Has Jose Mourinho lost his grip at Chelsea?

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With Chelsea's back-line struggling to keep out the goals and the woefully out-of-form Ivanovic out of contention through injury, this weekend looked like the ideal opportunity for Baba Rahman to make his full league debut.

However, rumours have surfaced and began to gather pace, that Mourinho is set to overlook his £21 million summer signing in favour of playing Kurt Zouma out of position at right-back.


This has raised queries as to why Mourinho doesn't trust Rahman to play as a left-back in the Premier League. Despite two solid performances, all be it against poor opposition in Walsall and Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Baba has yet to replace the calamitous Ivanovic as one of Chelsea's full-backs.


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The Ghanaian has shown energy and pace in his cameos thus far, something that has been lacking in Chelsea's defence all season.

Mourinho has been quizzed on whether Ivanovic would be dropped for Rahman and after the 3-1 home defeat to Southampton the 'special one' offered a lame excuse:

"At the same time, every team, except Maccabi Tel Aviv, is a team of giants. And if you don’t have a minimum of five tall players good in the air, you are dead in set-pieces. When I play Azpilicueta on the right and Baba Rahman on the left and I don’t play Ivanovic, I have only three, not even four. So we have to think about all the details. And I think about all the details."

Looking back over recent years, the best team in modern history was Pep Guardiola's Barcelona team. I doubt many would accuse that set of players of being 'giants', quite the opposite in fact. In reality, technical ability will always be more of an asset than physical stature.

Meanwhile, it was reported that in a changing room rant after the lacklustre display at Newcastle, Mourinho told Azpilicueta that he was lucky that Chelsea do not possess an orthodox, top quality left-back to replace him. Hardly music to the ears of Baba Rahman.

It has been suggested that Mourinho did not want to sign Rahman and he was, in fact, a club signing. This wouldn't be the only example of such a scenario in this summer's transfer window.

Papy Who?

Many eyebrows were raised when Chelsea spent £2.7 million on a relative nobody in the form of Papy Djilobodji, with what looked like a panic-buy. After a summer of failure to sign top target John Stones, Chelsea turned to Nantes' Senegalese international to hopefully turn around their bad start.

It's not turned out that way, Djilobodji was immediately left out of Chelsea's Champions League squad upon arrival. Since then he has only made one substitute appearance, a rather pointless two-minute spell at the end of the Walsall game in the Capital One Cup.

Mourinho even admitted to not knowing who his new defender was, saying:

“It was not my choice. It was the choice of someone I trust completely, which is the same. I don’t know every player."

Obviously he hasn't been wowed in training either, so don't expect to be seeing Papy lining up in the Premier League for a while yet.

History Repeating Itself?

When Mourinho departed after his first spell in charge, a key factor was the lack of control over signings. The Chelsea board sanctioned the signings of Michael Ballack and Andriy Shevchenko without the consent of the manager. At the time, Mourinho was experiencing an uncharacteristic poor start to the season, although nothing compared to the current state of affairs.

The difference in this story is that Mourinho has not just been handed a new 4-year contract and Abramovich was still on a merciless hunt for his first Champions League. It is for this reason Mourinho is likely to stay put for now.

However, in order for Mourinho to achieve his goal of building a dynasty at the Bridge, he will have to grab control of the transfers pretty quickly, as well as turning around his team's fortunes on the pitch.

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