Sam Wallace: As he leaves Real Madrid, make no mistake - Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea will only end in tears

Talking Football: Chelsea cannot believe this will go beyond the short term. The question is: what do they do when he walks out?

Friday night at the Bernabeu, and if the people who pull the strings at Chelsea were watching, they will have been reminded of one thing above all. When Jose Mourinho leaves your club, there is usually more figurative bloodshed than in a performance of The Revenger's Tragedy.

Not for Mourinho the discreet exit out the back door and the car to the airport. When he goes, he goes with a bang. Sent off in Friday's Copa Del Rey final defeat, he thrust his face into that of the fourth official before he departed, watched by a bench featuring many of the players he has alienated. The supporters singing his name were the Atletico Madrid fans and they were singing for him to stay.

"'Tis a heavy season," laments Antonio in The Revenger's Tragedy, one of the few to make it through in one piece to the end. A heavy season indeed. Who has Mourinho made enemies of in his third year at Real Madrid? It might be easier to list those he hasn't. Last week the Barcelona-based newspaper Sport ran a cartoon of a four-man Real team, captioned: "Mourinho picks the four players still on his side." For the record they were Michael Essien, Diego Lopez, Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso.

The enemy camp is rather more crowded. There is Iker Casillas, Pepe, the Madrid football press, not to mention those who blame Mourinho for driving a schism through the heart of the all-conquering Spain national team. You might add to that list King Juan Carlos, who was handing out the medals on Friday night, a presentation which Mourinho boycotted.

Any suggestion that he may have mellowed from his days of relentless conflict have been well and truly quashed this season. Watching from afar, Chelsea will not want to be swayed on the basis of one more combustible evening, but even they – from Roman Abramovich through to his key advisors and executives, Michael Emenalo, Bruce Buck, Ron Gourlay – must be feeling a little frisson of concern.

Why is Mourinho the right man for the Chelsea job? Easy. He wins trophies, and he did so brilliantly in his three full seasons in England. He is capable of handling the biggest names in the dressing-room because he is, arguably, a bigger name than all of them. He changes games with bold tactical moves, although in fairness, since his days at Uniao de Leiria, it is not like he has been in the habit of managing basket cases.

Mourinho has a lot going for him. But one thing that will mark out his appointment at Chelsea from his recent predecessors is that no one at the club can believe this will go beyond the short term.Mourinho is an impact manager. The only empire he is interested in building is that of his own reputation. The clubs change but the trophies keep rolling in, and that third Champions League title, when it comes, will take him into rarefied company.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as both parties understand what the deal is. But Chelsea would do well to consider now a question that will be asked from the minute Mourinho walks in the door, which is: what do they do on the day that he walks out?

Chelsea's appointment of Andre Villas-Boas two years ago was made with a view to building something similar to Barcelona under Pep Guardiola. Carlo Ancelotti was regarded as a potential long-term team-builder, so too Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2008. All other appointments – Avram Grant, Guus Hiddink, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez – have been made on the hoof after sackings. Or in the case of Di Matteo last summer, when he was elevated from caretaker status, because the club felt they had to.

On the face of it, Chelsea are showing all the capacity for faithfulness of Mad Men's Don Draper on a bad day, or a good day, depending on how you view him. Yet still – in a lovelorn way – the club are seeking the one with whom they can settle down. They must know that Mourinho is not that one. He, to continue the Draper theme, is the mid-afternoon hotel-room assignation. Both parties know it will not last; the only questions is: how much damage will there be when it ends?

That is what jars about Mourinho's pending appointment. Everything else fits, even taking into consideration that the likes of Juan Mata and Oscar do not feel instinctively like Mourinho players. He is a Premier League winner in a Premier League that only has one other manager, Arsène Wenger, who can say the same. His arrival will heal a lot of wounds with the supporters.

But still, what is the long-term vision? The Villas-Boas brief, which was embodied in the players whom Chelsea have signed over the last two summers, was to create a new Barcelona. Mourinho has spent the past three years trying to bring down the original Barcelona. The last thing he wants to do is build something in their image.

There is no doubt that the last three years must have been stressful, even for a man of his capabilities. He is now saddled with having the worst trophy return of any Real coach given three seasons. Diego Simeone at Atletico has as many trophies, three, in 18 months, as Mourinho has in three years. Yet to give Mourinho his due, he has been up against arguably the greatest team of all time domestically and has finished in the league second, first and second.

In recent times, Mourinho has tended to rewrite history when it came to his time at Chelsea, in terms of his relationship with the British press above all, which he bizarrely seems to remember as some kind of prelapsarian idyll. You have to wonder whether at Chelsea they have also trained themselves to forget.

When Mourinho left in September 2007, Chelsea released a conciliatory statement which was unusually revealing for them. "What is clear," the club said, "is we had all reached a point where the relationship between the club and Jose had broken down."

Less than six years on and it looks a lot worse than just plain old "broken down" between Madrid and Mourinho. So the stage is set for him to run back to Chelsea and the second part of that story will be fascinating in the new post-Ferguson Premier League landscape. But let's not kid ourselves. We all know how it is going to end.

Sorry, Roberto, but the Shield just doesn't count

The page Roberto Mancini took in the Manchester Evening News to say thank you to the Manchester City supporters did not just demonstrate the strength of his relationship with them but a refreshing faith in the power of the city newspaper. Just one point of order: the three trophies on the page included the Community Shield. Someone needs to explain to foreign managers that it simply does not count. Not even a red card in the game gets you a ban in the league.

Fifa shouldn't allow post-season tours

Roy Hodgson is right to criticise clubs for using next week to cash in on lucrative tours rather than allow players to rest ahead of the international friendlies, although he has been far too restrained in his criticism of them in the last few days. The marginalisation of international football is not just a result of the clubs' greed, it is symptomatic of the lack of credibility in an enfeebled, compromised Fifa, who should be preventing such tours.

Suggested Topics
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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen