Chelsea’s worst ever start to a Premier League season was confirmed after yet another woeful performance from Mourinho’s men, that saw the Blues slump to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Everton.
The Chelsea manager was quoted by the official Chelsea website after today’s game as saying: “The biggest concern is that everything goes against us. We know that we are making mistakes but with every mistake we are punished immediately.”
It’s time that Mourinho fronts-up, in my opinion, and stops using bad fortune as an excuse for Chelsea’s atrocious start to the season.
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Goodison Park is usually a very tough place to go, so losing in itself isn’t too shameful. However, it will be the manner of the defeat that’ll have Chelsea fan’s around the world seething, myself included.
Slow and Disorganised
A hallmark of Chelsea’s title-winning campaign last season was their high-pressure, pack-like mentality when defending.
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The likes of Willian and Hazard were critical to retaining by constantly pressurising high up the pitch and winning the ball back immediately.
It’s a mentality that’s somehow become extinct over the summer with the defending champions happy to stand-off and welcome wave upon wave of attack from the opposition.
This was particularly evident in the opening 30 minutes against Everton where realistically the games was lost after going 2-0 down.
Chelsea’s lacklustre attitude while defending also seems to have seeped into their attack with numerous good opportunities going to waste, because of incredibly passive build up play and a distinct fear of being direct.
I welcomed Fabregas when he first joined, but he seems to be turning us into the new Arsenal. Happy to complete meaningless passes over and over again, until the attack gradually fizzles out and dies an agonisingly slow death.
The amount of times Diego Costa is through on goal and decides to take that extra touch instead of just putting his foot through it is staggering.
The one and only time a Chelsea player took a chance and gambled against Everton resulted in our only goal, with Matic pelting in a 35-yard screamer.
The Serbian was Chelsea’s only bright spark, constantly trying to drive Chelsea forward and provided bundles of energy in an otherwise flat Chelsea midfield.
The West-Londoner’s also seem to have abandoned any sense of positional responsibility. Primarily Costa, Hazard, Pedro and Fabregas, in today’s case, were allowed to roam wherever they pleased, which in my opinion, confuses them as much as the opposition defence.
It’s too regular an occurrence that Costa will drift out on to the wing seeking the ball and, therefore, leave a gaping hole up front that ultimately results in more monotonous passing.
The Spaniard is one of the world’s most dangerous strikers when he tries to make runs in behind the two centre back… So why doesn’t he do it?
Similarly, Hazard is guilty of drifting far too deep in an attempt to get a touch of the ball that leaves Chelsea’s attacks width-less and, therefore, easy to defend. The Belgian was very disappointing again.
Drop Ivanovic, call up Baba.
Mourinho has kept faith with Ivanovic despite a torrid start to the season, but it’s time for the Serbian to go, in my opinion.
The full-back was woeful against Everton with both of their early goals coming down Chelsea’s right side. The 31-year-old made no attempt to block the cross for Everton’s first goal and then allowed Naismith ample space to power his strike past Asmir Begovic.
Ivanovic was equally as poor going forward for Chelsea, a problem that has crippled Mourinho’s side for far too long. Blocked cross after blocked cross from the Serbian meant the likes of Costa had almost nothing to feed off.
New signing Baba Rahman could be the perfect replacement for Ivanovic. The 21-year-old was voted the Bundesliga’s best left-back last season and will bring much-needed energy and attacking threat to the Chelsea left-wing.
The introduction of the Ghanaian would also mean shifting Azpilicueta to right-back where the Spaniard initially played and is more comfortable as a right-footer.
It’s a change that I believe could have a significant impact on Chelsea, who have majorly fallen behind when utilising their full-backs as major attacking threats. Introducing Rahman could give Chelsea the desired width that they need to revitalise their season.
Chelsea player ratings vs Everton: