Mourinho. Followed by, Grant, Scolari, Hiddink, Ancelotti, Villas-Boas, Di Matteo, Benitez, and finally Mourinho again.
Sometimes you need to date a few losers to really appreciate your old girlfriend. Maybe you saw glimmers of long-term vitality with one or two of the other girls (Oh, Guus Hiddink, what could have been), but you were really just chasing what you had with that former flame.
So now Mourinho is back, and his arrival alone has provided enough excitement to fuel what has been a comparatively quiet summer.
That is not to say there isn’t a bit of trepidation, the reminiscent sting of those other failed relationships, but if this transfer window is any indication, Mourinho is here for the long haul.
Schurrle and Van Ginkel are Chelsea’s two marquee signings this offseason, with only Schurrle being a known quantity, or at least, as known of a quantity as any 22 year old can be.
Let’s also apply the term “marquee” rather loosely here, not that these are not impressive signings, both should prove to be quality players, but it is hard to hold them up to the other names being snatched up by Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.
However, when you add them the list of Lukaku, De Bruyne, and Essien, you start to see the blueprint for what Mourinho is trying to build.
Frequently over the course of the summer, the Special One has had to reiterate that he will not be selling any other players to make room for the new and returning additions.
In sharp contrast to previous managers, who were quick to make their mark with high priced acquisitions, it is clear that Mourinho is building the foundation for a long-term dynasty on the back of Chelsea’s wealth of young talent. We may still see the addition of a marquee striker, but thatquite literally affects the end result rather than the foundation.
This quiet offseason is a welcome change of pace and surely can be seen as a sign of the Special One’s long term plans at the club.
Ever the master strategist, Mourinho knows better than to roll the dice entirely on young players, many of which are still somewhat unproven on the European stage.
The admission that he implored Lampard to stay with the Blues while he was still at Madrid shows that there will be veteran leadership in place to steady the ship.
It is comforting to know that the younger players will get to learn from the likes of Lampard, Cole, Terry (okay, maybe only listen to JT’s lessons for on-field behavior), and Essien. Combine a quiet offseason with Chelsea’s incumbent talent; add a sense of stability and all of the sudden you have what should be a potent recipe for success in the 13/14 campaign.
Welcome back Jose Mourinho, you were certainly missed.