AS Roma's decision to part ways with Jose Mourinho after a tenure spanning two and a half years hardly comes as a surprise, given the Portuguese manager's penchant for brief stints at clubs. This development, however, raises a compelling question: Should Chelsea entertain the idea of bringing back their most successful manager for a third time?
Currently languishing in ninth place in the league, CFC is grappling with on-field struggles and inconsistent performances across various competitions, leaving fans questioning the team's progress since the previous season. The Blues' lack of a discernible identity on the pitch, coupled with an absence of a definitive style of play, prompts speculation about the potential impact of reintroducing a revered figure like Mourinho.
Reflecting on Mourinho's two tenures at Stamford Bridge provides a statistical insight into his previous success with Chelsea. Over 321 games managed, he secured an impressive 204 victories, complemented by 69 draws and 48 losses. Notably, Mourinho clinched eight trophies during his time at the helm, including three Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup, and a Community Shield.
His initial stint saw Chelsea secure their first top-flight title in 50 years, amassing a record 95-point haul. Mourinho continued his success by retaining the Premier League title in the subsequent season, along with other domestic trophies. However, an unexpected departure in 2007 marked a hiatus of nine years before his return.
During his second coming to West London, Mourinho guided the Blues to a third-place finish in his first season, followed by an EFL Cup and Premier League double in the subsequent term. Nevertheless, a downturn in his third campaign, marked by a mere 11 points in the initial 12 Premier League games, led to Mourinho's departure in December 2015. Considering CFC's current form, a third spell for Mourinho is not entirely implausible.
The prospect of reintroducing Mourinho holds promise for Chelsea's defensive frailties. The seasoned manager's expertise is expected to fortify the team's defensive capabilities, instilling the ability to grind out games and secure victories in crucial moments. The team, grappling with late goals and relinquishing leads, stands to benefit from Mourinho's defensive acumen, given his intimate knowledge of Chelsea and the Premier League.
However, it's notable that the Portuguese's managerial trajectory has shown a consistent decline since his departure from Chelsea, reflected in a diminishing win percentage with each new club. During his stint at AS Roma, Mourinho's win percentage settled at 49.3%, while his 1.70 points-per-game record marked a low for the club since 2013.
Acknowledging Mourinho's challenges at clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and AS Roma due to limited resources, the emphasis remains on his notable achievements. This includes guiding Roma to their first European trophy in the UEFA Conference League and leading them to the Europa League final, albeit controversially losing to Sevilla. Drawing parallels, the comparison extends to Carlo Ancelotti, who faced initial challenges at Napoli and Everton before achieving success at Real Madrid, underscoring the significance of board support and squad quality.
Despite potential hesitations, The Special One's return hinges on the willingness of the new ownership to diverge from a long-term project model. Accepting a short-term stint aligns with Mourinho's managerial ethos, and it could offer a pragmatic solution for Chelsea to regain organizational stability and discipline.
As Mauricio Pochettino struggles to imprint his style on the young Chelsea team, a lack of structure, identifiable patterns, and a discernible identity persist. While Pochettino's position seems secure for now, a potential exit might loom if improvement is not evident, especially with the looming EFL Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough and the threat of finishing outside European spots by season's end.
Although a third spell at Stamford Bridge mid-season appears unlikely, Chelsea's end-of-season trajectory could pave the way for Mourinho's return. While not a universally popular choice, it may be a pragmatic move to steady the ship and navigate Chelsea back to success.