Chelsea FC manager, Jose Mourinho, gets a vote of confidence from statements made by winger, Eden Hazard, this week. He indicated in an interview on French television show, Tele-Foot, that he is determined to stay with Chelsea, believing it is the best place for him to improve his skills. The statement pointed to a relatively long-term commitment, saying that he did not foresee himself considering leaving during the summer window, either. Hazard has been linked to rumors that Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was pursuing a contract with him. Similar rumors were circulating last summer as well. Hazard indicated his respect for both the club itself, and the financial incentives they might be able to provide, but remained adamant that he fully intended to stay with Chelsea.
This vote of confidence from Hazard is likely to help Mourinho’s chances of landing contracts with big-name players. His statements can only improve public perception of Chelsea FC as a choice destination for top talent. Amid reports that Fernando Torres suffered ligament damage during his appearance in the match against Manchester United this past weekend, reassurances that Hazard will not be making an exit during the transfer window will be well-received by supporters. Given the overpowering performance given by Samuel Eto’o in that match, fans may not be as inclined to panic over the injury to Torres.
In all, confidence in Mourinho is soaring as he has taken the club into the top three, poised to challenge for the Premier League title. With the fall from grace of Manchester United in the current campaign, Chelsea supporters are beginning to see the possibility of ending up in the top spot as a very real thing. In fact, the transfer window rumors that Mourinho is planning on staging a coup to land United star Wayne Rooney are beginning to be taken more seriously across the league. If Chelsea is able to take the trophy, or even simply stay where they are, and land a Champions League spot, they would certainly look like an attractive destination for Rooney, who has stated frequently his desire to be playing in that competition next year. If not during the current window, he would certainly appear to be a target for stealing this summer.
Also contributing to the general feeling of positive progress for Mourinho is the news that Serbian Nemanja Matic will be returning to Chelsea after being sent there in 2011 in the deal that brought defender David Luiz to the club. The 25-year-old midfielder has signed a five-year contract with Chelsea, having spent the last three with Benfica, for a reported £21 million. This is seven times his estimated worth when he left the club. All accounts are that Mourinho is taking his mandate to build a legacy of Premier League victories for the Chelsea faithful very seriously.
While Eden Hazard’s vote of confidence, along with the success on the pitch for Chelsea, have Mourinho riding a wave of popularity at the moment, it is still a long season. There are months to go before this current rise can be validated with actual silverware for the club. Chelsea FC supporters, however, are demonstrating overwhelming support for the direction the team is headed in. Mourinho appears to be earning his “special one” moniker with his efforts this campaign.
By Shannon Malone