Chelsea v Atletico - Come on Chelsea - Make us dream again!
Jose Mourinho and tactics has been the theme that has dominated reports over the past few days. A...
Jose Mourinho and tactics has been the theme that has dominated reports over the past few days. As Chelsea take on Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge, being one game away from our second Champions League Final in three seasons, we are all hoping he can pull off another masterstroke tonight!
This is NO easy game and in fact a very, very dangerous game because of the away goal situation. Chelsea cannot afford to concede and need to score two goals to feel better, more comfortable.
I love Jose Mourinho, Chelsea fans love Jose Mourinho and I am certain there are neutrals that love him, his big game management and the fact that he can set a team up to get a result.
As we know, he has issues with the FA, the media and some Pundits in the game of late and when asked about his tactics, he explained his thought process in typical Mourinho style by saying:
"At this moment, football is full of philosophers. People who understand much more than me. People with fantastic theories and philosophies. It's amazing. But the reality is always the reality. A team that doesn't defend well doesn't have many chances to win. A team that doesn't score lots of goals, if they concede lots of goals, is in trouble. A team without balance is not a team.
I remember in my first period here, if you have a goalkeeper like Petr Cech who puts the ball in the opponents' box, and a striker like Didier Drogba who wins everything in the air, why play short? Because you are stupid?
If your opponents are very fast on the counter and want space behind your defensive line, if you give them that space you are stupid. So when a team plays strategically and [a manager] thinks about his team and the qualities of the opponent … 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 'good teams, intelligent teams'. In this moment – depending on the coach and the club obviously – the critics speak."
Excellent again from the manager and spot on. If there is one person who will have the game tonight prepared as much as possible, tactics ready, game plan ready and the ability to set his team up it's Mourinho.
These are the games and the moments that he comes alive! Nights like tonight at Stamford Bridge are special and Mourinho thrives on these occasions.
I imagine the game being totally different to the first leg with Atletico looking to defend deep and play on the counter attack. It's up to Chelsea to take the game to our opponents. The fact that we have Eden Hazard and Samuel Eto'o available is massive for the manager and gives us much better options going forward.
I expect the back four to start back together with JT and Gary Cahill in the middle, Cesar Azpilicueta back at left back and Branislav Ivanovic (although impressive in the middle against Liverpool) back on the right hand side.
I just wonder how the manager will approach the game with our formation? Will he stick with the tried and trusted 4-2-3-1 formation that has been used for the most part this season or, will he revert back to a similar formation to that of Real Madrid with the 4-3-3 formation?
David Luiz and Ramires both should start in the midfield no matter what formation he plays. With Mikel and Lampard suspended and Matic cup tied, he has to play these two in that position.
It was very noticeable that Oscar travelled with the first team to Anfield on Sunday but played no part in the game and wasn't even named on the bench. He WILL start in the number ten position and I expect Eden Hazard and Willian to start either side of him.
Up top, I would start with Samuel Eto'o if he is ready ahead of Fernando Torres but if it was the other way around, because Chelsea will be on the front foot, it doesn't matter as Torres will be more than keen to do well.
There are two things that Chelsea MUST do tonight. We need to remain tight and compact at the back and just in front of our back four and keep Diego Costa isolated. David Luiz is on a yellow card and has to be aware of that. We cannot have a Xabi Alonso situation this evening!
Secondly, we have to use the ball well in our counter attacks. We need to move the ball wide and really attack their full backs to push them backwards. I do not rate their full backs and think that Eden Hazard could cause them all sorts of problems.
The time is now Chelsea. The time is now Jose Mourinho. You are the best in the business and we need you to come alive once more to take us to the dream final. We will all be right there with you and right behind the team as always.
This is OUR time. Come on Chelsea!!!