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.

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick