Chelsea’s defensive football has certainly not enthralled many people, with criticism being layered at Chelsea from all angles. Jose Mourinho’s insistence on caution is questionable, and his tactics have not brought any success to the Blues this season.
When commenting about Chelsea’s style of play a week ago, Mourinho said, “If we hadn’t gone for a bit more stability and development of a certain philosophy, it was a big risk. So from that point the team became more strategical and less intuitive, because we went for results.”
This comment may have an element of truth in it, but claiming it was a big risk to play differently is debatable to say the least.
Chelsea’s brand is beginning to become a little tarnished. The very thought of Chelsea conjures up ideas of boredom and defence to many, which is not exactly surprising. Even Mourinho himself admitted that Chelsea have been boring to watch this season.
With Mourinho at the helm, it seems unlikely that Chelsea will transform into a team brimming with attacking intent next season. Yet, if Jose continues with this style of football, he will not be utilising all of Chelsea’s resources.
Chelsea’s squad is filled with young attacking talent and potential. Andre Schurrle; Oscar; Eden Hazard; Mohamed Salah and Romelu Lukaku are all gifted footballers.
Willian, too, is only 25 years of age. Granted, Chelsea’s lack of a proven, top drawer centre forward is something which concerns Chelsea fans and needs to be addressed, but Mourinho will almost certainly sign a striker or two in the summer.
Mourinho ought to put more faith in the attacking players at his disposal. A Chelsea side playing with attacking flair and freedom next season would be feared. We have seen glimpses of Chelsea’s attacking quality this season, but they have been too few. He needs to relinquish his desire for caution and discipline and allow his players to truly express themselves.
Roman Abramovich was a guest at the Champions League quarter-final second-leg encounter between Manchester United and Real Madrid in 2003 at Old Trafford. Enthused and inspired by the thrilling 4-3 encounter, it is said this is what prompted Abramovich to buy a football club.
Abramovich has certainly not been treated to football of that type this season. He is unlikely to be too impressed by what he has seen. He craves a Chelsea side full of goals, panache and attacking intentions. A mentality of “we don’t care if you score, because we will score more”.
Nevertheless, Abramovich realises that this is a results business. If Chelsea are successful next season with a similar style of football, there are unlikely to be too many complaints from both him, and the Chelsea faithful. Surely, though, the way for Chelsea to be successful is to be braver and bolder. Jose’s tactics this season have not brought any trophies. Something needs to change.