Jose Mourinho's return for a second spell as Chelsea manager has been shouted from the rooftops for several months and now it has finally been confirmed.
Yet while it would be huge fun to see Mourinho back - not to mention making for a string of great stories for us - we at The Rundown firmly believe that the Portuguese boss is making a mistake.
And here's why:
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He can't possibly succeed
Mourinho is remembered - rightly - as a Chelsea legend, so what benefit could there possibly be in going back? If he succeeds his stock will be no higher than it already is; and if he fails, he could tarnish his reputation for good. Even if he wins the Champions League, the joy will be dialled down just a touch as the team have already scaled that peak with Roberto Di Matteo in 2012.
The players who made Mourinho's Chelsea great have all left, or are all has-beens
Didier Drogba is long gone. Claude Makelele and Michael Essien are rapidly-fading memories. What John Terry has lost in terms of pace he has made up for in unwelcome controversies. Frank Lampard is enjoying an 'Indian Summer' but turns 35 later this month.
Working for Abramovich again? Are you crazy?
Mourinho was forced out by Chelsea back in 2007 despite winning five trophies in three seasons. Since then eight different men have held the job, and from the looks of things the Russian oil tycoon is getting less patient rather than more. Mourinho can expect similar treatment to that received by Fabio Capello at Real Madrid: the Italian was fired by Real Madrid in 1997 despite winning the title. He returned 10 years later to give them another chance, and was fired despite again winning the title.
Why would you leave Real Madrid just as Barcelona are falling apart?
Football has always moved in cycles: the top dogs are there to be shot at, and sooner or later they always go into decline, or get caught up. At bit of both has happened with Barcelona this season, and Real are brilliantly placed to press home their advantage next season. Leaving Real now means Mourinho will be remembered as good-but-not-great manager of the Merengues. If he stayed on another year, won another Liga title, and perhaps even the 10th European crown the club so desperately want, and he'd have his own statue in the Bernabeu museum.
Never go back
Footballing returns never work out well - as everyone from Steve Coppell to Kenny Dalglish will tell you. Dalglish's tale of woe on his return as Liverpool manager was the stuff of nightmares. The Spanish even have a saying for it, just like we do, one which roughly translates as "second acts are never good".
He could be upstaged by his former charges
Mourinho, with, amongst others, a very ginger Andre Villas-Boas and a considerably less bald Steve Clarke, 200 …
Jose Mourinho in his first stint brought a lot of new ideas but some of his former charges will now be his rivals. Former opposition scout Andre Villas-Boas, after a fluffed stint at Chelsea, will be a local rival at Spurs. Steve Clarke, once his Chelsea assistant manager, is now at West Brom. Brendan Rodgers, who was head youth coach at the Chelsea academy during Mourinho's tenure, has progressed to Liverpool manager. Any of them could get one over on their old colleague.
The press aren't as nice as he remembers
Jose Mourinho believes the Spanish and Italian press are not as even-handed and fair as they are in the UK. Perhaps absence has made the heart grow fonder. Yes, they are all clamouring for his return to England now, but that's because he will sell their papers. And controversy sells better than success. The British media, now firmly in the social-networking era, will go to town on anything remotely controversial Mourinho says or does. Whether he still likes the coverage after a few months back in the thick of it remains to be seen.
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- Jose Mourinho
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