Thursday 22 March 2018

When Jose Mourinho talks of love, he means power

Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea
Jose Mourinho is back at Chelsea

Dion Fanning

As a man practised in the art of seduction, Jose Mourinho is talking about something else when he talks about love.

There are many reasons put forward for his relative failure at Real Madrid - or at least the perception that he’d failed-but one theory suggests that Madrid didn’t take to the idea that the world was against them. Real Madrid, an aristocratic beauty, couldn’t get with the notion that only Mourinho’s attentions were saving them from a life of loneliness and despair.

At Chelsea, he won’t have these problems as they flee a loveless union with Rafa Benitez. But there will be other difficulties.

Football is said to be undergoing a statistical revolution. Evidence and maths will take the place of hunches in the new world. Yet there is a way to go when some of the arguments against Mourinho’s return to Chelsea simply involve the repetition of the phrase “They say you should never go back.”

Mourinho’s return won’t bring problems of itself but Chelsea’s desire for him could yet create difficulties.

If Mourinho had gone to Manchester United, he would have had a responsibility not to be the anarchic presence those who opposed his appointment said he would be.

As a great actor, he could easily have played that role. At Chelsea, there is no restriction apart from the sceptical eye of Roman Abramovich who will feel he is entitled to disregard the views of the fans if this remarriage doesn’t go well.

When Benitez was in charge they chanted that they wanted their Chelsea back. They didn’t want to lose their billionaire owner so the Chelsea they wanted back was a club where the owner’s whims and their own merge. Will they continue to chant for Roberto Di Matteo even though his sacking eventually allowed Mourinho to return or will he now be forgotten?

Mourinho is holding them close now, telling them all the things they were desperate to hear, making Chelsea feel like the only club in the world. He has them where he wants them. When Jose Mourinho talks about love, he is talking about power.

Read Dion Fanning on Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premiership in the Sunday Independent

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