Oscar form must be a worry for Chelsea

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He announced himself to the football world with a brilliant hat-trick in the final of 2011 under-20 World Cup that led Brazil to victory. A year later he secured a move to English giants Chelsea and endeared himself to the Stamford Bridge crowd with two wonderful strikes against Juventus.

Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior had the world at his feet when he moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2012. His started spectacularly in London, as highlighted by those goals in the Champions League, and formed a fearsome trinity with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard under then manager Roberto Di Matteo.

However his form has been rather inconsistent over the last 18 months or so and has now found himself in and out of the team despite signing a new contract last November. There have been reports that the 23-year-old questioned Jose Mourinho's defensive approach in a team meeting and has since been left on the bench.

His recent struggles to produce the goods at the highest level or at his usual high standards is quite frustrating not just for the manager but also for the fans. The former Internacional midfielder is supremely gifted and his willingness to work hard for the team must also be admired. However, his inability to carry his top form throughout an entire season may be down to the workload of the Brazilian.

Lack of rest

Since the summer of 2011, the Oscar is yet to have a lengthy rest period in the summer. He has served his country every summer since then and, barring injury, he will be at Copa America this summer in Chile.

After becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in the U20 World Cup final, Oscar was selected to represent the Selecao at the 2012 Olympics. Brazil were the hot favourites for the gold medal but were beaten by Mexico in the final.

A year later after a gruelling 2012/2013 Premier League season, he was again selected by Luis Felipe Scolari, this time for the Confederations Cup squad, a tournament which Brazil won.

A year later, Oscar again pulled on the Brazil shirt this time at the much anticipated World Cup on home soil. This made it four tournaments in four successive summers.

It should be five from five this year with Oscar appearing to be very much in the plans of new coach Dunga. After a disappointing World Cup under Scolari, Brazil will be looking to bounce back right away.

However, such pressure once again on Oscar will surely put him in danger of burning out. He needs to be nurtured and withheld where possible in order to maximise his chances of fulfilling his massive potential.

Mourinho's tactics

Often described as a tactical genius, Jose Mourinho is perhaps the most demanding manager in world football today. He focuses on being resolute in defence and expects every player in the team to carry out their defensive duties.

The Chelsea boss may be hindering the creative aspect of Oscar's game as he is expected to contribute as much to the defensive aspect before looking to get forward. The Chelsea team is well drilled and is highly disciplined in their approach.

Oscar is not afraid to get stuck-in or leave his foot in a tackle but his purpose is to create chances going forward. He spends much of his time on the pitch squeezing the opposition for space, making it difficult for them to play especially from the back. His energy and focus may be elsewhere other than creating and scoring goals which takes away from his influence on games in the manner in which he is expected to.

Perhaps he may be feeling that his influence on games is being hindered and thus questioned the Portuguese manager's defensive approach in a recent team meeting. He looks his natural self in the Brazil shirt where he looks to get on the ball as much as possible linking up with skipper Neymar and Roberto Firmino in the final third.

But at Chelsea this is not the case and he would understandably be frustrated, despite the fact that the Blues are on course to become Premier League champions.

Lack of confidence

After starting the season in stunning form and earning a new deal Oscar now looks a shadow of the man who pulls the strings for Dunga's Brazil. His lost of confidence in the Chelsea shirt may be down to the tension with his manager and Chelsea fans will hope this is not the case.

With his confidence at an all-time low, the former Internacional youngster doesn't seem to have the same touch, vision and his willingness to take risks seems to be non-existent. He also seems shy in-front of goal where he is normally very reliable.

He is undoubtedly an excellent player and still has a lot to learn in order to really hone his trade. A change of scenery may be a good idea but Chelsea would surely be unlikely to sell.

But if Brazil manage to be victorious this summer, despite the exertion it will take, Oscar may very well return to Stamford Bridge refreshed and ready to start a new chapter.

Chelsea fans: are you worried about what the future holds for Oscar? Let us know below!

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