RTÉ pundit Eamon Dunphy believes that new Chelsea Jose Mourinho has a tough task ahead of him and that it is one in which he is not guaranteed to succeed.
Mourinho was appointed Chelsea manager for the second time yesterday to a rapturous welcome from Blues supporters who have longed for his return.
However Dunphy believes that the issues that caused the Portueguese to leave Chelsea the first around are still there and warned that Mourinho has a massive rebuilding job to do at Stamford Bridge.
“He didn’t have much choice of where to go and Abramovich has run out of managers to sack, so I think it’s a marriage of convenience to some extent,” Dunphy told RTÉ Sport.
“The pressure will be on him. The old stalwarts he had like Drogba for example – won’t be there so he had to do a building job.
“He’s missed out on one or two players, Falcao for example has gone to Monaco, he would have been a huge player if he could have got him. He talks about getting rid of David Luiz which is interesting and probably the right thing to do but he has his work cut out.
“He’ll be judged on his previous record with Chelsea which is great, so that’s where the bar is and to match that is going to be difficult,” he added.
During yesterday’s press conference, Mourinho sought to play down expectations during his second spell at Stamford Bridge, setting out his main priority for next season as a top four finish and Champions League qualification.
Those proclamations from the Chelsea boss may be viewed as attempt to reduce the pressure and Dunphy believes that the Blues will be serious title contenders.
“I think they’re probably second (in the pecking order) after Manchester United,” he said.
“Manchester City have lots of money but it’s a bit of a messy dressing room there and Pellegrini will take time to get used to the Premier League, so I’d say Manchester United will clearly be favourites. But I think Chelsea with Mourinho, depending on who they sign in the summer, will be rightfully regarded as serious contenders.”
“The first big decision is what does he do with John Terry who wants to stay, has a year left on his contract and is a major player for Chelsea. Is he finished? If he is well then you need a really good central defender.
“He needs a real top striker, he needs to address the Torres questions. I don’t think Torres is the player he used to be, so they’re major decisions he has to make.”
The RTÉ pundit also warned that the backroom tensions that brought an abrupt end to Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge are still very much in evidence at the club.
“He has to deal with the fact that Michael Emenalo is Abramovich’s director of football or whatever he is – he’s a bloody nuisance. That’s what caused Mourinho to leave before, they wanted to give it to Frank Clarke, I think interference is what caused the problem before and the source of interference is still at the club.”