CHELSEA PROBLEMS: LOOKING BACK - TAKING STOCK - LOOKING FORWARD.
By the time Chelsea kick off at Goodison Park on Saturday in the lunchtime kick off, it would hav...
By the time Chelsea kick off at Goodison Park on Saturday in the lunchtime kick off, it would have been two weeks since we suffered defeat against Crystal Palace. Where do we go from here?
Think back to a year ago and Chelsea were flying high. We had our transfer deals completed early, there was a buzz of excitement about the club again as we prepared to challenge for titles. Watching pre-season you could see all the players were up for it, the new players had settled in really well and they were all keen to make a big impression.
As the season started the team seemed to be on point, raring to go and quite literally dazzled the Premier League in those early weeks with a demonstration of fast flowing, attacking football that took us to the top of the League. We never lost that position once we reached the top and being honest, never looked like doing so. We were that confident.
A year on and we look a shadow of that team and those players. We look tired, we look laboured and we look as though we are still on our summer break celebrating our Premier League title last season!
Every single other team we have faced in those early weeks has been better than us all over the pitch and that's the disappointing thing about all this. They look fit, they look hungry and they look like teams that want those three points more than Chelsea do!
It was pleasing to hear Jose Mourinho admit that he has problems after the defeat to Palace. Taking you back to those comments a couple of weeks ago, he said:
'If a player is not performing there are two ways to look at it.
'The first one is that I trust the player so much that I will wait for the improvement. You wait, wait, and wait and maybe it comes or it doesn't come.
'Or, even when you are trusting the player arrives a moment when you think, "I have to change". And I can go both ways.
'I'm not happy with the performance because, for me, a performance is a collective performance, of 11 players at the same time.
'To perform collectively you need individual performances. When you have these kind of matches at this level you need people to perform.
'I cannot say I had 11 players at the same time performing. Two or three of them their individual performance was far from good.
'I blame myself for not changing one of them. When I made the third change I needed a fourth.'
You would have to believe that those players he is referring to (and he subsequently refused to mention any names), would have received such a dressing down in that changing room that it could prove to be the turning point in our season as let's face it, we cannot play much worse and for the most part, virtually ALL of the players can improve and play a hell of a lot better!
Onwards and upwards will be the focus from here on in starting at Everton on Saturday but something has to change this week at Cobham.
We all feel that we need some fresh faces in the first team and it's vitally important in my view that having had time to consider what he will do next, Jose Mourinho delivers.
Players such as Branislav Ivanovic, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas cannot get away with performances that have given so far this season. OK, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard are two of our most important players but they need to be given a kick up the arse, told that they cannot sit and live off of last seasons performances and to buck their ideas up!
As for Branislav Ivanovic? Well, all of us can see he is now a target for the opposition and has been found out week in, week out. If anything, alarm bells should have been ringing after the opening game of the season when Jefferson Montero ripped him to pieces against Swansea.
- Cesar Azpilicueta needs to come over to the right hand side and Baba Rahman in down the left as the first change which is most important of all.
- I also think we need to take Cesc Fabregas away from playing in front of our back four as he isn't the quickest and we need a solid defensive base to build from - to start from scratch if you will. I would push Cesc into the number ten role.
- Nemanja Matic cannot do everything and cover the ground he has to when playing next to Fabregas. Now here's the question - do we play Mikel as the defensive option to remain solid at the back and to stop conceding the goals we are conceding OR, do you bring in Ramires into the middle for his work rate and energy? At this stage (and most people will disagree with me here) I would play Mikel to help to stop the rot for the time being.
- Costa up front or Radamel Falcao? I would go with Falcao against Everton as he is on a high, scored his first goal and is confident. Is it me or has Diego Costa put on a few pounds that he needs to shake off?
That's the changes I would make to the first team for this Saturday against Everton. A win is a must ahead of Arsenal next week. Jose simply cannot stick with the same eleven week in, week out. We may have got away with it for the most part last season but in order to challenge again we MUST freshen things up!
What do you people think?