Caleb Sage assesses the title chances of Mourinho’s charges and asks whether their attacking options can be too much of a good thing.
Jose Mourinho back at the bridge! However does this automatically make Chelsea title contenders for the 2013/2014 Barclays Premier League? Mourinho a very successful manager but theoretically isn’t he working with a Euorpa League squad? Yet Chelsea’s name has constantly been mentioned along with the Manchester clubs which they rightly should be.
But like I previously said theoretically coming off last season, Chelsea were a Europa league team. However with three new signings in Andre Schurrle, Marco Van Ginkel and Mark Schwarzer how could things possibly be different? Of course any fan would know the influence of Jose Mourinho contradicts any point suggesting Chelsea won’t be up there come the end of the season. So let’s look at the team as a whole and get away from all the Jose talk.
First of all from Chelsea’s two pre-season matches so far against Singha all stars and Malaysia XI how the ball is being moved looks completely different. Yes you can argue wait a second I’ve never even heard of these teams. However times last season even against lesser teams such as reading (no disrespect to reading) the ball was not getting to the three behind the striker quick enough, ultimately slowing down attacks and given the opposition time to reposition there selves. So after watching Chelsea’s two pre-season matches maybe change is to come.
Now let’s look at the three that played behind the striker last season. Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, and Oscar. Quite frankly they were amazing right? However there were times were I think they shouldn’t even have had a chance to be amazing. Let me elaborate. Oscar played 64 times, Hazard 62 and Mata 64. Now yes you can argue Chelsea had good cup runs and played in more competitions but having players who were mere teenagers a few years back playing 60 odd games is just pure overkill. Yes it’s good experience but it’s got to be tiring and you could tell it was from some of Chelsea’s performances towards the end of the season.
What makes things difference this time around? Chelsea has finally brought in Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen for a fee believed to be in the region of £18 million. Schurrle a player I am highly fond of can operate anywhere in that front three in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Also Kevin De Bruyne has returned from loan and is set to stay at the bridge. He is another player I believe will be of importance for Chelsea this season as he just gives them another option. He has impressed me this pre-season so far being very influential in the final third of the pitch. His set pieces have been quite decent and to top it off he scored an absolute cracker before injuring himself against Malaysia XI.
Overall the main point of my argument is that with an improvement in squad depth and maybe another addition upfront along with Jose’s influence, Chelsea could really show they mean business this season. What do you think?