Chelsea: Dropping Fan-Fave Oscar Showed Jose Still Has The Balls For The Big Time
Ok, so the analysis has gone on and on. People have pointed to the loss of Sergio Aguero and Fernandinho, they have pointed to the fact that Chelsea are a side who are geared up for big games.
The one thing that should be talked about, and the thing that was nearly 100% responsible for Chelsea’s win against Manchester City? The team talk by club masseur Billy McCulloch. Joke. The thing that I am really referring to is the Mourinho effect.
Chelsea did not make a move for a world class forward in the transfer window. They did not need to. Well they did but as a Blues fan, let’s gloss over the negatives and roll right on to the positives of the win against a previously unbeaten Manchester City side at home. This was also a Manchester City side that had scored in all their home league games for nearly the last three years as well.
Chelsea might be a small horse as a side, but their manager is a stallion – and a thorough bred one at that.
Not even the Chelsea players could guess the team that would be taking to the field at 8pm last Monday night. Oscar on the bench? That takes nearly as much guts as benching Iker Casillas at Real.
Oscar has been the heartbeat of the Chelsea side this season, and was in no small part responsible for the departure of fan favourite Juan Mata. Yet Mourinho chose to start a midfield of David Luiz, Ramirez and old boy turned new boy Nemanja Matic.
It worked. Chelsea, bar in the first ten minutes, were in total control of the game and had they had that elusive forward, would have won by far more than a single goal margin.
Mourinho’s sides at their best are simply unstoppable, and quite frankly, Chelsea made an away trip to the ‘most feared ground in Europe at the minute’ look like they were at Craven Cottage. With the home side down to ten men.
It was convincing, perhaps the most convincing performance of the season, and everyone recognised it. Unfortunately for City, Barcelona were amongst those doing so.
The Citizens are still sensational, and can score at will more often than not, but against Chelsea several weaknesses were exposed, not least that of Yaya Toure, who without Fernandinho looks suspect and can be passed around by a top quality side. His former employers, Barcelona, are just that.
Chelsea meanwhile saw Eden Hazard take another step towards the Ronaldo half of the scale Mourinho claimed he could be on, and left the Joe Cole end further behind.
Matic was assured and the centre back pairing of Gary Cahill and John Terry were sublime. To say the duo are the best in the country at the minute – and should be representing England at the World Cup in the summer is no exaggeration.
The Chelsea goal came from Branislav Ivanovic, who is fond of scoring on big occasions, albeit usually with his head. A good performance from the right back was capped by the winner, and Chelsea’s back line are looking more Mourinho than ever.
The Chelsea boss was up to his usual tricks post match, with a presser that was more mind games and light hearted than Manuel Pellegrini’s – who after that game can still call his side title favourites but has more to worry about than anyone may have thought. As Jose has said before, and would probably be happy to remind him again, should Chelsea sack him, a top quality side would be waiting in the wings. Pellegrini? Maybe a return to Malaga.
Chelsea have the best record out of the top four – and Manchester United – in so called ‘six pointers’ and you can bet your bottom dollar that is who Mourinho would love to play week in week out. If his side did, they would be title winners come May for sure.