OPINION: Do you think it's time Jose Mourinho settled on Chelsea's best eleven?
I am asking YOU the Chelsea fan reading this, no matter where in the world you are, if you believ...
I am asking YOU the Chelsea fan reading this, no matter where in the world you are, if you believe that our squad rotation is causing us the biggest problem this season?
You look around teams like Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool and you can pretty much name at least eight players who will start each game in the Premier League if they are fit. In some cases it could be even nine or ten players.
It's seems that Jose Mourinho is a long way off those figures and whether it's because he doesn't know his best eleven or if it's because of the size of our squad, there seems to be a problem at the moment.
Quoting this article written by Matt Law in The Telegraph:
Four players – Petr Cech, Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry and Ramires – have started every Premier League game under Mourinho. But, otherwise, places have been up for grabs with a total of 25 players being used in all competitions and 42 Premier League line-up changes made so far this season. Chelsea’s opponents on Monday, Arsenal, have made only 33 changes.(Please note that when he states line-up changes, he refers to the starting eleven and substitutions)
It's staggering really isn't it, to think that those four are the only ones who have started every game! Think of our title winning seasons 2004-5, 2005-6 and 2009-10, I am sure if you look back at the records of those seasons you will see that we had the nucleus, the core of the team that played every week (fitness and suspensions permitting) and that became the base Jose built on.
Now looking at the size and quality of our squad, it has it's positive and negatives for me. The positives is the depth we have for players to call upon and step in to replace first team starters. However the negative outweighs the positive for me and this is causing us a problem.
Think about it, you are a player who hasn't featured many times starting games or you have and played well but are then dropped due to squad rotation! It creates uncertainty and players feel uneasy and uncomfortable with the situation.
As a result, whenever they are called upon whether it's to start or to come on as substitute in games, all they want to do is make a good impression on the manager to try and force their way into his plans. As a result in some instances, the team work suffers.
Our strikers are being hammered at the moment because of their lack of goals but how many times have we seen the likes of Torres, Eto'o and Ba in good positions and have been ignored?
I have my own opinion of the situation with the strikers and have stated on here that I believe they should be rid of all defensive duties including tracking back etc, just to concentrate on leading the line and work on their attacking movement and scoring goals. (You can have a look at that post here!)
Jose spoke the other day of changing our approach to games and making sure we defend first and foremost, to remain solid and then build from there but I am not 100% certain that is the way forward.
I look at the way Manuel Pellegrini sets his side up to play at home (4-4-2) and believe that Chelsea should do the same. Maybe not the case away from home but to switch to a 4-3-3 formation as I believe it gives us a better balance. (You can check that post out here!)
Getting back to the point of this blog post and I just wonder if making the decision of choosing what Jose believes to be his best eleven from now on is the way forward?
Players need games so the downside to all this will be players who are not playing will become unsettled and morale within the squad suffers.
It's important to remember that we are joint second in the Premier League with Liverpool, just two points behind Arsenal. So despite the current issues we have, we are right in this title race so imagine where we could go from here when we manage to click and deliver the performances we know we are capable of which would lead to better, consistent results!
It's important that there isn't any doom and gloom amongst the supporters, however I do understand that it's frustrating at times because it seems as though we are taking one step forward, followed by two steps back.
We have a chance to go top (or joint top of the League as I believe Liverpool will win again this weekend) if we can pull it together against Arsenal so it's important that all our focus is now on winning at the Emirates.
So what do you think Chelsea fans? Do you think that now is the time to stop rotating and for Jose Mourinho to settle on what he believes to be his best eleven and stick with it from now until the end of the season?
(Come and post your comments even if you are not registered on my comments system. You can comment anyway!)
Carefree & KTBFFH!