If you stand still you move backwards.
It's a common thinly-veiled phrase used by managers to remind club directors that failure to invest in the squad will ultimately cost dearly, as competitors strengthen a lack of foresight leaves you playing catch-up.
Jose Mourinho's keen eye for detail has long been one of his strengths. The Portuguese manager unceremoniously moved on Chelsea stalwarts Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard buoyed by the emergence of Cesar Azpilicueta and Willian, bolstered an unloved youth system and given academy graduates the chance to gain first-team experience.
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Mourinho isn't short of hefty financial resources either. Over the summer, Chelsea brought in Barcelona winger Pedro, left-back Baba Rahman as well as the under-performing Radamel Falcao. That's on top of over 25 players out on loan, including recent arrival Juan Cuadrado, a nucleous of youngsters at Vitesse Arnhem as well as forgotten men Marko Marin and Christian Atsu.
Last season, the west London side dominated the Premier League thanks to a consistent team selection that boasted a delicate balance of tactical awareness and creative flair. This season the desired approach seemed much the same, but a home draw against Swansea City on the opening day of the season has been followed up by defeats at Manchester City and Everton which suggests the club may have rested on their laurels.
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Gone was the puffed out chest and orchestrated comments aimed at pressuring the opposition, replaced by the public criticism of his players and an awkward reminder to his critics that he is still 'a fantastic manager'.
Despite having brought in reinforcements, none of the newcomers aside from Pedro seem to have been recruited to be first-team regulars. Falcao is an understudy to Diego Costa, Rahman provides cover at full-back and Asmir Begovic has only been pushed into the limelight due to an injury to regular starter Thibaut Courtois.
The new season has also made John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic, usually consistent performers, look past their best as they struggle to deal with high-intensity football. Ivanovic has been tormented by pacy wingers and Terry's famed presence is seemingly ebbing away after a series of rash challenges.
Mourinho seems to agree. He unsuccessfully tried to bring in Everton's John Stones over the summer and has now reportedly ordered his scouts to find alternatives at right-back. The trusted central midfield pairing of Nemanja Matic and Fabregas has also failed to reproduce last term's form.
You can guarantee that Mourinho will quickly address any issues in the January transfer window, but his failure to foresee the problem areas could mean Chelsea may have too much ground to make up.
Do you think Mourinho is under pressure? How much longer should Chelsea give him? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below.
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