Why Chelsea need to bring back ‘The Special One’

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Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do has a cunning plan for Roman

As every fan knows, the range of tunes on which football chants are based is limited.

You have Go West, the paradoxically camp 70s disco anthem by the Village People which becomes repurposed as “Crap, and you know you are!”. There is the traditional hymn, Bread of Heaven (“Are you Tottenham in disguise?!”); a cheesy Italian Eurovision Song Contest entry from 1958 – Volare (“Vialli – wo-oh, Vialli – wo-oh-oh-ohh”); and a Cuban folk song about a saucy señorita from Guantanamo Bay – Guantanamera (“Sacked in the morning, you’re getting sacked in the morning”).

Frankly, I wish football fans would broaden their base of references. We Chelsea fans, for example, should pay attention to Steely Dan. The arch-70s pedlars of smart arse jazz-rock-soul have within their impressive oeuvre the perfect song on which to base a chant – The Boston Rag, with its chorus “Bring back the Boston rag/Tell all your buddies that it ain’t no drag” can easily be restyled as “Bring back the Special One”.

Because, let’s not kid ourselves, it is José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix we want to see back at Chelsea, not some lesser European careerist, or another former Stamford Bridge playing hero who will break our hearts when the inevitable phone call of dismissal comes from Roman’s office.

Life is more fun with Jose

Life was more fun with Jose around. True, the football may not necessarily have been, but no one went wanting for things to talk about. This week we’ve had a timely reminder of just what made Mourinho so special to begin with: it wasn’t his own inflated self-opinion, but his ability to disrupt – in the positive sense.

He’s had a difficult season at Real Madrid, but then life at the top clubs in Spain and Italy is rarely easy for anyone. But Real’s 3-1 Copa del Rey victory over Barcelona the other night was one to savour, not lest of which for the way it has set up the next El Clásico this Saturday night.

The irony is that it should come in the same week as Rafa Benitez – Mourniho’s sparring partner when they were rival managers in England – should emotionally implode once again as journalist bating and fan abuse got to him. But, here, the song should be “Rafa Benitez – we’ve been here before”.

Not for the first time, Benitez allowed emotion to get the better of him when he was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live last night. “At the end of the season, I will leave,” he heaved, adding sarcastically “[The fans] don’t need to be worrying about me”. To be honest, we weren’t. What Chelsea fans are worrying about is who comes in next – and when.

Countering fan hostility is one thing, but then openly criticising Roman Abramovich for naming him “interim first team manager” was downright stupid, and typical of the half-baked bombast Benitez is, sadly, capable of.

So, rather than facing the prospect of looking for a new coach at the end of the season, it is quite likely that Chelsea may be looking to appoint an interim-interim first team coach more immediately. Of note. come Monday it will be exactly a year to the day since Andre Villas Boas was relieved of his duties and Roberto Di Matteo appointed on an interim basis as well. Still following this?

The timing is certainly unfortunate, yet again: with the Blues facing Manchester United next in their defence of the FA Cup, and through to the final eight of the Europa League, not to mention still chasing the cherished top-four league position, the team focus shouldn’t be getting distracted by speculation about the next Chelsea manager.

Mourinho – who has expressed a desire to return to English football and is expected to leave Madrid in the summer – is currently odds-on favourite to return to Chelsea, although there is fairly decent betting currently on former Chelsea players like Gus Poyet (currently second favourite) and Gianfranco Zola, David Moyes, Cesare Prendelli, Michael Loudrup, even Avram Grant and Carlo Ancellotti (who could also be replaced at Paris-Saint Germain by Mourinho) getting the job.

Russian Roulette

The question is, who would be mad enough to take on the game of Russian Roulette that is managing Chelsea? Mourinho could do it with his eyes shut and we fans would love to see the capricious old sod back at the club. But would he want to go through all that personality nonsense with Abramovich again?

There is also the view that, as in life itself, in football you don’t go back a second time – “I don’t do sloppy seconds”, as Gareth Keenan so gracefully put it in The Office. He had a point. Second time around rarely works – there’s always a reason why it failed in the first place. So, if Chelsea do bring back the Special One, is it destined to end in tears?

Deep within our hearts, we know it would be right. Jose did become a monster of his own creation. He not only challenged Roman Abramovich’s authority but also his place in the pecking order. But, man alive, wouldn’t it be fun to have him back? Wasn’t football an insanely entertaining circus when Mourinho was patrolling the touchline, sliding to his knees when Chelsea scored, or scowling in the stands under UEFA sanction again?

Article originally published here.