Sam Wallace on the return of Jose Mourinho: There will be laughs, trophies and blood at Chelsea

The 'Special One' will put Chelsea on the edge - for better or worse

It is a measure of the expectation that surrounds Jose Mourinho that even the press conference to introduce him as the Chelsea manager for the second time, scheduled for Monday, will be measured against the one that thrust him into the consciousness of English football nine years ago.

On that occasion he memorably declared himself "the Special One", a moniker that was immediately adopted by the British press, delighted that here was a man who was unafraid to give himself top billing. "Please do not call me arrogant because what I say is true," Mourinho said that day. "I'm European champion, I'm not one out of the bottle, I think I'm a special one."

At his best, when he chose to play the crowd with his instinctive understanding of what pricked the imagination of a British audience, Mourinho was plain funny. During his last spell as Chelsea manager he declared himself more afraid of avian bird flu - it was the topic du jour in 2007 - than being sacked by Roman Abramovich.

He described in detail his efforts to outwit the Metropolitan police when they came to seize his children's pet dog, a Yorkshire terrier called Leya, which had not been given the necessary vaccinations. It was passed over the fence in his Belgravia home to a sympathetic neighbour and spirited out the country, still, to our knowledge, a fugitive from British justice.

And then there were the trophies. He first arrived in Britain in 2004 when Arsenal were top dogs, so to speak, and Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United were going through a transitional stage. He returns with United back on top of the tree but with only one manager other than himself - Arsene Wenger - having won a Premier League title before.

In just about every press conference in those first two seasons in which he won back-to-back titles, Mourinho would tell us that it was not just about the hundreds of millions of pounds that Roman Abramovich was pouring into Chelsea. It was about the ability of the manager too. If we doubted him then, the struggles of the likes of Luiz Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas since then have proved his point.

Carlo Ancelotti won the double in 2010, the only Chelsea manager other than Mourinho to win the Premier League. Guus Hiddink won the FA Cup. Roberto Di Matteo won the Champions League and the FA Cup. Rafa Benitez won the Europa League. But none of them have come close to dominating English football for two seasons in the way that Mourinho did between 2004 and 2006.

No other manager, other than Sir Alex Ferguson has won consecutive titles. And since he left Chelsea in September 2007, Mourinho has won the league in Italy and Spain and added a second European Cup at Inter Milan to the one he won at Porto.

And yet, as ever with Mourinho, you can be sure that there will be blood. He will pick fights because that is what he does. He left the Real Madrid dressing room divided and embittered, as is obvious from Alvaro Arbeloa's outspoken criticism of his team-mates reported this morning in The Independent. Already the suggestion is that Mourinho wants Fernando Torres and David Luiz out the club, two players who have become very influential figures at Chelsea with the decline of the English contingent's dressing room influence.

Mourinho stirs conflict because it suits his endlessly restless approach to management. His desire to shake everyone up and allow no-one to linger in the comfort zone was an integral part of his success at Chelsea, as it was in the 26 years that Ferguson spent at United. But where Mourinho failed was that so often he lit the flame and could then not prevent it from engulfing the whole house.

The likes of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, the three No 10s upon whom Chelsea's attacking game is based are not the kind if players that one would immediately associate with Mourinho. Certainly his first Chelsea team was one of often breathtaking athleticism and power who could handle the physical battle first as well as blitz opposition.

There will have to be some measure of compromise between Mourinho and the Chelsea of 2013 that he now finds himself in charge of. When he arrived in 2004 it was a very different show. Abramovich had spent heavily - and not always wisely - in his first year and Mourinho's surefootedness in the transfer market was welcomed.

The Russian billionaire knows football better now. Whether Mourinho is in a better position to handle his demands is a very different story. He manages on the edge, and on the edge is where Chelsea will be - for better or for worse - for as long as he lasts second time around.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
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 children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on