2004 – 2007 (Chelsea FC)

José Mourinho has finished his time in portuguese giant FC Porto winning the Champions League Final in Gelsenkirchen against Monaco (3 – 0). It was the end of two and half amazing years where he won 2 Portuguese Leagues, 1 Portuguese Cup, 1 Supercup and of course the Uefa Cup (2003) and the Champions League (2004).  So he looked for new challenges and Chelsea FC it was the next.

Mourinho moved to Chelsea in June 2004, becoming one of the highest paid managers in football with a salary of £4.2 million a year, subsequently raised in 2005 to £5.2 million.In a press conference upon joining the English side, Mourinho said:

“Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m European champion and I think I’m a special one,” become after that day knowed by “The Special One”.

Mourinho recruited his backroom staff from Porto, consisting of assistant manager Baltemar Brito, fitness coach Rui Faria, chief scout André Villas-Boas, and goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro. He retained the services of Steve Clarke, a long-serving former player at Chelsea, who had also performed an assistant managerial-type role under previous managers at the club. In terms of spending, Mourinho carried on where his predecessor Claudio Ranieri left off, as, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich, he spent in excess of £70 million in transfer fees on players such as Tiago (£10 million) from Benfica, Michael Essien (£24.4 million) from Olympique Lyonnais, Didier Drogba(£24 million) from Olympique de Marseille, Mateja Kežman (£5.4 million) from PSV, and Porto pair Ricardo Carvalho (£19.8 million) andPaulo Ferreira (£13.3 million).

Rui Faria, Mourinho, André Villas Boas, Silvino, Steve Clarke and Baltemar Brito

Under Mourinho, Chelsea built on the potential developed in the previous season. By early December, they were at the top of the Premier League table and had reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League. He secured his first trophy by winning the League Cupagainst Liverpool 3–2 (AET) in Cardiff. Towards the end of the match, Mourinho was escorted from the touchline after putting his finger to his mouth in the direction of Liverpool fans, as a response to taunts directed towards him whilst Liverpool were leading, before the equalising goal.

The club added more trophies as they secured their first top-flight domestic title in 50 years, setting a string of English football records in the process, including the most points ever achieved in the Premier League (95), and the fewest goals conceded (15). He failed, however, to achieve back-to-back Champions League successes when Chelsea were knocked out of the competition by a controversial goal in the semi-finals by eventual winners Liverpool.

Chelsea started the next season well. They defeated Arsenal 2–1 to win the FA Community Shield, and topped the Premier League from the first weekend of the 2005–06 season. Chelsea beat rivals Manchester United 3–0 to win their second consecutive Premiership title and Mourinho’s fourth domestic title in a row. After the presentation of his championship medal, Mourinho threw his medal and blazer into the crowd. He was awarded a second medal within minutes which he also threw into the crowd.

FA Community Shield, Premier League and Football League Cup (2004/05)

The signing of Ukrainian striker Andriy Shevchenko in the summer of 2006 for a club record fee would also prove to be a point of contention between Mourinho and Abramovich. Shevchenko, at the time of his signing, was one of the most highly regarded strikers in Europe during his time with Milan, where he won the Champions League, Scudetto, andBallon d’Or awards in his seven years in Milan. Chelsea had attempted to sign Shevchenko in the preceding two years but Milan rebuffed Abramovich’s interest in him. Shevchenko’s first season at Chelsea was viewed as a major disappointment by the Chelsea fans as he only scored four league goals and 14 in all competitions. Shevchenko’s strike partner, Didier Drogba, had the highest scoring season of his career that year and this led Shevchenko to be dropped from the starting line-up towards the end of the season by Mourinho. Notably, in the Champions League match at Anfield, Shevchenko was not even included on the bench. Abramovich’s insistence on Mourinho playing the Ukrainian was widely viewed as a further source of friction between the two men. Shevchenko’s signing was not the only one for Chelsea, however, as German captain Michael Ballack was also signed to strengthen the midfield on free agent from Bayern Munich. The Icelandic striker Eiður Guðjohnsen, an important player for Chelsea under Ranieri and Mourinho, departed the club for FC Barcelona.

The 2006–07 season saw growing media speculation that Mourinho would leave the club at the season’s conclusion, due to alleged poor relations with owner Roman Abramovich and a power struggle with sporting director Frank Arnesen and Abramovich advisor Piet de Visser. Mourinho later cleared doubts regarding his future at Stamford Bridge, stating that there would only be two ways for him to leave Chelsea: if Chelsea were not to offer him a new contract in June 2010, and if Chelsea were to sack him. He then launched an ambitious campaign for all four trophies available with the aim of becoming the first club in English football to complete “the quadruple”.

Despite the unrest, Chelsea, under Mourinho, won the League Cup again by defeating Arsenal FC in the final at the Millennium Stadium. The possibility, however, of the quadruple was brought to an end on 1 May 2007 when Liverpool eliminated Chelsea from the UEFA Champions League on penalties at Anfield, following a 1–1 aggregate draw. Days later, Chelsea drew 1–1 with Arsenal FC at the Emirates Stadium on 6 May 2007 in a league match, which secured the Premier League title for Manchester United. This was Mourinho’s first season without a league title win in five years. Mourinho led Chelsea to a 1–0 victory against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final, winning in the first final to be played at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium. This was his first FA Cup win which meant that he had won every domestic trophy available to a Premier League manager. There was, however, to be further friction between himself and Abramovich when Avram Grant was appointed as Director of Football, despite objections from Mourinho. Grant’s position was further enhanced by being given a seat on the board. In spite of these tensions, the 2007–08 transfer season would see the departure of Dutch winger Arjen Robben to Real Madrid and French midfielder Florent Malouda moved to Chelsea. Shevchenko was linked with a return to Milan but he remained at Chelsea for another year.

In the first match of the 2007–08 season, Chelsea beat Birmingham City 3–2 to set a new record of 64 consecutive home league matches without defeat, surpassing the record set by Liverpool between 1978 and 1981.Despite this feat, Chelsea’s start to the 2007–08 season was not as successful as previous starts. The team lost at Aston Villa and followed this with a goalless draw at home to Blackburn Rovers. Their opening game in the UEFA Champions League saw them only manage a 1–1 home draw against the Norwegian team Rosenborg BK in front of an almost half-empty stadium. Shevchenko scored Chelsea’s only goal in that match.

Mourinho unexpectedly left Chelsea on 20 September 2007 “by mutual consent,” although there had been a series of disagreements with chairman Roman Abramovich. The Chelsea board held an emergency meeting and decided it was time to part with their manager. Mourinho left as the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history, having won six trophies for the club in three years. He was also undefeated in all home league games. Avram Grant succeeded José Mourinho as Chelsea manager but failed to win any trophies in his year in charge, although he reached the final of the Champions League – something Mourinho failed to achieve in his three years at Chelsea – and League Cup, and maintained the unbeaten home streak in the Stamford Bridge. Grant’s Chelsea also finished second in the Premier League.

JOSÉ MOURINHO – CHELSEA FC

June (2004) to September (2007)

Titles (6):

  • Premier League (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
  • FA Cup (1): 2006–07
  • Football League Cup (2): 2004–05, 2006–07
  • FA Community Shield (1): 2005

Chairman/Owner: Roman Abramovich

Assistant Coach: Rui Faria, Baltemar Brito, Silvino, André Villas Boas, Steve Clarke

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