Jose Mourinho was officially unveiled as the new Chelsea manager this afternoon and was immediately keen to stress that he will be at Stamford Bridge for the long haul – but is he the man to bring the stability that the Blues have lacked since his first reign?
The Portuguese boss has signed a four-year contract with the club with whom he won two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup between 2004 and 2007, and nine years after his infamous first press conference as Chelsea boss, the former Real Madrid manager was keen to portray a calmer, wiser persona.
Rather than ‘the Special One’, Mourinho stated he was ‘the Happy One’ at being given a second chance to manage the club he called ‘the only place I want to be’, and the ex-Inter boss made a big play on the need for stability at this point in his career.
“Now I am prepared for that because, to be fair, before I wasn’t,” he said.
“I was in a position to say which league I prefer, which mentality I prefer. So now it’s up to me to work hard and show my club that I deserve to be here for a long time. I have a contract for four years and I hope to go to the last day of that and if the club then wants to keep me, I’ll be happy.”
Chelsea have been through ten managers in the ten years since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003 yet Mourinho refuted claims that he and the Russian owner will not be able to repair a working relationship that seemed to break down when the former Porto coach departed in September 2007.
“We are ready to work together again. We have much better conditions to succeed and deliver what this club wants, which is stability,” said Mourinho. “Now I am prepared for that. Before I wasn’t. Today is June 10th, Portuguese Day. I always loved adventure in the past, I was always a bit of an explorer.”
And with Abramovich’s history of dispensing of managers, often on a whim, bwin go 3/1 that Mourinho has left Chelsea by August 1st, 2014. It is 1/5 that he remains in his post by that date.
bwin are also betting on how Mourinho will perform during the forthcoming 2013/14, and Chelsea have been priced up as 9/4 joint-second favourites to win the Premier League, the same price as Manchester City and just behind 21/10 favourites Manchester United.
Chelsea are 6/1 to win the FA Cup (behind joint 11/2 favourites Manchester United and Manchester City) and are 9/1 fourth-favourites to repeat their 2012 success and win the Champions League – in the process making Mourinho the first man to win the European Cup with three different teams.
It is even money that Chelsea win a trophy of any description (not including the European Super Cup), while bwin go 18/25 that Mourinho’s first season back at the helm is a fruitless one.