Jose Mourinho has left Stamford Bridge. It sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. He is reported to have parted company with Chelsea by mutual consent. The stern, no-nonsense Portuguese will no longer be seen, at least for now, guiding the Blues to victory. Throughout his three-year stint at Stamford Bridge, he proved himself to be a great coach, almost without a peer in the whole wide world. Having led relatively unknown Porto to Champions League victory in 2004, Mourinho then established himself as the coach to beat. In the Premiership and in Europe, the name Mourinho excited fascination. Those who love do so with the reverence reserved only for a god and those who hate him do so with venom. But in either case, Mourinho fascinates both admirers and detractors. He gives his soul to his job and in return he gets incredible successes. That is par for the course for people who know their own minds. Mourinho has a clear idea of how to win and spares no effort to get his boys to win and win and win. He created both Porto and Chelsea in his own image – his resilience, his purposefulness and his solid character. Each time Chelsea won on the pitch, it was Mourinho’s invincible spirit that won. It’s doubtful if Chelsea will still be the same again after his exit. He is not indispensable, but Chelsea have never had it so good – and may never have it so good – as it was in the days of Mourinho. Believe it or not, he was the tonic that kept Chelsea going. His force of personality is so strong that he apparently seemed on each occasion to will the team to victory. But such people who are so high driven are difficult to manage when they don’t seem to have their way. They always crave for a free hand to produce result. When this is lacking, they grow restless and want out – just as he has. With such people controversies usually dog their every footstep. And Mourinho had so many but washed off him as water off a duck’s back. He brought glamour to the coaching job, and on his own merit turned himself into a cult personality – something no other coach has been able to do in the history of football. Normally, it is the players who are celebrities, with the coaches often in the background. But all that changed with Mourinho – he became a mega-star in his own right. His fans all over the world will miss him sorely – his antics, his forthrightness, his uncanny ability to read a match and know when to introduce a player who makes the difference. But they will all look forward to seeing him calling the shots in another club. This is a reasonable expectation – how can a super-coach like Mourinho be jobless?

Gemma Casey

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