BLOG: Mourinho’s strategic plan for European victory


It is no secret that Chelsea’s charismatic coach Jose Mourinho returned to his former post in west London last summer for one reason and one reason alone and that was to do the very thing he failed to do first time around – win the Champions League with Chelsea.

He called it his “unfinished business.”

Not too shabby-a first season back, “the Special One” finished the Blues’ European challenge as Champions League runners-up following a solid defensive campaign which saw them pipped to the post in the semi-final by La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho and his boys in blue were also part of a very gruelling three horse race for the Premier League title and during the last couple of months right up until the very last few fixtures of the season, the trophy could have been anyone’s between Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City –  it went to Manuel Pellegrini’s Man City.

Not one known for his patience and not one to do things by halves, Mourinho is the type of manager who thrives on winning, and winning instantly.

Everywhere he has managed in the past, he has won, and in his first season in charge, too. He did it in England, he did it in Portugal, he did it in Italy and he did it in Spain.

Having failed on his second stint at Stamford Bridge, the Portuguese gaffer was frustrated no end, that was very apparent.

I can’t help thinking a big part of his frustration stemmed from the fact his nemesis, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger – who Mourinho had branded earlier in the season “a specialist in failure” – proved himself a champion coach for the first time in nine years and won the FA Cup.

Mourinho cannot and will not fail again next season, after all, he is a winner.  And he wants the Champions League title as Chelsea boss more than anything.

He edged so close last season with very mediocre strike force, which was a remarkable achievement. When you consider his three strikers Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba scored less goals collectively than Luis Suarez of Liverpool, he has boldly pulled out the big guns in order to ensure he is hot favourite to hit the jackpot next year.

To win the biggest tournament in Europe, Mourinho knows he needs to field players who have vast amounts of experience in major European competitions. He needs players who have dealt with the high-pressure stages of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, time and time again.

Mourinho’s strategic moves for three specific attacking players – playmaker Cesc Fabregas, who he brought in from Barcelona; striker Diego Costa, who he signed from Atletico, and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, who he tempted back into the Chelsea fold from Galatasaray, demonstrate exactly how Mourinho is planning ahead.

These are the very players who will command the Chelsea attack force in his Champions League final (and knowing the hell-bent determination of Mourinho, he will get there), next season.

All three have a wealth of Champions League experience between them and are all proven major tournament star-performers and winners. For example, it is easy to see why he made a play for Costa – eight Champions League goals over nine fixtures last season and he was one of the key men to fire Atletico to victory in the semi-final against Chelsea.

For the past twelve months Mourinho has been calling Chelsea a “team in transition” and set to work rebuilding the side in the wake of a string of hit-and-miss results under an embarrassingly-long list of hired-and-fired managers since he left the club for Italy in 2008.

Now fully equipped with a complete set – accomplished strikers, a quality creative midfield, and the ever-solid Blues back-four, I predict Mourinho is set for his most explosive European season yet as Chelsea first team coach and champion.