Former Liverpool captain believes Blues boss is top class for the manner in which he is resurrecting a former Anfield great.
The most successful pre-Roman Abramovich era manager, Gianluca Vialli, the club's only Champions League winning guide Roberto di Matteo and Chelsea's long-reigning boss of the 50s; Ted Drake, will live long in Stamford Bridge memory, however, there is little doubting that despite their respective achievements, there remains one man who has separated himself from his predecessors because of a combination of tactical acumen, charisma and his ability to attract silverware - Jose Mourinho.
The two-time Champions League winner, a success wherever he has coached, has returned to his spiritual home and division… Chelsea and the Premier League. There are elements of his former Chelsea still existing at the club: Petr Cech, John Terry and Frank Lampard, however, while his great team spine of his first spell in charge was founded upon power, strength and might, the new-look Blues are high on finesse and playmaking skills.
The 50-year-old will always be credited for his competitive nature, his win-at-all-costs mentality and his eye for what his squad truly needs. And, while it is no public secret that Chelsea have needed a striker - with Radamel Falcao of Monaco, Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Karim Benzema of Real Madrid all mooted as viable targets - is the answer to their perceived impotence up front actually lying from within?
The resurgent nature of Fernando Torres' form suggests Chelsea may not require that expensive addition come January. The Spaniard, maligned for his entire post-Liverpool career due to a lowlight-reel of misses and botched chances, is showing signs of coming good… beginning with his midweek European brace against Schalke and extending in the same matchweek to Manchester City, a game in which he stood out and secured the winner.
Former Liverpool captain and current Sky Sports analyst Graeme Souness believes he knows why, and that reason is because of the nurturing and developmental instincts that Mourinho has in his coaching arsenal: 'There's been great managers here [and Torres has not responded] but once again Jose Mourinho shows us why he is the Special One.'
Those managers include Andre Villas-Boas (Chelsea win percentage of 48%), di Matteo (57%), Rafael Benitez (58%) and of course Mourinho (58%). It is Mourinho who Torres is responding to the most, culminating in what is effectively a renaissance against Man City as he hit more shots on target on Sunday than he did in his previous six Premier League appearances combined this season.
Last week, Mourinho was quoted by FIFA to have said: 'What boosts him is the confidence he knows I have in him.'
Torres, meanwhile, told Chelseafc.com: 'Individually [I am improving], the last few games I feel very sharp, very well.'
image: © Ben Sutherland