Jose's Chelsea 2.0: If This Is Us After 6 Months, Imagine After 6 Years...
I very much doubt a Jose Mourinho side has been referred to as an underdog since his time at Porto – and we all know what happened there.
His Chelsea 2.0 however have been at times this season. Not in a David Moyes parroting the small club mentality at Everton way, but in the sense that we all know they have some superstars in their side – but without at least one forward, a box to box midfielder and probably a centre back, they are just that little bit short.
Manchester City are everyone’s favourites for the Premier League title and there is little wonder. The Citizens look sensational – and have three of the best forwards around to help with that.
Mathematical issues or no, Manuel Pellegrini is odds on to lead his side to the Premier League title, and Jose Mourinho is not exactly talking his side’s chances up. In fact, he is playing them down. From the eggs needing to hatch to his forwards not being anywhere near the level of Luis Suarez, the Special One is painting his team as being quite average at the minute.
Does he really think that? The only way the answer to that question would be yes is if we lived in a world where the two finalists for citizen of the year were Luis Suarez and John Terry.
Mourinho’s men are looking more and more clinical, organised and unbeatable as the season goes on. Yes, there is no point pretending they will have the spark that City do until they buy another forward, but to say the title is on its way to the Etihad for the second time in three years is fairly wide of the mark.
Last week, I wrote an article harsher than the pig’s head the Camp Nou faithful threw at Luis Figo, and it was centred around Chelsea’s strikers.
I totally stand by that. Eto’o may have bagged three – and is a big game player, make no mistake – but a league is not won by beating Manchester United every week. Games like Stoke away (which was lost after multiple sloppy errors and misses) and West Brom at home (where only a dubious Eden Hazard last gaps penalty saved a point) are the ones that have to be won as well.
With our current strike force that will not be the case. But, credit where it is due. Eto’o may get the flukiest goals around, but they are still goals.
Whilst hattrick king Cristiano need not worry just quite yet, the fact of the matter remains, three goals against Manchester United is pretty damn good. Even if Moyes and his men are at sixes and sevens – not league wise of course, they will probably be at eights and nines soon if they carry on in that context.
Coincidentally, it is the first hattrick Eto’o has scored since his time at Inter Milan – under you guessed it, Jose Mourinho.
Forwards aside, Chelsea are looking more drilled at the back – with Gary Cahill growing into his role as John Terry’s partner and eventual successor, and Cesar Azpilicueta has shone brighter than the tan Cristiano Ronaldo loves to sport.
The shield of Ramires in the middle of the park is ever present. Even Jon Obi Mikel, who has been much criticised at times by Chelsea fans, has been impressive. Words cannot describe the talent of Oscar and Hazard when they are on song, and Willian has shown he was bought for a far greater reason than to annoy the lasagne paranoid neighbours over in North London.
Yes, players are needed – Chelsea are not the finished article. Mourinho has sent 24 players out on loan – a massive total, and that includes the beast that is Romelu Lukaku.
They are however the side who have beaten Manchester United, City, Liverpool and knocked Arsenal out of the league cup to boot.
If they can do that after six months under Mourinho, what on earth will they be like if he stays six years?
Follow Rebecca on Twitter, @RebeccaKnight01. She also writes for @LaFootyEttes