After winning the title in emphatic fashion last season, Jose Mourinho’s arrogance in the transfer market has greatly contributed to Chelsea's astonishing debacle this campaign.
There is no doubt that winning the Premier League is a confidence booster - after all, its widely regarded as the world’s toughest league competition. However, the Blues' recent transfer activity has shown how success has gone straight to Mourinho’s head.
Thibaut Courtois returned from a three-year loan at Atletico Madrid upon the eve of the 2014/15 season. The Belgian’s superb form saw Petr Cech swiftly usurped in Chelsea’s goalkeeping pecking order.
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With the 23-year-old providing consistently impressive displays during Chelsea’s race towards the title, Cech was limited to only 16 appearances in all competitions. After a decade as the club’s number one, the Blues legend saw his place taken by Mourinho’s Belgian protégée.
As a result, Cech was keen to leave Chelsea despite his burning passion for the club. At the age of 33, the Czech shot-stopper was in a period regarded as a goalkeeper’s prime, so was understandably desperate for regular game time.
Going into the summer it became quickly apparent that Cech would be departing Stamford Bridge. However, few Blues fans anticipated that Mourinho would have the audacity to allow him to sign for a rival.
Mourinho’s role in the Czech Republic international's Arsenal move is not wholly understood, but the absence of a battle to keep him from the Emirates is shameful. On June 29, the deal became official and Chelsea had let a club legend slip from their fingers for just £10 million.
Since the transfer, Chelsea have found themselves drowning in 16th place whilst Arsenal are launching their most prominent title challenge in a decade.
Although Chelsea were swift to bring in Asmir Begovic as a replacement, the Bosnian is far from the quality of Cech. After Courtois’ long-term injury, Begovic has proven mediocre at best between the sticks at Stamford Bridge.
Comparatively, albeit a calamitous league debut, Cech has been an overwhelming success for the Gunners and possesses the best save ratio in the league.
Chelsea’s sale of the 33-year-old was an understandable move, but gifting him to a rival club has proven a catastrophic decision. The Blues have simply given their London adversaries one of the best goalkeepers in the world at a discounted price.
It has been the latest gaffe in a recently baffling transfer scheme deployed by Chelsea under Mourinho. The Portuguese tactician’s sale of Juan Mata was spectacularly kamikaze and the Blues were lucky it didn’t have more prominent implications.
In 1995 on Match of the Day, during his ‘you can’t win anything with kids' rant, Alan Hansen offered the words of wisdom: "the trick is always to buy when you’re strong." This clearly hasn’t resonated with Mourinho.
Instead, Chelsea have sold Arsenal one of their best players and were practically absent in this summer's transfer window. Their only prominent acquisition proved Pedro and the Spaniard has just been bullied off the pitch so far this campaign.
After the west Londoners executed such immaculate business in the summer of 2014, they have undone all their hard work with a pre-season of resting on their laurels. Such blatant laziness and egotism has seen the club nose-dive in the Premier League, with the ever-embarrassing ‘Special One’ at the reigns.
It seems that along with minimal acquisitions over the summer, the sale of Petr Cech has come back to bite Chelsea. Mourinho’s arrogance after winning the league resulted in a delusional transfer policy that has ultimately seen Chelsea’s season fly off the rails.