Jose Mourinho has branded tonight's dead-rubber match against Sporting Lisbon 'Academy Day' in celebration of Ruben Loftus-Cheek's promotion to the first team, and he's also offered some theories on why we haven't had many such days over the last decade or so. In typical Mourinho fashion, it appears that his answer is that there wasn't enough Mourinho:
If you don’t bring kids through the academy, the best thing is to close it. If the kids are not good enough or the work not good enough, close the door and use the money to buy players.
You need to prove the academy works well and is worth it. It’s only possible if the first-team manager stays for a long time, which in this club in the last 10 years was not possible. Now I’m trying to format Ruben and other Rubens in relation to my ideas. The relation between the first-team and the academy is changing with this stability we are having.
Ok, maybe that's a little bit uncharitable. But it's clear that stability at Chelsea means keeping the Portuguese around, and it's also (mercifully) clear that part of Mourinho's long-term vision for the club is to finally start bringing those promising young players through. Is he correct in his assessment on why things haven't turned out spectacularly for our youngsters since John Terry came through? Perhaps -- it's as good an explanation as any I've heard -- but the proof will be in the pudding should he manage to stick around and implement his grand vision.