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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Mourinho will not rest despite historic title

By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Chelsea's progress to their first championship in 50 years has been hugely impressive - now they must ponder the next step in their plan to dominate the domestic game.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard, John Terry and Petr Cech
Mourinho has proved he can buy big and yet forge a fierce team spirit

And despite all the money, all the big signings and all the success, the first rule of any club wanting to be the best is to always believe you can improve.

Complacency can be a curse, but I have to say when I see Jose Mourinho, I do not see a man who suffers from complacency.

All great managers have a ruthless streak. Bob Paisley was ruthless at Liverpool, even when we were carrying all before us, and Sir Alex Ferguson has been the same at Manchester United.

They had players who had been decorated with all the honours, who had been part of great successes, but when the time came to bring in new faces, they did not burden themselves down with sentiment.

They did what was necessary to stay at the top.

I believe Chelsea will look to strengthen in the summer - and the worrying thing for their rivals is that they will not be looking around the fringes for new faces. They will be buying the best.

I tipped Chelsea for the title before the start of the season, and apart from allowing me to say that one of my tips has actually proved correct, they have been magnificent.

But there may be some areas Mourinho may look at in the summer.

He may want to strengthen in the full-back positions, up front and also with some all-round beefing up of his squad.

Paolo Ferreira and Glen Johnson are very good right-backs, but Mourinho may add strength, not necessarily to replace these players but just to increase the power of his squad.

And if he can find someone out there who he believes is the best, he will buy him.

Left-back may also be an area he will look at.

Roman Abramovich
Abramovich's arrival "changed the face of English football"
Ashley Cole may have provided the answer there, but who knows what will happen now after all the controversy over the alleged "tapping" of the Arsenal defender?

One thing's for sure, I bet you will get very short odds on Chelsea retaining their title next season.

They have changed the face of English football with their financial firepower.

I heard about one transfer where a club had agreed a major deal for a player and the fee was to be paid to the selling club in instalments - Chelsea came in and effectively said all the money they were willing to pay would be in the bank at 5 o'clock.

No choice there for the selling club.

You can't compete with that, and now Roman Abramovich may feel he has an opportunity to build a dynasty that can dominate football for years.

If Mourinho identifies three players he wants, and they are the best, Abramovich can buy them for him.

And, unlike Real Madrid, who have had trouble moulding "galacticos" into a unit, Mourinho has proved he can buy big and yet forge a fierce team spirit and a successful side.

One area in which Mourinho may want to improve is up front, where Didier Drogba has attracted some criticism.

I have been critical of Drogba and am still not sure about him, but I think Mourinho will stick with him for another season.

But if Chelsea are aiming to buy the best, and Michael Owen is considering coming home from Real Madrid, then the former Liverpool striker falls into that category.

I must stress this is only speculation, but if you are looking at the best, Owen is right up there.

I am a fan of having height in an attack in the English game, but consider that Michael Owen regularly scored 25 goals a season in a Liverpool side that wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders.

And then imagine him on the end of service from Damien Duff, Arjen Robben and Joe Cole - you can only dream of the damage he will do.

Real Madrid striker Michael Owen
Mourinho could turn to Michael Owen to boost his strikeforce
Chelsea continue to be linked with Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, although you hear rumours saying he is definitely staying or going depending on what day of the week it is.

As a Liverpool fan I would love him to stay, but if Chelsea are pursuing the best, then he is the best, and I say that as a massive admirer of Frank Lampard, who has been unbelievable for Mourinho.

If you put Gerrard, Lampard and Claude Makelele in the same midfield, then you have to ask who would get past that defensively and who would score more goals from that area?

These are all the things Mourinho will be weighing up, because he strikes me as someone who possesses the ruthlessness and lack of sentiment the great and successful managers all possess.

And for those players, success will be like a drug. They will want more - and they will want the true proof of a great side.

Namely back-to-back titles.

Liverpool did it, Manchester United did it, but Arsenal couldn't do it, despite being arguably the finest attacking side this country has ever seen.

Arsenal just didn't have enough variation or enough strength defensively, and you can be sure Mourinho will already be plotting to ensure Chelsea are fully-equipped with all of that to take the success story a step further.

Having said Chelsea will strengthen, you have to pay tribute to what they have achieved this season.

It hasn't surprised me that people have started sniping at them - it is a price you seem to have to pay for being successful.

But they have scored so many goals and let so few in, that any criticism that they are boring is a very cheap and undeserved shot.

The title is theirs - and in Mourinho and Abramovich they have the two men on and off the pitch that makes you look no further than Chelsea when you start looking for next season's Premiership champions.




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