Chelsea have a trump card ahead of their Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain and it comes in the form of their manager.
When the ties came out of the draw last Friday, the initial reaction from Chelsea fans was a positive one because PSG are a side evenly matched to the Blues with one of the main differences between them Mourinho’s greater experience and ability compared to Laurent Blanc.
Mourinho is a manager who has won this tournament twice before with FC Porto and Inter Milan.
During those two successful campaigns, he came up against this sort of fixture several times and is one of the best tactical minds around when it comes to beating any side over two legs.
Mourinho has the ability to be the main difference between the teams, which is remarkable considering he won’t actually kick a ball in Paris or in London.
The reason Mourinho is so effective in the Champions League is because he can get the same group of players playing two different ways.
The first game in Paris is likely to see a very defensive Chelsea, a side designed to have a siege mentality and hold out under the pressure which will be created through the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.
Mourinho knows that if he can get his side back to Stamford Bridge in good shape and potentially with an away goal in the bag, he can be more aggressive and attacking with his tactics in the second leg.
It’s a very cast iron approach for Chelsea to take to the two games but Mourinho is also someone who can adapt in the middle of big games and that’s the difference between him and Blanc.
Mourinho can change his tactics quickly and the way his players perform should Chelsea go behind early in PSG next week.
His skill in terms of communication and relaying messages to key players on the field is possibly better than any other coach in the world and that’s what allows Chelsea to stay in games when it looks like they are way off the pace.
Mind games, tactics, honesty, belief, the list of words to associate with the Portuguese coach could go on for some time but he provides the Blues with a trump card and expect to see him at his absolute best next week.