Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Thu 20 September 2007

Wanted: Head Coach, Chelsea FC...

Life is full of little surprises, to say nothing of big ones. Like many of you (at least those of you living in the UK), I woke this morning to hear that Jose Mourinho had parted company with Chelsea Football Club. Not something I was expecting, but then neither were most level-headed, sane football fans.

The reason why 'The Chosen One' (hereafter to be known as 'The Unemployed One') left Chelsea is still unclear, but give it about a month or so and you should find all the details being splashed across the sports pages of your favourite daily newspaper. One thing you can be sure of with Mourinho is that he doesn't keep his mouth closed for long.

In the meantime, where does all this leave us, the shell-shocked followers of Premier League football? Well my first thoughts surround who Chelsea are going to recruit as a replacement.

Various names are already being bandied around as you'd expect, one of which, rather bewilderingly, is Jurgen Klinsmann. Don't get me wrong - he did a good job of guiding the German national team to third place in the last World Cup, but he has no experience of coaching at club level which, to be fair, is a completely different thing altogether.

Next up, you have to ask yourself how quickly Chelsea will snap up their new manager. Though Roman Abramovich's millions and Mourinho's know-how quickly helped The Blues win much in the way of silverware, it has to be said that recently their fortunes have started to whither.

Last season saw no Premier League title retained and no success in Europe while this season has started in, let's say, 'unspectacular' fashion. Mourinho's departure has now brought that slide firmly into focus and as a club which has generated millions of pounds in revenue around the world in recent years, Abramovich will be more than well aware that time is of the essence.

And then finally there's Mourinho himself. In a strange sort of way, I shall miss him. Yes, he could act like tempestuous teenager with an attitude problem at times, but he also had that very rare quality amongst Premier League managers these days - persona.

Back in the days when I was growing up, strong personalities could be found at the head of many top-flight football clubs. Brian Clough, Don Revie, Bill Shankly, Tommy Docherty… they could all be guaranteed to liven the game up a bit with their strong opinions and stronger will to succeed. And who are we left with now that Mourinho's gone? Arsene Wenger. I know… depressing, isn't it?

Yes, the world of football will be a less interesting place while we wait for Jose Mourinho to take up his next managerial assignment. One thing's for certain, though - he'll be much in demand from now on, particularly among the other multi-millionaires running some of the world's best football clubs.

STOP PRESS... Since this article was written, Chelsea have appointed their Director of Football, Avram Grant as permanent replacement for José Mourinho.

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