Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, October 04, 2007


By Zulquarnain Islam

Holding Roman Abramovic's statements to be true, if Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side had played with even half of the zeal and unpredictability that characterised his exit from Stamford Bridge, he would still have his job and this article would never have been written.

But that is not the case.
Jose, as hard as it may be to digest, will from now on be spoken of in the past tense at least as far as Chelsea and the Premiership is concerned.

There will be no more out-worldly comments, no more wit and insolence and certainly a lot less finger-pointing towards referees and fellow managers alike.

And going by general consensus he will be sorely missed.

The reasons are simple.
Jose came into the English game and flavoured it up with a mixture of wit, charisma and most importantly a devil may care but I am the best attitude. Journalists who had previously had to come with the dry irony of Arsene Wenger, the introverted Rafa Benitez and the in-your-face attitudes of home grown talents like Big Sam Allardyce and Alex Ferguson, were taken.

His entrance with now (in) famous 'I am a special one' raised more than a few eyebrows and charmed a few hundred more.

But however arrogant it may have seemed Mourinho unlike many before him had the ability and the success to back it up.

He delivered the Premiership where many before him had failed bringing success after nearly half a century to the Blues.

Ultimately his failure to win the European Cup a second time may have proved his undoing more than his style of play which unlike his demeanour off the pitch was highly pragmatic and reclusive.

But as one journalist so rightly put it, Jose was a man for the media and ultimately it may be the press men who will miss him more than the English Premiership.

For while his efforts in transforming Chelsea into a team of some stature and building the reputations of players like Terry and Lampard and Drogba the stuff of folklore, it can safely be said that Chelsea may and probably will survive inspite of him.

Abramovic's antics may play a role in destruction and Mourinho's departure may be the beginning of the end but in the end as Kenyon so rightly put it, 'Chelsea is bigger than Mourinho.'

So while many a columnist will be shedding a tear, many a fan be protesting silently and Mourinho himself enjoying his time out of the limelight, the world will go on.

Jose's exit too was absolutely Mourinho. Controversy defined and timed to perfection leaving Chelsea in the biggest possible quandary while leaving in a trail of hail, gunfire and a lot of love and affection from the fans. To them he will always be simply the best.

So even though Jose may be merely mortal, the English Premiership will for now be a league less extraordinary.

For they have definitely lost one of their brightest star.

What are your views about Jose Mourinho's departure?
(Mail them in at zulquarnain.islam@gmail.com)


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