After a number of exotic purchases in the summer of 2014, Jose Mourinho took Chelsea to a memorable title victory in the 2014-15 season. The transfer market following that season did not see Chelsea go berserk as they bought in just two quality players in Falcao and Pedro. This season was expected to be somewhat the same for the Blues but as the season has un-folded, stranger things have happened.
Mourinho’ side slumped to a series of losses and was thrown out of the FA Cup. The Champions League form was not too bad but the London club were not gdrawn with tough opponents and were lucky in that prospect. However their domestic form has just been a disaster. Chelsea are presently 15th in the Barclays Premier League table with 14 points from 13 games.
This is the worst start by a championship winning club in the history of the Premier League. They lost to Stoke, Liverpool, West Ham, Southampton, Everton, Crystal Palace and Manchester City so far this season. They have been below par with their performances and have had problems all around the field.
The biggest problem for Chelsea has been their solidarity at the back. John Terry though experienced has looked vulnerable at times and with his age catching up, he is bound to lose certain attributes. But Mourinho has not been comfortable playing Zouma and Cahill at the back for some reason. This winter, they will surely be tempted to invest in a centre back and the name of John Stones has made the rounds off late.
Chelsea also have problems on the wings in defense. Ivanovic is also past his best form and is more a liability at the back for the club. Baba Rahman was given his chances and he did impress but he is far from a finished article and is not the right player for a title winning side. This is another area that the club should look at carefully.
In mid-field, Matic was in excellent form last season and was one of the star players for the club. But this season, he has lacked the commitment and work ethic and has often left his back four exposed. This has hurt Chelsea a plenty of times and will surely play on Mourinho’s mind when he decides his shopping list for January. Ramires and Mikel are the other options available for the club and they will surely have to search for another holding mid-fielder with Mikel mostly in his final season with the club.
Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus Cheek are the other two central mid-fielders that the club possess. Fabregas has been far from his best and has been found wanting a number of times this season. He is not disciplined enough for a Mourinho’s side and his lack of spark in attack has rendered him as an extra at the club. His place in the side is also lacking depth and the manger will have to think quickly about how he wants to strengthen his mid-field.
Up-front, Chelsea have an array of super stars who have great quality and ability. Willian, Oscar, Hazard and Pedro fight for three places in the squad and this is always a healthy competition to have. They have Costa, Falcao and Remy as strikers. The trio are one of the most powerful group of strikers playing for a club on paper and will have to prove their mettle sooner rather than later else Mourinho will be forced to enter the market even for a play maker.
It is hard to say that a club has gone from winners to mid-table in just over 4 months but Chelsea have had such a bad season. They have not been able to keep up with the pace of the league and have fallen behind pretty early in the race to the top. The squad also looks like they lack the inspiration and confidence to beat their opposition and if this kind of a mid-set is not changed, the manger is heading for big trouble.
With a busy fixture list up ahead in the English festive calendar, the onus is on Chelsea to turn their season around but if their performances continue this way till the turn of the year, Jose Mourinho will surely be looking at players from other clubs to change their fortune. That said, we believe that the squad still has enough fire-power to get back to the top half of the table and although a place in Europe also looks doubtful.
Tell us what Mourinho should do to change his team’s fortunes in the January transfer window in the comments section below.