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You may not have liked him, even hated him maybe. But one thing is certain: Jose Mourinho made things interesting. The former Chelsea manager saw his reign at Stamford Bridge come to a close Thursday and it was anything but surprising. Mourinho will now be replaced by Avram Grant (whoever that is) and things look like they will become a little less interesting in the Premier League.

When Mourinho arrived in England fresh off of winning the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004 he immediately signaled a sign of things to come by dubbing himself the ‘Special One.’ Since then his press conferences were can’t miss performances full of digs and veiled insults at anyone or anything that didn’t fancy him. In true Mourinho fashion he held no punches and let his acid tongue fly at any and all managers no matter their pedigree. Arsene Wenger, Rafa Benitez and Sir Alex Ferguson all did battle with Mourinho.

It didn’t help that success followed Mourinho from Portugal. Winning back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006, an FA Cup title in 2007 along with League Cup titles in 2005 and 2007 cemented his, and Chelsea’s place, as one of the dominant teams in England and Europe. Backed by owner Roman Abramovich’s billions, Chelsea quickly entered the world’s elite by buying the best talent available.

But all of that money couldn’t buy Abramovich the one thing he craved the most, the Champions League. The rift between manager and owner widened each year as new players were brought in (some amicably, some under protest) and the pressure from semi-final losses mounted. In the end, the two could not exist.

Now Chelsea has lost maybe its most identifying figure. No one could ever underestimate Mourinho’s tactical ability, even if they didn’t like the style of play of his team. Mourinho’s brash confidence and arrogance were not only annoying, but also his most endearing qualities. His list of memorable quotes show that nothing was ever off limits.

The Premier League promises to be a duller place without the Special One and that’s something nobody can like.


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