Chelsea’s battle to reach the top four is becoming more difficult by the week and Jose Mourinho’s men face an uphill challenge to escape their unprecedented turmoil.
However, if the Blues are to wriggle out of their rotten form it will be Ramires and Willian who will bail out their flagging side.
The Brazilian duo have proved an anomalous positive in an embarrassing start to the season that has seen Chelsea slump to 14th. Their endless effort and selflessness have been pivotal in the handful of positive performances Chelsea have mustered this term.
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The 28-year-old is in his sixth season at Chelsea and is now an established player at Stamford Bridge - a relative rarity considering the merry-go-round transfer policy at the club.
Over the course of his tenure, the Brazilian has amassed 240 appearances in England with a tally of 37 goals from deep midfield.
The 28-year-old has been a bubble of energy and athleticism throughout this time in a blue jersey and this season has been no different.
Despite all the relentless turmoil, losses and negative press, Ramires has persisted to run himself into the ground for his Portuguese manager.
Whilst his technical ability might not match that of Cesc Fabregas or Nemanja Matic, at least in the struggles of this season Ramires has shown effort and determination under tough circumstances.
His passion has been exemplified by goals against Liverpool and Newcastle, the latter proving a long range thunderbolt that galvanised the side to an improbable comeback. Despite his deep-lying role, the Brazilian has produced the raw drive to push forward and drag Chelsea back into games.
A recent injury saw Ramires miss out on Chelsea’s hard-earned tie with Tottenham last weekend and home defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday, yet he is highly likely to be reinstated upon his imminent return.
Chelsea's free-kick specialist has also shone under adversity this term, seemingly proving one of very few players wanting to display any form of skill or impetus. Despite being only four months into the fresh campaign, the mercurial Brazilian is experiencing his most prolific season in west London.
His astonishing free-kick record has seen the forward gain prominent publicity, with his exemplary technique fooling a plethora of goalkeepers.
The fact he is Chelsea’s top scorer this season, despite not having scored from open play, is particularly admirable.
Mourinho’s men have flourished in the Champions League away from their Premier League struggles and Willian has proven pivotal. The 27-year-old has converted a direct free-kick in all but one of Chelsea’s European fixtures this season.
However, the midfielder possesses more to his game than just jaw-dropping dead ball strikes. Willian has matched his Brazilian compatriot in raw effort and his delivery from wide positions has been Chelsea’s main offensive avenue.
TOP FOUR HOPES
Even despite their woeful defeat to Bournemouth on Sunday at Stamford Bridge, it’s not too late for Mourinho’s men to launch a last-ditch top four bid. Granted, the task will be astonishingly difficult, but if any manager can claw his side back to the good times it’s the ‘Special One’.
If Chelsea are to rescue their season from the endless spree of losses and disappointment, Willian and Ramires will play a vital role. Blues fans must be thankful that despite their mid-table dwellings, at least two of their players are playing with an ounce of passion.
The Brazilian duo have been influential so far and as long as Mourinho continues to select them, the hope of clambering back to the top-four will continue to flicker until it's mathematically impossible.
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