Scolari the showman could outdo Mourinho

July 9, 2008

Luiz Felipe ScolariHowever Chelsea’s fortunes unfold on the field during the coming season, the presence of new manager Luiz Felipe Scolari at Stamford Bridge should guarantee no shortage of entertainment off it.

Scolari gave an impressive performance on Tuesday in his first news conference since taking the helm of the London club, speaking in excellent English and providing Chelsea’s fans with exactly the news they wanted to hear about Frank Lampard staying.

They also got a first taste of their new coach’s charisma. If Avram Grant cut a grey figure compared to his colourful, soundbite-friendly predecessor Jose Mourinho — aka ‘The Special One’ — nobody will be complaining about Scolari lacking personality.

Speaking with a twinkle in his eye, the Brazilian World Cup-winning coach said he was special only to his loved ones and a “so-so” coach.

For those who witnessed the wide range of facial expressions at his news conferences as Portugal manager, none of this would have come as a surprise. He may resemble the actor Gene Hackman but he is a showman in his own right, a great bear-like figure who needs little invitation to display his emotions.

When his players’ tempers were rising during the group-stage defeat by Switzerland at Euro 2008, he stood on the touchline like an angry schoolmaster, his index finger held to his mouth in a gesture telling them to stop their back chat to the referee.

Yet the big hug he gave injured Switzerland striker Alexander Frei on the same
evening showed his avuncular side too.

My favourite Scolari memory came from Portugal’s meeting with England at the
2006 World Cup.

He looked every inch the kindly uncle when, down at pitchside in Gelsenkirchen, he joked around with a group of English schoolchildren — posing for pictures, giving the thumbs-down to the Gerrard on the back of one boy’s England shirt, and even pulling the tail of tournament mascot Goleo the lion. This less than an hour before a World Cup game.

Chelsea players and fans alike should have little difficulty in warming to Scolari. It is easy to imagine opposition supporters getting their share of fun from having Big Phil around too.

PHOTO: Scolari gestures during a news conference at Cobham in southern England as he is unveiled as the new Chelsea manager. July 8. REUTERS/Toby Melville


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I really doubt Scolari is going to go far with Chelsea. He is more of a national team coach used to tournaments NOT leagues.

Also not sure how he is going to handle the micromanagement style of Chelsea owner either.

soccer dude.

Posted by soccer dude | Report as abusive

“Soccer dude” took the words right out of my mouth with his latter point. I predict a Scolari v Abramovich bust-up sometime in October, and we all know who the winner will be.

Posted by gwto | Report as abusive

Boys – Scolari will not only be a loveable manager but a winning manager for Chelsea. I am a neutral, not a Chelsea fan and am thinking about his history. He is a winner. Chelsea will win at least one big trophy this season and Scolari’s pressence ensures that we will have an even more entertaining and tight Premiership race than last season. BTW – I do however believe that Scolari’s hiring is an admission by Chelsea that they erred in firing Mourinho. There is not much to choose between Mourinho and Scolari. I am happy for Chelsea fans that they have a big manager again – in Big Phil.

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

What has Mourinho won in the last 6 years:Titles,Titles,Titles…
What has Scolari won in the same time:

Posted by football | Report as abusive

Well, with all due respect Mr. Football, Scolari has won this in the last 6 years: 607000/jpg/_41607594_liftcup300.jpg

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

Luis Felipe Scolari is a winner, doesn’t matter if coaching a national team or a club. He is VERY good in tournaments indeed. However, for me his greatest achievements will always lie within those he got as Gremio’s coach.

Posted by Gaucha | Report as abusive

I’m looking forward to see what Scholari is going to bring to Chelsea. I like him as a manager plus his character………a bit animated, not the dull type of manager who just sits on the bench.

He may need to change his playing staff though…..lot of not so skillful players at Chelsea.

Posted by Football Circles | Report as abusive

Yes, Scolari is entertaining to watch in a press conference. Just don’t provoke him and he easily loses his temper, and gets confrontational with the media. I wonder how long he can stand the pressure in England before he confronts the media like he did various times with the Portuguese media after games.

Posted by Monica 08 | Report as abusive

i was distraught when Jose was sacked! grant was nice but boring and to come second in 3 competitions is no joke. Scolari has the charisma of Jose but not the good looks! I’m happy and think we will do well – he will be able to put the prima donnas in their place.

Posted by bridget schofield | Report as abusive

i agree with beautifulgamer – chelsea made a bloomer when sacking Jose and have taken all this time to find someone so similar.

Posted by bridget schofield | Report as abusive

yes chelsea made a big mistake to sack jose. abrahamovich has realise that mistake, that is why he bought him a 2 million pound ferrari as gift in other to lure him back to chelsea but inter grabed the special one i love him jose chelsea 4 life

Posted by egonfella | Report as abusive

jose was the best……really a special one…he has set very very high standards for chelsea… chelsea are there at the top which would not have been a wild dream bedore 5 years…..chelsea should still bring him back…..i dont think anyone can outdo jose…..wonder if phil achieves sucess in first season as jose did…though made a team of own and scolari has ready-made team at his disposal….

Posted by vikas mehta | Report as abusive