After putting pressure on Pochettino, Jose Mourinho discusses a potential Chelsea comeback.

Speaking about a potential Chelsea return after putting pressure on Pochettino, Jose Mourinho

It’s possible to recruit Jose Mourinho again. The two-time Chelsea manager was fired from his third position in 2018 after struggling for a third straight season. The timing couldn’t have been more intriguing.

The 60-year-old is returning from two mainly cathartic years spent in Rome, where he led the team to the Europa League final, the Europa Conference League triumph, and the solidification of the team’s standing as a top four contender. Even though he didn’t get higher than sixth, the atmosphere in the Italian city completely changed.

A club that has battled since the mid-2010s to live up to its history was given new life under Mourinho. He operated on a tight budget and brought in young players—something he had mostly gained notoriety for failing to do elsewhere. The transfer of Tammy Abraham in 2021 verified the connection between Roma, Chelsea, and their former head coach. Romelu Lukaku’s season-long loan there only made it better.

Mourinho is currently unemployed once more. While some may argue that his financial support—or lack thereof—and the fact that Roma is only five points below Fiorentia in fourth place make this decision harsh, his situation became untenable due to a five-game losing streak and contract uncertainty. Mourinho’s contract was set to expire at the end of the season, but it has now been shortened.

The manager, who initially introduced himself as the “special one” but was later recognised by all as “the special one,” had been eager to persevere through challenging times in this new initiative. Just last month, he declared, “I want to stay at Roma.” But he went on, “And if I stay at Roma we’ve got to really think hard about the limitations we have in terms of financial fair play, because maybe it’s better to work with younger players and give them some chances.”

Compared to players who have nothing left to improve, it might offer a chance for growth. I want to go on, and I’m willing to try something else.

He made a similar statement last year. “I have the option to leave in December 2022, but I chose not to; this is my life; there is a game every day,” he remarked. “Although it may seem like we are having difficulties at times, we are still very strong in comparison to everyone else.”

His departure comes amid a time of uncertainty at Chelsea, which hasn’t been unusual for Mourinho or the team in the previous eighteen months. However, things are no longer recognisable due to the complete absence of identity developed thus far under the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital administration and the larger changes that have taken place throughout the years after Mourinho’s second exit in 2015.

Fans find it impossible to ignore, and Mourinho’s three league titles during his two stints of success are closely linked to better times. He has continued to be a favourite even after the contentious firing eight years ago, and his remarks in the wake have further strengthened this.

Speaking last year, he was questioned about Chelsea’s future in light of Graham Potter’s criticism. “To answer your question, yes, I do have someone who I would love to replace’my Chelsea,’ but I keep my mouth shut,” he said to Sky Sports.

“The team has advanced to the point where Chelsea will always be Chelsea, regardless of who they play with. The sound of success and enjoyment will always be present because Chelsea will always be large and my house will always be 200 metres from the stadium. That’s how I’m pretty sure it will turn out.

He has also talked affectionately about the Blues on other occasions. Twelve months before, he had declared again, “Of course, my English connection is Chelsea, that’s the way I see things, as a Chelsea man after two periods of Chelsea and six years.” While he was at Tottenham, he also gave the team appreciation.

“I’ve been to really large clubs with excellent setups,” he remarked. “Chelsea, excellent circumstances; United, Madrid, and Inter all the same.”

During the summer, he was also questioned regarding the prospect of working for SW6 a third time. Mourinho retorted, “I don’t talk to friends, comrades, or journalists.” “That is his perception if our CEO [Pietro] Berardi stated a few months ago that he was certain I would stay.

“I’m not talking to anyone if Mr. Zazzaroni, the journalist, says what he said this time around was just his interpretation. From a contractual standpoint, it is evident that I have one year remaining on my contract.

“Contracts aren’t always the most important thing in football; football is football.” Everything is well, no worries, the most crucial game is always the following one.

The former manager of Manchester United and Tottenham also made a lighthearted quip about Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea squad in 2021: “I don’t think coaching at Chelsea is all that tough because I was a champion three times, as was Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte.

“We won titles there, so it can’t be that difficult. Excellent coaches are delighted to work with these teams and players who offer you a fantastic chance to succeed and win trophies. Chelsea consistently has excellent players and squads.

He was less forthcoming when he was hired by Tottenham in 2019. “No, I think they have to see me as Mr Inter, Mr Real Madrid, Mr Porto, I think they have to see me as Mr Club,” he said when asked if the supporters saw him as “Mr Chelsea.” This means that, as I used to joke, whenever I went to a club, I would arrive, wear the club’s pyjamas, and I would even sleep in the pyjamas.

“I’m not Chelsea, I’m not Manchester United, I’m not Real Madrid, and I’m not Inter,” he continued. I’m going to give everything I have here because I am all of them and I give everything to all of them.

When asked if he loved Chelsea too much to manage Tottenham, Mourinho responded, “That was before I was sacked! That is football in the present era. Finally, he said, “There’s not a bigger, let’s say fan than me in the world who wants Spurs to win and be successful. I can be really happy here, make people happy.” Not more than me, but maybe the same as me. Chelsea, then, represents the past—a glorious past—two eras, two eras marked by titles. However, that was then.

Things aren’t going easy for Mauricio Pochettino, and it’s a part of a larger problem that has been going on for the past two years. His followers are furious with him because they feel he hasn’t made the most of a talented squad that looks promising. But, unlike Chelsea managers in the past who have been given teams who have proven themselves, won medals, and taken home trophies, the present group hardly has any of that history.

There is a divide between supporters and those in positions of authority, even if is aware that he is not under any imminent pressure or in danger of losing his job. Long-term, that won’t keep supporters of Stamford Bridge from shunning him, even though it will partially mitigate their outrage at his performances and outcomes thus far this season. However, it does make Mourinho’s allure much more difficult to resist.

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