With the coming and going of so many managers at the end of this Premier League season, the Premier League truly seems like it’s in an exciting new transitional period. New mentalities and personalities, and a step in to the unknown for one of the biggest clubs in world football. Manchester United has taken the departure of Alex Ferguson as an opportunity for continuity. By hiring David Moyes they have chosen a manager in the same stead as their departing one, but with enough scope for evolution. Chelsea, however, with their scatter gun approach to management, seem to have grown tired of seeking new beginnings and are instead choosing a new approach, one that is rarely successful, devolution.
By turning to familiarity, Chelsea (and more specifically Roman Abramovich), have resigned themselves to their own failures. By failing to back any of their managers since Mourinho, (let us not forget that the trophy cabinet was not exactly bare since his departure), their has been an inability to find a consistency of direction and approach, of playing style and ethos. It is of no doubt that José Mourinho is an outstanding manager. It would be foolish to argue otherwise, he has a win percentage of 67.72%, an incredible statistic. It may well be that his return marks a new beginning for Chelsea and a period of success. However the recent history of both Mourinho and Chelsea suggests that if it is, it will not be a long one.
Chelsea do not retain the services of managers long, and Mourinho has not been at a club for what can be considered ‘long-term’. What must also be considered is the tradition of managers returning to their old flames, which is often not overly successful. Dalglish, Busby and Keegan all faired rather poorly in their second spells at the respective clubs. If these precedents hold true with Mourinho’s return to Chelsea, then one question springs to mind. Is there really anywhere Chelsea can turn?