From loaning out Romelu Lukaku to benching Juan Mata, many people are wondering if the 'Special One' is still so special.
Chelsea are performing to an average level in the Premier League and the Champions League, but there is no need for panic and certainly no need to question Jose Mourinho's ability.
With just Fernando Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto'o as Chelsea's striking options, it has shocked people as to why Mourinho would loan out the only Blues striker in good form. Lukaku has four goals in three games for Everton, whilst Chelsea's three strikers are all stuck on zero league goals.
For people who don't look beyond the exterior, it seems like an obviously ridiculous decision to loan out Lukaku, but everything happens for a reason and clearly the reasons behind this particular decision haven't been properly acknowledged.
Towards the end of the window Mourinho sat down with Lukaku and discussed the player's future. Lukaku was still unsure of whether he would be getting enough first team minutes, so he asked to leave. The decision made is understandable from the point of view of both parties.
Lukaku wanted guaranteed first-team football every week so that h would be picked for the World Cup, but on the other hand Jose was not prepared to give him this, and rightly so. Mourinho has two of the best strikers in World Football over the last five years at his disposal and benching them both in favour of a 20-year-old who has had one good season.
Maybe it was not the best decision, but the blame cant be solely placed on Mourinho and it's far too early to judge whether it was a good or bad move at this stage. Romelu Lukaku has four Premier League goals to his name, and whilst this is very impressive, it will take another 15 or so for him to justify the claims that Mourinho made a massive judgment error in loaning him out.
The other big reason Mourinho has been criticised is the amount of playing time he was giving to Chelsea's best player, Juan Mata. What people need to realise is that this was never going to turn into a long term thing, but he simply wanted to make an example out of Mata in order to send a message to the rest of the team. Mourinho stated that he wasn't happy with the way Mata was training, so he didn't earn a spot in the starting 11.
What this does is it sends a message to the players from Mourinho that says: I don't care who you are or how good you may be, if you're not putting in the effort and you're not performing up to scratch then you will be dropped.
As a result, the players are constantly giving 100% effort and are more focused. But for this method to be successful, Mourinho needed to make an example out of one of the teams star players. If he doesn't and just uses a fringe player, then the players won't be affected at all and will not gain that urgency to maintain/earn a spot in the team.
If there is one thing that is never in question, it is Mourinho's tactical mind and his ability to change the whole dimension of a game with one substitution. Against Norwich, Chelsea were level and then introduced Hazard and Willian in search of a winner. It was hardly a surprise when Hazard scored the winner, and when Willian sealed the win with a thunderous finish.
The Special One is Special for a reason and it is foolish to doubt the abilities of one of Football's greatest ever managers. With Chelsea's plethora of talent and Jose Mourinho leading the way forward, it would come as a great surprise to see anybody but Chelsea as the champions. As the season progresses, they will only get better and who knows, maybe they can have a say in the Champions League too.
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