A catastrophic fall from the top has seen Chelsea languishing in 15th place. After a 1-0 win against Norwich on Saturday, the Blues remain 14 points behind league leaders Leicester.
After the worst start to a season in the Roman Abramovich era, Chelsea have to turn their fortunes around and fast. Their misfortunes have left some fans, ironically, red-faced. Despite pressure piling on manager Jose Mourinho, there are ways he could still save himself.
Young Blood In Defence
Kurt Zouma and Baba Rahman have been added to the squad recently. Both are 21-years-old and have added hunger to Chelsea’s frail defence in their fight for a place.
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The pair are very quick on their feet and have inserted some pace into a flagging defensive line. Zouma has some serious gas and it might actually be time to pick him over John Terry.
In terms of Baba, should he come into more steady form, then his pace and playmaking ability should see him be placed at left back, with Cesar Azpilicueta moving to right back to take the place of aging Serbian Branislav Ivanovic.
Recommended Action: Should it really be deemed necessary, then Chelsea may have to look elsewhere to bolster their defence. Another pursuit of John Stones would not go amiss, as it keeps their quota of English players up. If not, Raphael Varane or Kostas Monolas are young, pacey and hungry alternatives.
Add Some Young Drive
With the team flagging, now would be an ideal time to insert some of the academy products into the side as they would add something first team regulars currently can't.
We have seen it elsewhere with Jesse Lingard at Manchester United and a whole host of youngsters at Spurs including Dele Ali, Ryan Mason and Harry Kane.
They are so focused on winning that first team place they more motivated to perform at a higher lever and give the manager a headache.
Chelsea also have the men to do that. Dominic Solanke is a young striker taking the U21 scene by storm in England, although is currently on loan at Vitesse. Ruben Loftus-Cheek has looked solid in his few appearances this season - an attribute the Blues have been particularly lacking.
Recommended Action: Should form continue, it may be better off just swapping these prospects into the starting 11, rather than just the bench. If the attitude falters further and form continues to waver, then the bench isn’t a bad place to turn.
Mourinho May Have To Change
At the end of the day, the man sets up to get results. He is arrogant and not very popular outside the capital, he’s not too popular in London either, with Arsenal and Spurs so close by. But you have to respect that he wants to win, and that drive for victory normally rubs off on the players.
Teams are beginning, finally, to work the Special One’s tactics out. Maybe now, he needs to look at playing a bit more expansively, not necessarily going for attraction, but adapting his playing style to incorporate the talents of the men he has available.
He has a wonderful passing team at his disposal - as good as most sides on the planet - but his counter-attacking philosophy often nullifies the attacking threats of his players, and with a team including Eden Hazard, Oscar and Cesc Fabregas, he needs to play to their strengths.
Recommended Action: If results don’t turn around, it may be time for Mourinho to walk again. Whilst Chelsea need some continuity at the helm, and a transitional stage is, of course, expected and acceptable, but the Portuguese boss has had his rough patch and should now be focused on winning trophies.
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