Time runs out for the Special One

Jose Mourinho breezed into Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004 as a European champion, declaring himself to be 'a special one'. The ego had landed.

In a little over three years he has proved he can be arrogant, eloquent, infuriating and brilliant, but never dull.

Two titles in two seasons suggested he was indeed special, but then so was the seemingly boundless budget he had to work with courtesy of club owner Roman Abramovich.

All of a sudden the wallet slammed shut last January, prompting the first suggestions that all might not be well and that Mourinho's trophy-laden stay in west London could be shorter than many had anticipated.

When their league crown was unceremoniously snatched by Manchester United last season the insult to Abramovich was two-fold - not only had his roubles failed to seal the title but Sir Alex Ferguson's side had usurped them playing the sort of free-flowing football the Russian craved, but which Mourinho seemed incapable of delivering.

So when a series of unconvincing displays culminated with defeat at Aston Villa earlier this month and were followed by lame home draws with Blackburn and Rosenborg - the latter attended by less than 25,000 fans - the writing was on the wall for the Portuguese manager.

Mourinho has demonstrated his willingness to walk away before - famously tearing off his winner's medal seconds after his Porto team had been crowned champions of Europe.

He has never been one to outstay his welcome anywhere - his success at Porto came over the space of just two and a half seasons - and as the saying goes, the star that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

He was the perfect fit for Chelsea back in that summer of 2004, the young upstart coach for the nouveau riche, upstart club determined to ride roughshod over Europe's established giants.

For the first time in his blossoming career, the coach who had proven a serial silverware accumulator in economy class was given the chance to show what he could do with unlimited supplies of cash.

Mourinho had turned Porto into one of Europe's most formidable teams after inheriting a team in steep decline.

In 2003 'the Dragons' completed a memorable treble - with the Portuguese title, Portuguese cup and, most memorably, the UEFA Cup, won by beating Celtic 3-2 in Seville.

The domestic championship was retained, and the club then claimed the ultimate prize in European club football - the Champions League trophy.

Many myths surrounded Mourinho.

The story perpetuated by some, that he became a football coach by accident after working for Sir Bobby Robson as a translator, is rather amplifying the truth.

Mourinho was born into a footballing environment and, despite an academic record which could have opened many other doors, he has never looked outside the game.

As the son of former Portugal goalkeeper Felix Mourinho, he has football blood in his veins and, when it became clear he would not make the grade as a player, he immediately began working towards a career in coaching.

In linking up with Robson, he embarked on a journey which would take him to Porto and Barcelona.

Highly educated, Mourinho speaks several languages and those familiar with Claudio Ranieri's daily mangling of the language of Shakespeare were disappointed to find that he spoke better English than most homegrown bosses.

He takes a scientific view of coaching and makes his players take home videos of their own performances, while also working closely with dietary specialists.

Mourinho also relies on American-style management techniques, with pep-talks laced with buzzwords, and directing his players to sacrifice personal ambition for team success.

He has also shown himself to be a master of psychological warfare and even got the better of Ferguson, one of the finest practitioners of that art, when their paths crossed for the first time.

Ferguson, infuriated by Porto's antics during the first-leg match in the last 16 of the Champions League in February 2004, had refused to shake his hand after the match.

Mourinho calmly pointed out that perhaps Ferguson was miffed that a team with a 10th of his budget had given Manchester United a footballing lesson.

There was no pitchside handshake after Porto had completed the job at Old Trafford - Mourinho had celebrated Porto's dramatic late goal with a dash down the touchline towards his celebrating players.

The two have developed a warmer relationship since, sharing a glass of wine or two after each meeting between the sides.

Ferguson, who has rattled Kenny Dalglish, Arsene Wenger and most memorably Kevin Keegan in his time, would almost certainly not take any pleasure therefore in having outstayed his latest rival.

A married father of two, Mourinho's first job in football was at the age of 27, as fitness coach with Estrela Amadora, before he moved on to Vitoria Setubal where he was youth-team coach.

Prior to taking the Porto job, he had also achieved great things with another less well known Portuguese club, Uniao Leiria, whom he had led to fifth place.

On arriving at Chelsea, Mourinho would never have avoided the spotlight even if he had wanted to, but in his early months at Chelsea he became a journalist's dream.

He was keen to offer his views on a variety of subjects and even drawing comparisons to Brian Clough for his irreverence and knowing cockiness in interviews.

That first year the domestic title was sealed with minimal fuss, but the first crack at European glory was tarnished by an unseemly row with Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard.

Mourinho alleged there had been a meeting between the Dutchman and Swedish referee Anders Frisk at half-time in the first leg of the last 16 Champions League tie at the Nou Camp.

UEFA, whose head of refereeing Volker Roth described Mourinho as "an enemy of football", decided Mourinho was bang out of order, fining him and banning him from the touchline.

Barcelona, whose fans taunt Mourinho as 'the interpreter', eliminated the Blues en route to winning the Champions League in 2006, and although the Premier League title was retained the feeling was that a third European failure would rankle with a certain Mr Abramovich.

The expensive remedies bought to heal that European wound, Andriy Shevchenko and Michael Ballack, have both proved spectacular failures so far and, indeed, failed to carry the Blues to the Champions League crown last term.

Tuesday's draw with Rosenborg hardly suggested that drought would end in, ironically, Moscow next May, but perhaps of greater immediate concern was the apathy surrounding a team now labelled 'boring' by fans and pundits alike.

Mourinho had failed to infuse his team with the same personality he displayed in so many press conferences over the years, and so it is that the Special One's reign came to an end.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
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

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone