CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho is to be the star of a new cartoon series called Mourinho and the Special Ones.
The self-styled Special One has been used as the basis for the show, which is launching first in his native Portugal before expanding to other countries, as well as a series of spin-off trading cards and computer games and apps, and even a grassroots coaching programme.
A spokesman for developers Sports Stars Media said: “The opportunity of a lifetime comes by when you least expect it and for Alex and his friends, a chance meeting with their hero, changes their lives forever.
“What was supposed to be a simple football match attracted the attention of the world’s greatest football coach. The Special One himself, Jose Mourinho.
“Mourinho is so impressed with Alex and his friends that he decides to help them follow their dream whilst also settling a few old scores with his longtime nemesis, Viktor Von Haii, the owner of the Junior Sharks football team.
“Alex and his team mates have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But do they have what it takes to be the best and realise their potential to become…. The Special Ones.”
OH HOW we’ve missed you Mourinho.
The Special One is well known for doing things his own special way, and that extends from the touchline to the transfer market, but this week’s work will take some beating.
Despite a medical being completed and a transfer fee being arranged between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur for midfielder Willian, an 11th hour bid by Chelsea this week saw the Brazilian winger change his mind and agree a move to Stamford Bridge.
This is despite Chelsea owning more attacking midfielders than you can shake a Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle-shaped stick at – a strange move it seemed at first.
Rumours were rife that the swoop would allow Mata to become the bargaining chip needed to prise his top target Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United – which could still be a possibility.
But now it appears that Gareth Bale’s mooted £93m move to Real Madrid is on hold as Daniel Levy won’t let Bale leave without a replacement in the bag.
So the Willian move has messed with both Chelsea rivals Spurs and former employer Madrid’s dealings, and made his own business look much more likely too – talk about two birds with one stone, Jose.
THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…
JOSE Mourinho’s Chelsea are going to win this season’s Premier League – according to cold hard maths.
Statisticians at Bloomberg Sports have revealed their first ever Premier League end of season projections – forecasting the finishing position and points of every team in the league.
And their number crunching has revealed that the Blues will pip United and City to the title in a three horse race, with Moyes finishing third in his first season at United.
They predict that Arsenal will beat off their rivals to the last Champions League spot, and all the promoted teams – Crystal Palace, Cardiff City and Hull City – will be relegated straight back to the Championship for the first time since 1998.
Bill Squadron, President of Bloomberg Sports, said: “As fans around the world debate the 2013-2014 Premier League season from a purely subjective standpoint, we are adding our mathematically-derived predictions to the debate.
“Using the same objective data analytics that drives our Match Analysis tool, we are pleased to unveil a purely data-driven projection for each team.
“Not only does this make for great content for fans, but it also provides data that helps them beat the bookie.”
For more information go to www.bsports.com
THE Special One Jose Mourinho has decided that the title no longer does him justice – and from henceforth would like a new title.
Reflecting on his win in Spain’s La Liga, which adds to his two English, two Italian and two Portuguese titles, he decided The Only One would be more appropriate.
He said: “Like me or not, I am the only one who won the world’s three most important leagues.
“So, maybe instead of the ‘Special One’, people should start calling me the ‘Only One’.”
HERE’S Jose Mourinho on Chelsea’s chances: “Let me be honest, I don’t think the final will be a Real Madrid/Chelsea final.
“It could be Bayern or Barcelona, I just don’t think it will be Real Madrid v Chelsea and we know why.”
Now former Blues boss Mourinho isn’t exactly unbiased about this situation – what with being involved in some of the most fiercely contested ties with Barca in modern history – but his views are echoed by the great majority of observers.
There was almost a gulp after the final whistle had blown against Benfica – a two-legged affair where an at one point comfortable Chelsea stuttered over the finish line.
Messi et al were coming to town.
But while the defending champions and their unique brand of possession football nearly always prevails, they do sometimes falter – they’re only human.
Add to this the weight of expectation hanging over their necks, amplified by the shadow of Real Madrid’s domestic performance this season, and a revitalised Chelsea old guard’s perception of an injustice under Mr Mourinho to readdress, and over the 180 minutes you can see how the doubts could creep in to Pep Guardiola’s charges.
This is European football, the unexpected can and does happen – just ask quarter finalist minnows Apoel Nicosia, just ask Europa League giants Manchester United and Manchester City…
THIS is potentially the greatest thing to happen to English football since the arrival of Mario Balotelli – Mario Balotelli’s younger brother.
Mario Balotelli has been an absolute sensation since arriving at Manchester City.
The Italian striker – who Jose Mourinho branded too stupid to coach – has been a rollercoaster ride of sublime football and ridiculous antics on and off the pitch.
He’s been sent off more times your average carrier pigeon, and become a tabloid darling, with incidents such as blowing up his own house with fireworks, throwing darts at the youth team, developing an allergic reaction to grass, backheeling an open goal wide of the mark, being reported for burgling his own house, getting stuck in a bib on telly, getting caught up with the mafia on a trip to Italy, taking a truant back to school and then telling off a bully, the list really does go on and on.
And now, it is reported that Mario’s younger brother Enoch Balotelli is on trial with Stoke City, and could also be set to grace the English top flight in the near future – hopefully with a similar brand on footbally genius and off-field insanity.
The only thing that could make this news any sweeter for me would be if Enoch was really called Luigi, but you can’t have everything I suppose.