Chelsea: Mourinho not a guarantee for success

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Football News

A brief glance at the odds from a number of bookmakers reveal the punters and many pundits share the same view ahead of the new season - that Chelsea will be the champions of the Premier League come May.

The second coming of the Special One has been reason enough for many to identify Chelsea as favourites to clinch the title ahead of a restructured Manchester United and a rejigged Manchester City, although it may not be as simple as that.

Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to lower the curtain on his illustrious career at the end of last season places Jose Mourinho as arguably the most accomplished manager in the world at present, but even he may be unable transform Chelsea into title contenders.

Mourinho's most iconic seasons in club management have revolved around a proven goalscorer able to flourish under his tactics, but Chelsea do not possess the resources at present to suggest they can sustain a genuine title tilt.

During Mourinho's historic Treble winning campaign with Inter, Diego Milito found the net 30 times in 52 appearances across all competitions - providing a central focal point in between two wide forwards.

Inter also had a creative hub in midfield powered by Wesley Sneijder, while Mourinho adopted a similar system to great effect at Real Madrid in their title winning season of 2011-12.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the lead of that fabulous attacking unit and, under the tutelage of Mourinho for three seasons, scored an incredible 168 goals in 164 appearances for Real Madrid.

While Chelsea have among their number characteristic components of a Mourinho system - wide forwards in Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle, and deep 10s in Oscar and Juan Mata - they lack a player to add cut to their thrust.

Fernando Torres, although showing glimpses last season, would appear to be beyond repair in terms of goalscoring form, with even Mourinho unlikely to be able to revive the diminishing talents of the Spain international.

Most Chelsea fans would tend to agree with this assertion, with hopes being pinned on the anticipated emergence of Romelu Lukaku as the next icon in the new Mourinho era.

Lukaku's 17 goals for West Brom last season would suggest this optimism is well placed, but over-reliance on a 20-year-old is a dangerous mindset, particularly given he only played 38 matches in all competitions during his time at The Hawthorns.

The occasions where Lukaku must be rested, or if he sustains an injury, present Mourinho with a serious dilemma and, if they club fail to recruit Wayne Rooney, their title prospects will be severely damaged.

A deal for Rooney would appear to be incredibly unlikely and, with Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani having moved elsewhere this summer, Chelsea have the most threadbare unit of goalscorers in the Premier League's top three.

Mourinho does, of course, also have Demba Ba at his disposal, but the smart money would suggest the club would accept offers for the Senegalese if they are able to recruit another body before the close of the transfer window.

Chelsea have 17 more days until the passing of the transfer deadline to capture a player capable of exacting the optimum from Mourinho's system, but the dearth in available talent places them in a potentially perilous position.

The Blues no longer have the luxury of Didier Drogba to execute Mourinho's plan A, or can they rely on Frank Lampard at his zenith to drag them through games if the initial strategy proves fruitless.

Mourinho could not have highlighted Chelsea's issues more precisely when their official interest in Manchester United's unsettled No.10 was revealed: it's Rooney or bust

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