Despite this season being Chelsea’s slowest start to a season in the Roman Abramovich era, Blues fans should not be too alarmed by these facts.
Instead, the Stamford Bridge faitfhul should assess the bursts of creativity and moments of magic being created by the Chelsea attack as well as the clearly improved defensive discipline of the squad.
Upon the arrival or Jose Mourinho, fans seemed to expect smooth sailing this football season and are being extremely critical of Chelsea since this anticipated performance improvement has not been reflected in their current position in the Premier League and recent performances, particularly in the 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park.
But spectators need to look beyond the figures and analyse the chemistry being developed between the midfield and front-line as well as the almost excessive amount of young talent in the squad.
Problems with goal scoring should really be behind Chelsea this season as you analyse the performance and talent of the front-line in particular.
With the signing of Samuel Eto’o, an already well established, veteran striker with a habit of goal scoring, Chelsea would be extremely unlucky to not have any goals provided by the still fit and talented Cameroonian. I would have to give Eto’o a performance rating of 7.5/10 which is extremely good for a Premier League debut and I was very impressed with the amount of work he put in, not only in attacking but also defensively.
Another possible goal scorer in the squad is Fernando Torres, he has undoubtedly not regained his form which was seen at Liverpool but he appears to be improving on a game to game basis and his spectacular volley against Bayern Munich in the Super Cup show a much more confident striker than previously seen since his arrival at Chelsea.
Demba Ba appears to be putting in a lot of work but does seem to have a problem scoring goals but if anyone has the ability to bring out the best in the Senegalese forward, it is Mourinho.
Another player who can be played as a striker is Andre Schurrle, who has previously had very successful seasons in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen. Schurrle has proven to be a consistently hard worker and is expected to thrive once he becomes comfortable in the Barclays Premier League.
Linking up with these experienced and decorated forwards is a mainly young, talented midfield accompanied by Frank Lampard. Chelsea’s most experienced midfielder offers stability and guidance to the younger players as well as a consistent goal-scoring and assist record.
It may be the opinion of many people that Chelsea have too many midfielders and will struggle to keep their players happy when they may not be able to offer much game time. However, despite this abundance of midfielders, it also should be considered that Chelsea played the most games out of any English team last season due to the amount of competitions that were contested, this may provide the game time needed for player satisfaction and may give rise to a need for a wealth of capable midfielders.
With players who primarily play as central attacking midfielders such as Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Willian, De Bruyne and Schurrle, there is a lot of competition for this position so either game time sacrifices or changes in positions for certain players may be necessary with such a vast amount of talent available.
Two young players who should certainly be monitored this season and who have been clear favourites of Jose Mourinho are Oscar and Eden Hazard.
Both players had fantastic debut seasons, adjusting to the English game very well but are both expected to really improve this season and provide Chelsea with goals and creativity, making them a force to be reckoned with in the title race.
Defensively, there is still work to do especially with David Luiz who is undoubtedly extremely talented and one of the future stars of Chelsea but at the moment, lacks the discipline needed as a central defender.
Gary Cahill is a dependable defender in the mould of John Terry and benefits largely from Terry’s guidance and company. Ashley Cole is, and always has been extremely reliable on the left and Ryan Bertrand is a competent young replacement for Cole when he, or the club, decide his future is elsewhere.
Branislav Ivanovic prefers being in central defence but it is clear that he has established himself at Chelsea as a right back and is now renowned as one of the best in the world in that position. Ivanovic does occasionally switch off, but Mourinho will not put up with this and this will have to change.
Azpilicueta is possibly the best young right back and a perfect replacement and back up to the Serb and will continue to improve under the management of Mourinho.
Between the goal posts, Petr Cech is undoubtedly still Chelsea’s number one and arguably one of, if not the, best goalkeeper in the world right now.
Having secured the services of Hilario for another year, as well as Mark Schwarzer, Chelsea are not in any trouble in that position and have sent young keeper Thibaut Courtois, who is expected to compete with David De Gea in the future as the best goalkeeper in the world, to Atletico Madrid for a third season-long loan.
Finally, Mourinho has proven himself to be extremely effective and successful wherever he has gone, winning league titles in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain as well as two Champions Leagues and many other domestic cups.
Mourinho is also an extremely popular figure with the Chelsea fans and is expected to be supported in his race to the Barclays Premier League title and his long awaited Champions League title with an English team, as well as the domestic cups which are always challenged fiercely by Chelsea.
Overall, it may take time for the chemistry to build between the extremely talented squad members but when it finally does, Chelsea will be an extremely dangerous team and compete very competitively on the European stage.
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