It's almost become a yearly pastime for the English media at this point, but the "Jose Mourinho to come home to Chelsea" stories and rumours are here again! It's a dangerous time of year. Most, if not all, Chelsea fans would give their eye teeth to see the Portuguese back on his throne, but we have to be careful to not go overboard.
You can almost set your watch by it. Every year, as the season approaches the three-quarters point, and Chelsea are seeking yet another manager in the summer, the English media put two and two together and link The Special One with his once-promised return home to Chelsea. Five-and-a-half years on and jobs at Internazionale and Real Madrid later, they've yet to be correct. In fact, both The Daily Mail and The Sun are running stories to that effect at the moment. What's there to say they're right this time?
Frankly, nothing. At least for the moment.
Yes, Mourinho isn't doing well at Real Madrid right now, and is odds-on to leave the Spanish giants in the summer. Chelsea will be looking for a new permanent manager after the dismissal of Roberto di Matteo and his replacement, Interim Manager Rafa Benitez (and, hopefully, his replacement). Both the Portuguese and the London club have suffered blows to their reputations lately -- so much so that you could consider this a shared personal nadir -- and the return of the Prodigal Son is an attractive, if misconceived, narrative here. As such, it's probably going to get a lot of traction in the media in the months to come.
Because of that, we need to be very careful with our emotions. Has anyone met a Chelsea fans who wouldn't love him back in the dugout at Stamford Bridge? It's a great way to sell papers to and get pageviews from Chelsea supporters. That's why it's dangerous. The Chelsea populace will rejoice at the slightest indication a return is on the cards. Take, for example, the current articles linked here. Neither contains a single quote to give any credence to the idea. It's really easy to write a story claiming anything you like. If you're careful about avoiding being libellous, you can straight up lie if you want.
Personally, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Jose back where he belongs come summer, but it's far too early to say anything for sure. Firstly, and most obviously, he is still manager of Real Madrid. Though his sacking seems merely a formality at this point, it does actually have to happen for Chelsea to stand a chance of hiring him. Until that happens, or official quotes are released to that effect, there's no reason to get too excited about it. As always, quotes are essential. If a piece doesn't contain quotes, or quotes an "insider," treat it with all scepticism you can muster. Even better, you can just check here at WAGNH. If it's worth caring about, we'll let you know! : )
The "Jose's Coming Home" season is officially open, so be careful, folks!