When looking at the squads of the teams considered to be title contenders in the Premier League, it’s hard to point at one team that’s clearly better than the rest. In order to determine a favorite, reviewing the managers is necessary, and in that department, no team has the quality Chelsea do in Jose Mourinho.
There are many negative sides to the Mourinho phenomenon, part of it being the way he’s put on a pedestal by the English press. In Spain it was harder for him to shine and allow his smugness to dazzle the masses, but it’s different in the UK. There’s something almost perfect about the way he presents himself as the Chelsea manager. Like the perfect fit between a hand and a glove, even though there was a lot more than just Mourinho to Chelsea’s success almost 10 years ago.
Seen as the founding father of whatever Chelsea achieved from 2004 and onward, Mourinho is also the most successful of the manager he’s running against. Arsene Wenger is more experienced, but after so many years of winning nothing, his past achievements don’t count as much as they used to.
Chelsea aren’t a perfect team. They have a problem at striker as Mourinho continues to rotate between Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku. He has an issue in the midfield with Frank Lampard, as he doesn’t provide the right amount of defense and tactical discipline Mourinho needs from him, but there isn’t a much better option, with Obi Mikel being a very limited individual when it comes to the attacking game, Lampard’s expertise.
Manchester City probably have the best, deepest squad out of those aiming to win the title. Arsenal, despite everything, have a lineup, especially with Ozil, that might be considered potentially the best one, even though they have problems at full back and the defensive midfield. There are also depth problems for the team, and a manager who’s terrible at in-game management. Manchester United? They’re the champions, and with Wayne Rooney healthy they’re a lot more than just a Robin van Persie show, but their managed might be in a job that at the moment seems a bit too big for him.
And that’s where the Mourinho advantage comes in. No one talks as much as he does before matches, but it seems that right now, no one enjoys the amount of trust from the trifecta of owners-fans-players as much as he does. With squads and lineups that aren’t that far apart in quality, his presence, arrogant or not, might be the deciding factor when the season is over.