Sunday, May 4, 2014
Where did it go wrong for Chelsea?
Chelsea can only win the league if Liverpool and Manchester City lose both of their last two games and the Blues win their final game - not going to happen, and it caps a miserable few weeks for Jose Mourinho's men.
But who is to blame? It's hard to look past Mourinho - especially as his mind games (which used to rile everyone) have turned on him and seem to be in his head now.
Jose doesn't seem to know his best team, what tactics to play or how to manage his young stars. Mourinho never used to turn on his own players - and his players always backed him to the hilt. But Eden Hazard speaking out on Chelsea's negative tactics would never have happened in Mourinho's first spell at Chelsea, or his time at Inter Milan.
He's always been good at getting everyone on board, and he usually does it by picking on one of his team's stars or someone who thought they were immune from criticism, as he did with Juan Mata this year.
Chelsea will no doubt strengthen over the summer, and this will be the real test of the Special One (a term I am loathed to use). They need two strikers - Torres, Eto'o and Ba will have to go. Maybe not all of them, but at least 2. If it's Romelu Lukaku, Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani or Didier Drogba (he will be back at Stamford Bridge) who comes in, they need to know exactly where they stand. There can't be a sham like this season. It's hard to watch Fernando Torres so low on confidence - he's a shell of the player he was. And for once, Mourinho hasn't backed his own players.
They also need to strengthen in midfield. Lampard isn't the same player and Nemanja Matic has to become the focal point of the team. Sure, sell David Luiz and get someone more disciplined in, but then Oscar, Hazard, Schurrle and Willian need to produce more. Ramires is a box-to-box guy, but there's not a great deal of quality there. Also, John Terry, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech have to accept smaller, or non-existent, roles too. They are past their best. There, I said it. Jose needs to build again, although those three will be very hard to replace.
For once, I think Mourinho's team lacked identity this season, and reverted to negative tactics to grind out results. It's not that different from what Rafa Benitez was doing - and Jose won't want to carry on like that.
It's almost like Jose didn't want to win anything this year, read into that what you will.