Cast your mind back just a month ago to 20th September. Back-to-back defeats at the hands of Everton and Basel left Chelsea “in crisis”, for Mourinho to insist that it was Syria in crisis, not his team.
Just a month on and things could not be rosier. The Chelsea that crumbles in the October and November months has come out fighting. Since the Champions League defeat at Basel, Chelsea have won seven of their last eight games, drawing only to Tottenham, whilst recording vital wins against the likes of Fulham, Schalke and Manchester City.
It leaves The Blues in second position but with the Manchester clubs occupying the seventh and eighth berths, it is already advantage Chelsea.
The influence of Mourinho on the players may, at last, be coming through. Over the last weeks, we have heard glowing words about the management of Mourinho. It coming from the likes of Lampard and John Terry are to be expected, but for fringe players like Ryan Bertrand to publicly admit his enjoyment of training sessions is also a huge testament to Mourinho’s fantastic ability to keep his team happy.
Chelsea would have arguably lost this match had it been a different manager at the helm. But the confidence and belief Mourinho has in himself appears to be catching on to his players. He reiterates the belief his team had and when Torres scored a “believe goal” in the dying stages against Manchester City.
Benzema was rescued from the dumps at Real Madrid, and Torres, a man shot on ability, form and confidence looks a hugely imposing player now. Torres has spoken highly of Steve Holland before, who has extensively helped him recover from poor spells, but with the addition of Mourinho, this looks formidable. Whether he can repay his £50 million back now looks unlikely, but with Mourinho at the helm, more good may come from the Spaniard.
Mourinho, in truth, has not had long with the group. A manager can have as long a pre-season as he so desires, but the true test comes from competitive fixtures. Influencing your players after a pre-season loss will hardly have the same impact as giving them a real warning after Everton and Basel losses, which is clearly something Mourinho did.
The unique identity of Mourinho is one who likes to create a storm, a drama. More to provoke reaction than a genuine malicious trait, but a hugely successful characteristic. The love he has for the Club will naturally make the fans side with him, but further instills the passion and belief the players must have when putting on that jersey and representing the team.
Mourinho, be it jumping in the crowds or being sent to them, does it superbly. A match made in Heaven if ever there was one.