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Chelsea: Far from a complete team

Chelsea A Complete Team

When José Mourinho joined one expected the old spark which the man had ignited in everything Chelsea, in 2007. He was a fan favourite then, and continues to be one now. Nothing had changed, the charisma, energy and the spirit is still alive within José. Most expected Chelsea to win everything under the Mourinho reign, but little did they expect that ‘The Happy One” aimed not just for instant glory, but for the perfect team. His target was not just for this year, but for the years to come, even after he was gone.

Mourinho made the claim that ‘little glories and panic buys’ were no longer his motive. He had matured as a manager, and this time he would focus on the big picture. Chelsea should be one of the greatest teams in the world, and a constant competitor for the Premier League. He wanted the Blues to nurture the youth, respect the old, and play with the best. Roman Abrahmovic had been starving for an attacking 11, and José decided to instill that into the team.

With an abundant midfield attacking system (Hazard, Oscar, Mata, de Bruyne, Schürlle, and Willian), José made it clear from the very first moment that no starting spots were guaranteed. It was a test; each player would have to prove his worth repeatedly to secure a position in the main team. Mata, unfortunately, was unable to accustom himself to transformed team tactics that Mourinho endorsed, which left him benched for a majority of the half-season that he spent at Chelsea before being sold to Manchester United. The very player who had been a first team regular the previous season and had won the Chelsea Player of the Year award twice had been sold within half a season, courtesy lackluster performances. ‘The Special One’ seemed to have his head in the right place, and knew what he wanted to coax out of his team. This led to the loss of another misfit, Kevin de Bruyne, who was replaced by Mohamed Salah in the same window.

Under Mourinho, Chelsea began to build the club from ground up, focusing first on a solid back four. Ivanovic who performed consistently won a secured position as the right-back, replacing Azpilicueta. Cahill and Terry formed a meticulous partnership that even the league’s best couldn’t break, keeping David Luiz benched. Ashley Cole, after some poor performances at left-back was replaced by Azpilicueta, a natural right-back who has prospered in the position, embracing the change well. Chelsea’s back four have won a lot of well deserved praise throughout the season, and many claim that their defensive strength will propel them on to win the Champions League.

Chelsea had an obvious weakness though; its central defensive area fell short of expectations. Mourinho knew that, and bought Nemanja Matic from Benfica, despite the prior knowledge that he would not be a part of their Champion’s League squad. This further enhanced the notion that Chelsea managerial team were more considerate of their future, and willing to take the necessary steps to enforce and secure it.


Chelsea’s youth squads have some talent that will one day boost the club to even greater heights, most on loan at Vitesse Arnhem. Lewis Baker is a better free-kick taker than any first team player currently at Chelsea. Patrick Bamford has taken the Championship by storm, and Nathan Ake continues to be a solid part of Chelsea’s Youth squad.

Thorgan Hazard,a player of as much calibre as his brother Eden, was voted Belgium League’s Best Player. Another Chelsea youth talent to watch out for is Bertrand Traore. But by far one of their best acquisitions is Thibaut Courtois, a 21-year-old who has in the eyes of many, equaled the much celebrated Chelsea goalkeeping legend Petr Cech.

While the Chelsea defence has been an impenetrable wall most of the times, their attack has failed to impress. Torres has failed to make an impact in most games but does a good job of injuring himself as soon as he strikes form. Demba Ba is just a shell of his former self; no spectacular performances can be expected from him anymore. Sam Eto’o has been the only decent striker who has been able to link with the other players, but he tends to perform only at home games and lacks the speed that made him the ferocious striker he was in the past.

Chelsea’s midfield has been just as disappointing. While it is a treat to watch Eden Hazard weave his magic on-field, he remains the only midfielder worth watching. He has been the reason for Chelsea’s continued title race, which José Mourinho had already declared lost at the very beginning.While Oscar, Schürlle and Willian have honed their defensive skills, they lack the penetration and the ability to create goals and chances, leaving Eden the sole game-builder. Schürrle lacked in linkups, Willian in attack and Oscar was just too inconsistent for most to identify his weaknesses!

While Mohammed Salah has not been sighted very often in the club’s games, Mourinho believes that there is a huge scope for his success, and we can expect to see him more often next season. Chelsea will need a few more players to recreate itself. You can expect to see Mourinho to buy players this coming season.

While Chelsea is on a path to excellence and has the ability, conviction and financial capability to become the best, there is still a lot to be done. Chelsea is far from a complete team, but we can expect to see proof of their monumental abilities in the seasons to come.

This article was a guest piece by Videet Parekh (@Videet_Parekh) & Saud Bhati (@saudbhati7)

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