Five ways to improve Chelsea's performance this season

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Chelsea's horrific season continued to implode with Saturday's 3-1 home defeat against Liverpool, rubbing further salt into the wounds of manager Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese's position is under intense scrutiny, but these five changes could make all the difference and keep the 52-year-old in the job.

Stop playing Branislav Ivanovic at right-back

Ivanovic has been missing from the Chelsea squad since suffering an injury during the last international break, but is expected back in the team shortly after returning to training this week.


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Even though the Serbian was part of the best defence in the Premier League last season, it may be time for Mourinho to stop playing Ivanovic at right-back.

Throughout last year, he was the weak link in Chelsea's defence, often being caught out by passes played in behind him, only to be bailed out by John Terry and Gary Cahill.

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If Mourinho would like to keep playing Ivanovic, then a move to centre-back - his original position when he joined the club - could be on the cards, but he would face stiff competition from Terry, Cahill and Kurt Zouma.

Move Cesar Azpilicueta across and start Baba Rahman

Removing Ivanovic from the team would allow Azpilicueta, who has proven himself to be one of the best man-to-man defenders in football, to switch to his natural position of right-back, instead of continuing to play as an inverted left back.

This would also free up a spot for one of the club's summer signings. Left-back Baba Rahman from Augsburg has been given ample opportunities since joining, but after paying a fee supposed to be anywhere between £15-25 million, appears to be the club's future long-term left-back.

Give Ruben Loftus-Cheek more first-team football

Loftus-Cheek is undoubtedly a huge part of Chelsea's future. The strong, dynamic central midfielder can provide Mourinho's side with exactly the spark they require at this time, even at the age of 19.

Yet Mourinho seems afraid to utilise the youngster. Although the Portuguese manager had told the press he would give Loftus-Cheek 'a run of matches' after the international break, he played the youngster for just the first half of the following game against Aston Villa, in which he impressed, but has not played a single minute of the four contests since.

Struggling defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic would also be helped by playing alongside Loftus-Cheek, a much stronger defensive presence than his usual partner, Cesc Fabregas.

Move Cesc Fabregas to number ten

If Loftus-Cheek replaced Fabregas in midfield the opportunity to shift Fabregas forward to the number ten position would arise.

This would allow Fabregas, who has also struggled for most of this season, to operate in his favourite area of the pitch playing behind the striker, where he can best utilise his creativity to create goalscoring opportunities for his teammates.

Play Kurt Zouma at centre-back

Zouma is the future of Chelsea's central defence, so it only makes sense to allow him to play throughout this season - where any hopes of retaining the title look impossible - so he can get valuable experience heading into next season.

The young Frenchman has already shown he has the ability required to succeed at the highest level, but needs a steady run of games to become more experienced and playing alongside either Terry or Cahill would certainly provide the best learning opportunity.

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Jose Mourinho

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