SEASON PREVIEW: The supporting act - finding the right balance.
Without question, Juan Mata has been our best player for the last two seasons! He has deserved ev...
Without question, Juan Mata has been our best player for the last two seasons! He has deserved every single award he has been given playing as our "Number ten". You do have to wonder after comments made by Jose Mourinho, if we will see Mata feature as a wide player on the right, coming into the inside?
Whether than means Jose will stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation we have become used to in the last two seasons or he makes the switch to his 4-3-3 formation of old, Juan Mata will feature heavily in his plans.
Mata IS a number ten and in my view plays better through the middle but expect to see him used in a number of positions this season.
Mata will remain instrumental for Chelsea this season. He has been the main man and you can only imagine him moving onto another level under Mourinho.
Eden Hazard will become up there with the best in the world at some stage in his career. Working with Mourinho, I can see that happening at Chelsea.
He has the world at his feet and this season, has to prove himself in an alternative way to keep his place in the team which in itself sounds ridiculous!.
Remember Joe Cole? Remember how Jose managed him when he came here? He WILL do the same with Hazard and he will need to work hard defending this season more than he ever has before.
With the ball at his feet, Hazard is different class and will only get better and better.
It's the working relationship between Hazard and Mourinho that I am really interested in seeing develop and Hazard's performances this season as a result.
Victor Moses is someone that suits Jose Mourinho's playing style. Willing to work hard for team without the ball at his feet. Willing to get forward at will, come inside, take people on and score goals he has really impressed me this pre season and surely Jose.
I wouldn't be surprised if we see Moses start on Sunday wide right because he has done really well. With the return of De Bruyne and the signing of Schurrle, next to Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard, Moses hasn't been the focus of much media attention.
Mark my words! Victor Moses could be a revelation for Chelsea this season working with Mourinho.
This season we could see Oscar make an impact in his preferred number ten position in direct competition with Juan Mata. In fact, if in some games Jose sticks Mata wide right, expect Oscar to fill in through the middle.
I could never understand why Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez would stick Oscar out wide to play that role. It's not his position and his game isn't about taking people on and driving forward to the byline to get a cross in the box.
Oscar could be as creative as Juan Mata given the right exposure in the number ten role. He played an important part for Brazil in every game during the Confederations Cup and could do the same for us after a really impressive first season at the club.
One thing is certain. Oscar will improve and develop his game just as Ramires has and it will be interesting to see just how many times Jose rotates Mata and Oscar in that number ten role.
Kevin De Bruyne has finally been given his chance to shine at Chelsea this season and he is someone that could provide a real balance in the team.
For most of last season we would see Hazard wide left, Mata in the middle and then either Moses or Oscar wide right. As I have said, Moses has a real chance of making that position his own this season but De Bruyne will provide stiff competition down that right hand side.
Belgian team mates, KDB and Hazard can interchange positions and provide natural width to our shape and formation as lets not forget, Moses was a centre forward back at Crystal Palace.
Of course we have seen KDB play in the number ten role during pre season but I can't see that happening during the Premier League season.
KDB provides Mourinho with natural width but as with Hazard, will have to work hard without the ball in defensive areas. Expect KDB to feature at home wide right and Victor Moses to feature away!
Andre Schurrle has work to do in his first season. Marko Marin arrived here last season and with expectations to perform and make an impact but that never materialised. Schurrle needs to hit the ground running to provide Hazard with real competition for a start.
His introduction to the Premier League could be slow to begin with so he needs to train and work hard to force his way into Jose's plans.
Carefree & KTBFFH!