Chelsea’s Perfect Storm: More to Blues’ Issues Than Mourinho

Mourinho loses to Liverpool

The most incredible thing about a Chelsea team laboring near the bottom of the BPL table is the simple idea that every single fan of soccer across the world expects that the craziness to end at the next match.  The only bad thing is that we’ve been expecting that “next match” to occur for over a month.  What is happening on the blue side of London?

While it seems like the world is ready to place all of the blame firmly on the doorstep of Mourinho, we feel like the issues are fairly easy to spot (and not entirely on the manager’s shoulders).

The biggest issue is that the clock has finally run out on Chelsea’s backline.  One of the biggest reasons for Chelsea’s success over the last few seasons has been the ability to field an incredibly strong back four every single week, and the defenders somehow avoiding major injuries during crucial runs in a season.  Now, Terry is finally looking old, Cahill looks like a defender more worthy of his old club than his current one, and Zouma (while a massive prospect for the very-near future) is not a right back.  The biggest issue is the wheels finally falling off Ivanovic.  Quite possibly one of the most underrated players for the better part of a decade in Chelsea’s ranks, Ivanovic falling apart is huge contributor to the failure of Chelsea.  The right back always chipped in with key goals, great runs out wide, a physical presence that most outside backs don’t possess, and the ability to shut down attacks from his side of the field.

Without a back four to provide Mourinho the backdrop that the Portuguese manager’s style absolutely necessitates, it’s fairly obvious to see why the wins aren’t happening.

Another issue is that the front-line no longer has a true identity.  Last season, it felt like Costa was the focal point with all of the midfielders and wingers occasionally snagging goals from solo attacking runs.  With Costa struggling for fitness, Falcao continuing to look out of sorts in England, and Hazard not dictating the game and causing opposing teams to focus multiple defenders on the Belgian, teams are able to clog the midfield and prevent players like Fabregas, Oscar, Matic, and others from getting the freedom they want.  Outside of Willian’s free-kicks, it feels like a huge host of the other players are in a bit of slump.

Benteke scores vs. Chelsea

If Liverpool is exposing your flaws, then something has definitely gone wrong.  Liverpool hasn’t exposed anything other than a horrible knack for tripping up at the finish line since the late 80’s.  Still, in their game, Chelsea was out-passed, out-possessed, outshot, and just plain outplayed by a team still looking for its identity.  Last season, it would have seemed like letting Liverpool have most of the ball was all part of Mourinho’s gameplan, and Chelsea would have somehow walked away with points.  This season, the waves are all crashing at the same time.

Lastly, locker room issues?  As is always the case in every single sport where the media claims that there are locker room issues, it nearly always turns out to be massively blown out of proportion (not to mention, impossible to prove).  Until we have a player on the record, let’s not even go here.

While Mourinho obviously isn’t quite aware of how to fix his current situation, it seems like there is a lot more to the storm at Stamford Bridge than a manager’s mistakes.  It genuinely seems like people are actually forgetting that Mourinho was lifting a trophy last season…HE WON THE LEAGUE people…just a few months ago!!!  

What are your thoughts?  Should Mourinho go, or should we let him continue to try and right the ship?

 

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About the author: Andrew McCole

 

If I may be so bold to condense my immense personality into two words, it would be: soccer nerd. I love everything about the beautiful game and I tend to reflect that in my writing. I suffer through Liverpool fandom and hope that they will win another title before my wife spreads my ashes at Anfield (considering I'm in my twenties, it seems somewhat likely). Although I also dabble in tennis, teaching, and coaching, most of my free-time is spent writing articles for The Center Circle! Feel free to stalk me on Google+

 

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