What's The Story?: Oliver Holt discusses Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea
Jose Mourinho won't replicate his previous successes at Chelsea, says Oliver Holt.
Last Updated: 21/11/13 1:17pm
On What's the Story, Holt questioned whether Mourinho will be able to live up to expectation that has erupted around Stamford Bridge since his return to the club.
Victories over Hull City and Aston Villa in the opening two games of the Premier League have reinforced the belief that Chelsea are set for another era of glory under Mourinho. And it's not just among their fans.
Sky Sports expert Graeme Souness said after Chelsea's win over Hull they could be in for a period of success that will surpass that of the last 10 years.
From 2004 to 2007 Mourinho led Chelsea to two Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup and Community Shield in his first spell in charge of Chelsea. And since then they have won the league again, along with three FA Cups and the Champions League.
However, Holt believes Mourinho could struggle to accumulate the amount of silverware he won in his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
"They have started well. I saw them play Hull and he got a fantastic reception on Sunday from Chelsea," he said. "They are absolutely delighted to have him back.
"Everyone seems together and unified. He has a lot of dynamism and he is a fantastic manager. But it is still a big question: will it work out as well as it did the last time?
"When he came the last time he won the first league title in 55 years, I think, for Chelsea, which is a huge thing. Okay they still have the Champions League that they did not win under him but they have won it subsequently after he left."
And although he thinks Mourinho is capable of leading Chelsea to more success, he suggested the level of competition has been raised the English topflight.
"Things have changed since he was here the last time," said Holt. "When he was here the last time Roman Abramovich was throwing money at the situation and there was nobody else doing that. Now you have Manchester City there who have 'out-Abramoviched Abramovich'.
"I think the guy has got the dynamism and the charisma to pull it off, and the talent actually, because he has been a winner wherever he has gone. But things are different to the way they were the first time."
Holt identified the example of Howard Kendall, who failed to match the success of his first spell in charge of Everton in his two returns to the club, as a similar case in point.
Kendall led the Toffees to two First Division league titles, in 1984/5 and 1986/7, and the 1984 FA Cup but struggled in his comeback from November 1990 to December 1993 before lasting little over a year when he returned again in 1997.
"It [returning to a previous club] is a difficult thing to do," said Holt. "As much as you think and hope that it could work for Mourinho there are other examples in my mind [where it has not worked].
"Particularly in my mind is Howard Kendall at Everton. It is not one of the biggest examples, maybe, but the guy had tremendous success as a manager there the first time.
"He would have had more success were it not for the fact that English clubs were barred from Europe at the time.
"Then he came back a second and third time and it was not a disaster but was nothing like what it had been before so for as many successes there are failures as well."
On the show the panel discussed other famous sporting comebacks and debated whether they were a good idea.
For Greg Rusedski, Martina Hingis has made the right decision to return to tennis at the age of 32, after retiring from the sport in 2007. And he believes she is still capable of winning major titles, and could even make a comeback in the singles.
"It is great that she is coming back," he told What's the Story? "She is good enough to get back in the top ten in the world. She is the real deal. She has been a world No1. She was also the youngest player to win Wimbledon - at 16 years of age.
"If she wins the doubles title at the US Open, I think she will make a singles comeback as well."