy" one. In his own mind at least Mourinho is still as special as it gets.

Mourinho's second coming contains way more risk than his first at Stamford Bridge. In 2004 we knew little of him beyond the obvious coaching attributes, though, after he slid along the touchline at Old Trafford, we sensed there might be drama. It is clear now that the sacrifice of his suit was an uncontainable expression of the "me" gene that governs all he does.

Mourinho clearly possesses attributes as a coach. His work at Porto is arguably his most impressive, given the achievement-to-resource ratio. That is not to understate his success at Internazionale, where his second Champions League win was a triumph of rigour and organisation over art. The semi-final victory against a Barcelona team in its first full flowering of tiki-taka beauty, remains, perhaps, his greatest work.

There was after that an inevitability that he would go to Real Madrid, to repeat the subjugation of what might be considered the greatest club side of all time. The move to Madrid should have been the apotheosis of his coaching career, where he would deliver that elusive 10th European Cup and, more importantly, cement his reputation as the coach with the solution to any problem.

He will argue that he succeeded by standing down Barça in La Liga. The title in his second season was sealed with a record total of goals and points. He also makes much of the three semi-final appearances in the Champions League after Real had failed to reach the quarter-final stage for the best part of a decade.

There were three trophies in total, but was that mastery enough? He was brought in to break not only Barça's stranglehold on silverware but on the hearts of the footballing world. In this he failed.

In the end the conversation was not about the football but personality and politics, deflecting but not ever concealing the truth that his counter-attacking vision did not inspire a generation and ultimately could not be sustained.

So he comes to Chelsea needing to reinvent himself in a sense. The messy, spiteful disintegration in his last year at Madrid tarnished the "special" label. He was wise to introduce the "happy" concept on his return to Stamford Bridge since this is a quiet acknowledgment that the ground has shifted.

Lest we forget, Mourinho's departure in 2007 was engineered to facilitate a coach who might bring the beautiful game to Chelsea as well as the European Cup. The summary dismissal of the man who brought the ultimate prize to Chelsea, however fortuitously, is proof that winning is not enough for Roman Abramovich.

The courtship of Guardiola suggests that, after 10 years at Stamford Bridge, Abramovich wants his team to capture the imagination as well as trophies.

This is Mourinho's challenge. We know he can win football matches, but can he make the heart beat faster? If the story continues to be about him, as his Fergie snippet suggests, you would have to question how much has changed. If nothing has, why should we believe that, three years from now, outcomes will be any different? Fergie might have gone but United remain and now he has Manchester City on his case. It won't be dull, that much we can say.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower