Asks Simon Poulter of the award winning What Would David Bowie Do blog
Over the last couple of weeks sports journalists have been trying their best to construct the richest analogy to cover the Will he? Won’t he? Surely he will…? speculation surrounding Jose Mourinho’s supposed or actual return to Chelsea.
Most – actually, all of them – have tried to position coach and club as star-crossed lovers, destined for each other regardless of the more rational arguments as to whether it will be a success second time around.
Whether Chelsea need Mourinho or Mourinho needs Chelsea is not completely clear. We all probably agree that Chelsea need a manager like Mourinho, but is ‘sloppy seconds’ really wise? What Chelsea do need, however, is someone who will deliver trophies , galvanise the fans and, if everyone can just play together nicely this time, provide consistent success over a longer period of time than the current standard length of service of nine months before Abramovich gives his white cat a stroke and presses the button in front of him marked ‘Kill’.
The Mourinho/Chelsea, Chelsea/Mourinho thing may be correctly compared to a showbiz affair between the ill-matched (Rihanna and her charming beau Chris Brown come to mind, but according to The Sun they’ve just split up) but it is only a part of the wider drama playing out at Stamford Bridge, which does come across as a homo-erotic soap opera:
Roman wanted Carlo, but Carlo wouldn’t leave the relationship he was in, so he got Jose instead. Then, after a massive argument caused by Jose showing off too much, Roman kicked Jose out and brought in Avram. Now Avram may have been old and slow and a tad dull, but didn’t do too badly. However, he still had to go. In his place came an exotic Brazilian, Luiz Felipe, but that didn’t work out at all, and they had to bring in Guus. However, Guus said he would only stay a short while, and so it was back it was back to the drawing board.
Actually, it was back to Carlo again, who this time said yes, and everything went well, until it stopped going well, and even Carlo had to go. Then came André, who was a lot younger than all the others, but had boundless youthful energy. Except he didn’t work out, and Roman had to ask Robbie to take over temporarily, then permanently, and then he was shown the door, to be replaced by an unemployed Spanish waiter with a very high opinion of himself, who will soon be packing his bags to make way for Jose to come back.
Tonight there will be a further twist when young André comes back, now with his new family, to take revenge on Frank Lampard whom he says “never supported me” and to leave a horse’s head or something like it on Roman’s pillow.
Plot twists aside, the return of football’s self-appointed Special One to Chelsea – despite the press having universally made up its mind that it’s a done deal, that Jose is in love with Chelsea, and Chelsea is in love with Jose – is nowhere near clear-cut.
Expensive release clauses at Real Madrid, the future working relationship with Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s technical director, the desire to play strong, physically imposing players rather than the diminutive but fleet-of-foot forwards currently running rings around defenders, are all possible hurdles to the Second Coming. The relationship between Roman and Jose has, according to those in the know, dramatically thawed, but for Mourinho to come back there will need to be some significant obeisance on both sides.
In the days of hippy free love, Stephen Stills wrote the immortal lines: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with”. In the case of Jose Mourinho, there can be no alternative squeeze. His avowed affection for the English game, not to mention the none-too-subtle eyelid flashing towards his former club in south-west London, might signify that he and Chelsea are so mutually drawn to each other that a reconciled second marriage can be the only outcome. After all, who else would be willing to get drawn into Roman’s mayhem?
Which brings me back to press analogies. Let proffer my own: Mourinho and Chelsea are the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of football. Or…the Den and Angie of football; the JR and Sue Ellen of football; the Kat and Alfie of football; or the Liam and Noel of…well, you get the idea.
Article originally published here.