Chelsea's first foray into the Champions League this season didn't exactly go to plan as FC Basel defeated the Blues 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
As reported by BBC Sport, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was very quick to give himself the blame for the loss, but is there much the Portuguese maestro can do?
Jose's first reign at Stamford Bridge was characterised by a solid style of play primarily designed in order to stifle the opposition.
Mourinho's wingers would basically play as auxiliary midfielders, and the primary aim of the whole team was to limit the space that the opposition could play in. When Chelsea had the ball, they'd use the strong spine of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba; playing the ball through the middle and using brawn rather than brains to get the ball into the net.
Whilst this mode of football was not the most attractive, it was certainly highly effective, and this blueprint proved successful for almost all of the time that Mourinho was in charge.
The trouble with that particular way of playing though, is that is personnel dependent. In order to play that way it was necessary for Mourinho to have a striker like Drogba, a box-to-box midfielder like Lampard and a defensive midfield option like Claude Makelele.
When Mourinho moved to Inter Milan, he was quickly able to assemble a side with a similar style; with Diego Milito playing the 'Drogba' role, Wesley Sneijder in place of Frank Lampard and Esteban Cambiasso occupying the defensive position that Makelele had at Chelsea. Again the system proved effective and led to a treble for the Italian club.
Whilst Mourinho didn't use the same system to the same degree at Real Madrid, he did focus on players who were strong and powerful, and used them to create a formidable side who were also highly adept at attacking. He was less successful at Madrid, managing a solitary La Liga title and failing three times to clinch the Champions League once again.
What is clear from looking at Mourinho sides of the past, is that he favours a particular style and there's little doubt that if he had his way, the Chelsea class of 2013 would conform to the same blueprint.
Unfortunately, Chelsea no longer possess enough players who can be moulded into the Mourinho masterplan. Since his exit in 2007, the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has focused on improving the quality of Chelsea's football, and consequently has sanctioned the purchases of a number of players who are almost oppositional to the Mourinho mantra.
Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata, David Luiz and now Willian are just some of the purchases of the last few years; and all of these players are 'creative' types; and very difficult to mould into a Mourinho style team.
The trouble now is that Mourinho has an obligation to play these players, and in any case, given that many of the players from his original tenure have now departed, he has little option but to play them.
The result of having to play them is a somewhat lopsided team: Mourinho is still trying to create a solid and impenetrable collective, but this goes against many of the players natural inclinations.
Hazard for example, is an out-and-out attacking player, but Mourinho requires defensive responsibilities from all his attacking players, and this is not something in Hazard's skillset. Consequently, these highly talented attacking players are trying to follow the manager's instructions while at the same time playing their natural game.
If given time, there's little doubt that Mourinho will be able to improve this side. However, it remains to be seen how many of these sorts of losses Abramovich will countenance before Mourinho's position becomes untenable. The Russian owner is famously impatient, and for Mourinho, it's a race against time to make all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together before it's too late.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms