Jose Mourinho, himself a technical genius, needs the support of his coaching staff at Chelsea at every step. Had it not been for his support staff at the club, he wouldn’t have been ‘so special’ a manager. No, it’s not a joke. The man would himself have to admit it! The Chelsea coaching staff make Jose the best Coach that Chelsea have had.
In his first stint at Stamford Bridge the men in his staff included Steve Clarke, Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers who have all had their own managerial stints at clubs like West-Brom, Tottenham and Liverpool, respectively and that in itself is no mean feat to achieve for Mourinho’s ex-apprentices.
Considering the above-mentioned facts, we can’t help but take a good look at the current coaching staff of the Portuguese mastermind.
1. Rui Faria (Assistant First Team Coach):
The most prominent of them all, the Portuguese national, is a key figure in Mourinho’s backroom team and is widely known as his right-hand man. He specializes mainly in fitness and conditioning, and has been an important part of Mourinho’s success. They first met in Barcelona when Mourinho was studying for a degree in sports science. Faria was introduced to Jose’s team in Uniao de Leiria, which was his first managerial job and has remained loyal ever since. Because of his lighthearted character, he builds a strong relationship with the players. He can be often seen sitting next to Jose on the bench (and shouting at referees with Mou when called up to do so). The 51 year old manager has described him as a man “who understands best my information and the way I work.”
2. Silvino Louro (Assistant First Team Coach):
Former goalkeeper of the Portugal national team, Louro deserves the credit for grooming two of the best goalkeepers in the world. One of them being the Stamford Bridge legend that is Petr Cech. Louro’s knowledge and his hard work with Cech paid off in his first season(2004-05). Chelsea conceded just 15 goals in the season that they went on to win the title.
While at Inter Milan with Mourinho, he worked closely with Julio Cesar as the Brazilian entered a period of top form. He deserves part of the credit for Inter becoming the European champions in 2010, with an outstanding goalkeeper.
Louro has worked with Jose ever since their successful time at Porto. He currently has a general coaching role at Chelsea, and who knows, he might be the next AVB.
3. Steve Holland (Assistant First Team Coach):
Following the success of his reserve side, that became national champions in 2011, and reserve coach Steve Holland stepped up to work with the senior squad that summer, becoming an assistant first team coach.
First as a member of Andre Villas-Boas’s backroom staff, he survived the short reigns of Roberto Di Matteo, his successor Rafael Benitez. Thereafter, he kicked-in long enough to serve in Jose Mourinho’s second home-coming. Steve is an important link between the first team and the Chelsea Youth Academy. Besides, he plays a key role on the training field with the team. His good-work was rewarded at the end of the 2011/12 season as the players lifted the FA Cup and Champions League trophy, followed by the Europa League trophy in 2013.
4. Christophe Lollichon (Goalkeeping Coach):
Lollichon joined Chelsea in 2007 from the French club Rennes, after spending about 8 years at the club. He mentored a number of top class goalkeepers, including a young Petr Cech in 2003-04 season.
Goalkeeping has long been his love, choosing the position as a child because of the individuality of the strip, and the ability to use hands as well as feet.
He has been working closely with Cech since 2007, and can often be seen at the training ground with goalkeepers about 45 minutes before the other players arrive. Perhaps, it was this dedication of Christoph, which made Cech a hero of the UEFA Champions League final in 2012 at Munich and the winner of Premier League Golden Glove award. Cech also set a club record for most clean sheets. At the moment, Lollichon seems to be preparing one of the best goalkeepers of the next generation: Thibaut Courtois. Looks like it will take a long time for other teams to break the Chelsea wall in front of their goal! Don’t forget to praise Lollichon after the next clean sheet.
Week after week of decent to amazing performances from the players make it almost impossible to imagine the contributions made by all of the above coaches of Chelsea F.C. However, it is even harder to imagine the players performing so efficiently without the help and guidance that these Coaches provide throughout the year. Praise them too, until one of them becomes the next Andre Villas Boas.
Edited By: Ojas Tripathi