Among the myriad of reasons Chelsea fans were stoked by the return of the Special One was that if there was any manager to get the best out of the player formerly known as Fernando Torres, it would be Mourinho. More than his loss of pace or Chelsea's style of play, the weight of being the most expensive player in English football has weighed heavily on Torres.
Every missed shot, misplaced pass and even his body language has been analyzed since his arrival. Even in the reign of his supposed mentor, the Camarero d'Espana, the narrative revolved around his goal drought in the EPL and how he could only score against the minnows of Europa.
If there's one thing Mourinho is better at than any active manager in the world, it's taking the pressure off all his players and centering the narrative on himself. Take the media storm off the team and the players feel free to express themselves. Maybe if the media no longer focused on how Torres wasn't the same player he was in Liverpool, maybe he'd actually start playing like he did in Liverpool.
This year Mourinho has been in prime form since day one, using sleight of hand to throw off the audience like a magician He publically announced his intention to sign Wayne Rooney. This served the dual purpose of destabilising one of his main rivals and reminding Torres that he wasn't impressed by his Europa Cup exploits. He had to know with influence of Sir Alex looming at Old Trafford, there was no way that Man U would sell one of their best players to a domestic rival. Old Trafford isn't the Emirates after all.
But it threw the scent of Torres, and the media focus continued on Rooney until deadline day. He brought in Samuel Eto'o and shipped out the one player, Romelu Lukaku, that we all thought would be taking Torres's spot in the first XI. As good as Eto'o was in his prime, he's 32 now and never played in the EPL before. The Cameroonian's ideal role is the intelligient veteran substitute off the bench.These moves will have let Torres know that the striker spot was there for the taking if he fought for it.
After the deadline ended, the media narrative focused on Juan Mata's lack of playing time. At first, it seemed like media overreaction given the Spaniard's busy summer and hamstring injury. But as it continued, with losses to Everton and Basel, he had the Chelsea faithful, including me, truly puzzled and questioning his strategy. He doesn't like Spaniards the media reported, given his recent history of benching of Madrid's Saint Iker Casillas.
Fast forward to yesterday. The lack of production from Eto'o and Demba Ba, and given that Torres had scored the only goals by a Chelsea striker this year, the unthinkable was happening. Chelsea fans were pushing for Nando's inclusion in the XI.
Even after Torres was sent off yesterday, the media focused on his great shift in the second half and how he had been unfairly sent off. The most endearing image of the match for me was Mourinho putting his arm around Torres and consoling the striker after his red card. That image more than any other, shows why players are willing to run through a wall for Mourinho.
No, Torres isn't by any means the game-changing forward he was a few years ago. We're all still hoping the Kraken can gain some vital experience in Everton and lead the line next year for the Blues. But at least narrative isn't on how Torres is a waste of 50 million pounds and that might be priceless for the Spaniard's confidence.
It's only October, Chelsea's near the top of the table, Mata's earned his spot back in the starting line-up and even Torres is playing with purpose. Sure, the team didnt' come out guns blazing this year, but how many false starts have there been in the last few years, only for the wheels to come falling off.
Keep calm and believe in the Special One Chelsea Fans. We'll see each other at the top of the table in May.