It has been a short rollercoaster ride in the opening weeks of the season for Mourinho. A squad teaming with talent, yet being unable to unleash their full potential has lead to a some poor results including a shock home defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League.
Their stuttering start to the season is only easier to swallow because of the similarly inconsistent form of title rivals Manchester United and Manchester City.
Chelsea currently sit fifth in the Premier League on eleven points out of a maximum 18. When Jose returned as ‘The Happy One’ many expected Chelsea to rein supreme, as their squad offers so much and Mourinho is really quite good at winning things. So what are the reasons for Chelsea’s disappointing results? And Has Mourinho done a good job so far?
Chelsea’s squad is overloaded with creative midfielders, thanks to Roman Abramovich insisting that Chelsea must play a more attractive style of football. Unfortunately, Mourinho does not specialise in ‘tiki-taka’. Mourinho specialises in winning, by whatever means necessary. He is tactically astute and puts organisation and preparation over any more expressive styles of football.
Since he left in 2008, Chelsea’s team has undergone some dramatic changes. His first spell was typified by rugged, organised defensive performances and powerful attacks spearheaded by Didier Drogba.
Mourinho has said that players such as David Luiz and Mata must now adapt to his style of play. These are two players who perhaps best represent the style of football that Abramovich wants to see. The fact that Mourinho has reservations about players such as these speaks volumes about the breakdown of their relationship back in 2008 and why Chelsea may be struggling as yet to find form.
It is a conflict of interests, between the manager and the owner. The players must be at sixes and seven’s, having been brought into a team whose ethos is to play free flowing, attractive football. With Mourinho’s appointment Chelsea’s players are now being told to be more tactically aware, hard working and less individualistic.
Understandably, Mourinho is finding it difficult to balance the playing time of his squad. Eyebrows and questions were raised at Mata’s lack of playing time in the first 6 weeks. Mata now seems to have established himself in Mourinho’s first squad after proving his worth with a string of influential performances.
The truth of it is, it’s too early to completely judge Mourinho. It’s too early to condemn David Moyes and it’s too early to hail Manuel Pelligrini as a triumph.
An early evaluation would suggest that The Special One is as outspoken, as confident and prudent as ever.
Though the initial results have been detrimental to his record his will to win has not faded, nor has his love for Chelsea Football Club. For these reasons Mourinho is still destined to succeed; and with all due respect his cause will be aided if Mr Abramovich can decide whether he wants his cake or whether he wants to eat it.