It was a match to forget for Jose Mourinho. For a club counting on him to turn ‘The Little Horses’ into ‘The Stallions’, it was a major setback. Conceding penalties in a friendly match is shameful. The Blues manager is known for recreating competitive game atmosphere in friendlies and training his players on how to deal with various situations. The players should know how to deal with such situations and to see a veteran like John Terry concede a penalty let alone be rash in play to create a doubt in the referee’s mind is bad for the team.
For the much acclaimed Thibaut Courtois, this was a bad start even though he did come up with an electrifying save and was in no way responsible for conceding the two goals before halftime. He was replaced by Cech, who appeared for the second half.
Van Ginkel did nothing to impress the coach, and the fans are still sceptical about Mourinho’s last year signing. Kurt Zouma was not effective and casts doubts on the team’s much acclaimed defensive strength. The fact that Mourinho’s probable backup players for next season underperformed raises concerns. Mourinho had fielded a team similar in attacking players to that of the previous game. But they failed to replicate the success against Vitesse Arnhem. The coach had rested all his World Cup players in the 1st half. But when they fell two goals down, he was forced to bring in Hazard who wasn’t even fit for the game. He had occasions of excellence that had made him a fan favourite last season, but that wasn’t enough to save the team. This highlights the fact that Mourinho will have to depend on Hazard, Willian, Oscar and Schurrle. But they probably won’t be match fit for the initial games in the league as they are all fatigued from the intense world cup session.
Torres and Costa were played together and Costa being the more successful attacker recently, he was fielded in the front of attack and Torres was often played wide in a wing role. While this had been successful in the previous game, it didn’t show any promise in this game. Torres made yet another miss and it is almost guaranteed that with the return of the established attacking trio, he won’t be having a place in the squad if he isn’t able to oust Costa for being the preferred striker. Drogba came on as substitute, but this too had no effect on the game and casts doubts on Chelsea’s attacking strength.
Choosing Cesc Fabregas to be the no.10 did not have the desired effect either. Mourinho commented after the match that he learned nothing from the game. He meant that there were no performances satisfactory enough to make his choice of players for the squad which is brimming with players vying for a place in the starting line-up. The only positives were the performances of Courtois and Matic, who suffered from the lack of defensive support from his peers.