The Chelsea tenure of Jose Mourinho, the "Special One" as he once famously referred to himself, is now over. Let the speculation begin as to who will succeed him. According to Rivals DM, former Chelsea player Didier Deschamps heads the list of possible replacements. Deschamps, who coached Juventus to the Serie B title last season, spent the 1999-2000 season with the Blues, during which he won the FA Cup.
However, for the time being, Avram Grant, signed over the summer as director of football, will act as caretaker manager in the wake of Mourinho's abrupt departure. He faces an immediate trial by fire as the Chelsea heads to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, the team that wrested the Premier League title from the club last season. As the Telegraph's Henry Winter points out, Grant had a solid reputation with Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth, but he's never managed a team of multi-millionaires. The situation is made all the more complicated for Grant because most of them had tremendous respect for Mourinho, which means that "Grant must impress in training and in setting up the team right," Winter says.
Mourinho, meanwhile, is already being hotly tipped to succeed Luiz Felipe Scolari as manager of the Portuguese national team. UEFA on Thursday banished the Brazilian from Portugal's remaining Euro 2008 qualifiers for punching a Serbian player after a 1-1 draw in Lisbon. Portugal sits third in Group A with just four games left to ensure qualification; surely the team will need a manager on the sidelines.