Jose Mourinho has finally been confirmed as Chelsea manager ahead of the 2013/2014 Premier League season and there are several pressing issues he must address.
Mourinho needs to prioritise quickly in order to get Chelsea into the best possible shape heading into firstly, the summer transfer window and secondly, the pre-season schedule.
One of the most important topics he needs to deal with is the future of key defender and occasional midfielder David Luiz.
David Luiz is being strongly linked with a move to Barcelona after moves by the Spanish team for Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund and Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal were both ruled out.
David Luiz has the ability to become the long term replacement for 32-year-old captain John Terry, in the heart of Chelsea’s defence so it’s important Mourinho fends off any Barcelona interest.
His second priority should be consolidating his position as Chelsea boss, which means building support in three main areas; the players, the officials and the press.
The Chelsea squad has changed dramatically since he was first in charge. Only a handful of the players who first played under Mourinho remains, making it important for the Portuguese to win the dressing room quickly.
Andre Villas-Boas’ spell at Chelsea and Roberto Mancini’s despise at Manchester City show what can happen if a manager loses the big name players in the dressing room.
He needs to win over the officials and maintain a good relationship with Roman Abramovich. Issues he had with the owner are what ended his first spell in charge and they cannot replicate themselves.
His popularity is something which will prop him up during difficult times and a large reason he was offered the job second time round.
“It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and José is our No1 choice – he was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again,” said Chief Executive Ron Gourlay.
The press should be a priority for Mourinho because, although not connected to the club, his spell at Real Madrid showed what can happen if he gets on the wrong side of various journalists.
On one occasion he even openly admitted that he thought there were journalists in Spain who deeply hated him.
“I know I am loved in England, I am loved by the fans and the media – In Spain it is different, some people hate me, many of you in this room,” he said following Real Madrid’s Champions League exit last season.
It will not be a good investment on Chelsea’s part if Mourinho is miserable within a year because of the way he’s been treated by the British press.
Another big personnel decision he’ll have to tackle quickly is what to do with Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku has had a very brief but successful loan spell with West Brom scoring 17 goals in 35 games and he’s admitted he sees his future at Chelsea.
He is similar to former Chelsea favourite Didier Drogba, who Mourinho based his last Chelsea team around.
The problem Mourinho has is only having two strikers in Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, three if Lukaku does not go back out on loan.
Mourinho may feel as though he needs a fourth striker to complete the pack and cover his attacking options but he risks Lukaku pushing for another loan deal, the second another high profile striker signs for the club.
There won’t be a dull moment and it’s good to see him back but he’s got an awful lot of work to do already.