When Roman Abramovich became the owner of Chelsea Football Club, he came in with only one asset – a winning mentality, assisted of course by his fortune. If you think money can’t get you success, at least in some contexts, please rethink. However, as important as money is, your mentality is much more important in working your way to success. Could it have been this winning mindset that landed Abramovich the fortune in the first place? Well, I think so. And much more impressively, he has proven to all that life could be a win-win adventure when approached with a positive mental attitude.
So far, it will be largely impossible to talk about Chelsea’s rise to dominance of English football without acknowledging their two-time manager and talisman, Jose Mourinho. In 2004 when Jose Mourinho first came to Chelsea as “the special one” (as he usually referred to himself), he resumed as a Champions League winning manager – his biggest laurel till then – to become the highest paid manager in football, thanks to his new billionaire boss. He landed Chelsea with their first league title in 50 years, and the League Cup in his first season, as well as winning four more titles before he left Chelsea Football Club for a break with a big handshake that translated to millions of pounds.
He later joined Internazionale Milano, where he did a triple, winning all the titles available to be won in the Italian Seria A including the Champion’s League – his second time of winning the accolade. Then and now, Mourinho, more than a football tactician, always proves a great manager with his strong personality and quirky statements at press conferences distinguishing him from others. He is a manager with charisma, panache, clout and sagacity that the players always want to play for. It still remains a mystery how he manages to win the hearts of even the biggest and most unruly players like Christiano Ronaldo and Balotelli.
When the news of his second coming was announced, every Chelsea fan rejoiced as though they had found a spoil. It was cool to receive the special one back to his hood but now with a new appellation – “the happy one”. On his return to Chelsea he began by announcing his dominance to the big teams when he defeated most of them at the Stamford Bridge and away in their own homes. Since he met a fairly naïve Chelsea, he spent most of his first season of return understudying the team, constantly downplaying the side’s chances of winning the Premier League title and morphing the team with selling and signing on new players to suit the Jose Mourinho typical team.
He first offloaded Juan Mata who is acclaimed to be one of Chelsea’s best players and released other notable players like Demba Ba, Romelu Lukaku (on a loan move to Everton). He then brought in Diego Coasta, Cesc Fabregas and Thibaut Courtois who started in goal after a three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid in the summer, just before the 2014 FIFA World Cup – a move many saw as proactive from the Portuguese icon. Didier Drogba also made his return appearance to the Chelsea squad. Mourinho’s gift of oratory endears him to the Chelsea clan but incurs knocks from the neutrals and rivals. On one occasion, Ireland and Manchester United ex-footballer turned coach, Roy Kean, took to the media to malign the outspoken Chelsea manager on what he described as “disgraceful” for attempting to shake his hand before the end of Aston Villa’s 3-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in September 2014.
Who knows whether Jose Mourinho is trying to go the way of repeating the cycle that made him win lots of titles from Chelsea through Inter Milan to Real Madrid, or perhaps he is out there on course establishing a long reign as football royalty after the order of the legendary ex-Manchester United coach, Sir Alex Ferguson. As it stands, he is very much on course going either way, and as long as the current winning streak continues, virtually nothing can stop him. The Blues currently sit on top of the English Premier League table with 5 points clear, ahead of their closest rival, Manchester City.