Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea won its first Premier League title in 2005 and its second in 2006. In 2007, Mourinho resigned after falling out with owner Roman Abramovich. Of the players involved in the two title successes, only Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Petr Cech still play for the club, and Lampard is almost certain to leave this summer. The Mourinho-era Chelsea was a ruthless winning machine; today’s Chelsea recently lost to QPR – Harry Redknapp’s latest project, bottom of the Premier League — at Stamford Bridge. These days, Rafa Benitez – who was once a potent symbol of the Chelsea’s Got No History movement, which, yes, was as stupid as it sounds – sits in the Stamford Bridge dugout. The Chelsea fans hate him and express their hatred in chants and songs whose lyrics are unprintable, even on the Internet.
During Chelsea’s rise to championship contention, the traditional powerhouses of English football – Manchester United and Liverpool — were too busy recovering from the financial train wreck that is American ownership to launch serious title bids. Manchester United’s management is renowned for its efficiency, professionalism, and general excellence in the field of everything, but in the early 2000s, it made a series of uncharacteristically thoughtless administrative decisions that opened the door to outside investment — and the Glazers were never going to knock. Liverpool was fading, thanks largely to the idiocy of Tom Hicks and George Gillette, businessmen who epitomize everything that’s bad about sports, business and the United States of America.