Jose Mourinho’s second coming at Chelsea is beginning to show signs of reaching the heady heights of his first stint at Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese led the Blues to back-to-back titles in 2005 – their first title for 50 years – and 2006.
After a promising, if unspectacular, campaign last year, Mourinho’s ‘little horse’ now appears to be a thoroughbred ready to challenge both at home and abroad.
Unbeaten in the league after 12 games, the class of 2014-15 have all the hall marks of a Mourinho title winning side, leading from the front and not letting up.
While a third Premier League crown would sit very nicely among Mourinho’s collection of seven league titles across four countries, a third Champions League will be his ultimate goal.
If Chelsea can make it out of a closely fought Champions League group there is no reason that last year’s semi-finalists can’t go one step further.
Despite winning six trophies during his first three-year spell at the club, Mourinho was nowhere to be seen for Chelsea’s champions League finals.
Chelsea’s most successful ever manager was absent on the Blues’ greatest night in Munich as Roberto Di Matteo led them to the Champions League.
Indeed, the question of who took Chelsea to their first Champions League Final won’t look out of place in a pub quiz in 30 years’ time.
The answer is, of course, Avram Grant. The Israeli led Chelsea out in Moscow just eight months after Mourinho’s departure.
Speaking in 2009, Mourinho said: “People always want more – and at Chelsea that was the Champions League. I would have won it with Chelsea.
“My contract was until 2011, so I would have been there for seven years. It’s enough time.”
Mourinho’s European triumphs with Porto and Inter Milan led Real Madrid to appoint him manager in 2010.
His failure to win La Decima, and the success of his replacement Carlo Ancelotti in doing so, highlighted the first major failing of Mourinho’s career.
Ancelotti now sits in a pantheon of two with Bob Paisley in winning three European Cups, illustrious company in which Mourinho feels he belongs.
There is a momentum around the club that suggests they may be able to produce something special this season.
Mourinho’s two previous Champions league winning sides Porto and Inter peaked in his second year at the club and the Portuguese acknowledges the similarities.
Speaking in September, he said: “When I won it at Porto it was my second season. Inter was also my second.
“I think the second season is a privileged place to have a team in very good conditions.”
Time is not an issue that will affect Mourinho’s pursuit of a unique third European success with three different clubs.
“I hope he will stay ten years. Having the security of Jose is great for me,” said Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay.
Mourinho was once described as “the young Brian Clough” by the man himself. The Nottingham Forest legend won two European Cups, given time Mourinho may just better that at Chelsea.