Jose Mourinho returns to the Premier League once again at the Stamford Bridge helm. The Chelsea manager won the title twice during his first stint but left under a cloud of disappointment, the Champions League a long way from his grasp.
Now he’s back and with this squad is more than ready to challenge Manchester United and Manchester City for the title. Here are five things he must get right to justify Chelsea’s status as one of the favourites in the Premier League title betting:
1. Re-arrange the defence
Mourinho was the master of shutting down games when his Blues side went a goal or two up and although he’s developed a more attacking flair at Real Madrid his main priority remains not to concede.
The Portuguese boss recently confirmed John Terry as captain but don’t be surprised if he drafts in a decent centre-half to challenge Gary Cahill, with David Luiz possibly pushing into defensive midfield.
2. Please the press
Over 250 journalists crammed into the press conference for Mourinho’s official unveiling on Monday and they enjoyed a love-hate relationship with him during his first tenure. The press currently love Jose – he’s at least a story to write about over preseason – but he’ll put his foot in it from time to time next term. Keeping the right side of the press is vital for his and Chelsea’s credibility.
3. Buy a striker
Chelsea boast Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku but have few other options, with Fernando Torres poised to depart the club. Mourinho needs a target man the other two can feed off and Edin Dzeko or Stevan Jovetic would be great additions to the squad. As for Torres, his Stamford Bridge soiree is surely at an end.
4. Win a trophy
Chelsea are a good price with Titan Bet to win the league this season but could also challenge for European honours if Mourinho gets his house in order. This team has a great defence and one of the most exciting attacking midfields in Europe, an asset that should earn them at least a domestic cup if not more.
5. Sort out Juan Mata
There are rumblings in the press that Juan Mata is on his way out of Chelsea, which would be a real shame. It’s not just his talent that makes him such a valuable player but his attitude is right up there with the best professionals in sport. Like Oscar he rarely moans or mouths off at the referee, instead letting his feet do the talking.
If Mata leaves, Mourinho must find a better replacement and few of those are available this summer.