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Mourinho explains his falling out with Ronaldo

Jasper Juinen

Jose Mourinho hasn't just been talking about Chelsea in the 24 hours plus since his return to Stamford Bridge was officially confirmed. Weird as it seems, this time a week ago the Special One was plying his special trade in La Liga with Real Madrid, and he spoke on Spanish radio about his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

This line in particular caught my eye:

I only had a problem with Cristiano, I criticized him from a tactical point of view for him to improve. He didn't accept it. Cristiano maybe thinks he doesn't need a coach and that he knows everything.

Source: Punto Pelota via @leylahamed.

So I guess you can forget about Roman Abramovich shocking the world by making an effort to talk Cristiano Ronaldo to Chelsea. Not that many of us were anticipating such a thing anyway. Although his spat with Ronaldo went against the (hilariously nationalist) narrative that it was the Portuguese against the Spanish at Real, I can't say that I'm hugely shocked by it. Mourinho has never had much tolerance for players who ignore his instructions -- the problem here was that Ronaldo was too good for any threat Mourinho could make to carry any weight.

Fortunately, I can't think of a player in that mould at Chelsea. Our brightest talents are young, thoughtful and eager to learn, and anyone who might be set in their ways (with the possible exception of John Terry) is a Mourinho loyalist from his first go-around at the club. A breakdown between the board and the manager is always a possibility, but I would suggest that the danger of a dressing room split at Chelsea now that Mourinho's back has been overstated.

At any rate, attacking one of the world's best players after quitting his post suggests that the Special One isn't quite as mature and serene as his interview on Chelsea TV would have had it. There are still flashes of the old fire, even if they don't appear quite as often. But if that anger is employs judiciously and in support of the club, then it's probably an asset.

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