Brazil pair look set to lead Chelsea title challenge
If Jose Mourinho is to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge he needs his top international stars to perform week-in, week-out.
We’ve been able to rely on them in cup competitions over the past few years but the league has remained out of reach, much to the frustration of many Chelsea fans who bet on football. Under Mourinho we won the title in clinical fashion, often going ahead in games before the break and then shutting the opposition out until full time.
Unfortunately, we’ve lost that league nastiness over the past few seasons and that cost us with a disappointing fifth-place finish in 2011/12. The problem has been freak bouts of below-par performances that cost Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo their jobs. Now, however, fans can expect a more dogged approach to the league that will win us points that we’d otherwise have surrendered.
On his travels in Italy and Spain Mourinho has developed a more attacking tactical approach to add to his genius defensive mind, which means the Blues will play attractive stuff. The prospect of Eden Hazard, Oscar, Juan Mata (if he stays), Ramires and Frank Lampard all feeding each other and serving prospective new signing Edinson Cavani is mouth-watering.
Yet the central figure in all this may well be the quietest: Oscar. The little Brazilian lit up the Confederations Cup this summer and his movement and vision sparked numerous breaks for the national side during their 3-0 victory over Spain on Sunday. Oscar ran that midfield with confidence, linking the defence with a bewildering three-pronged strike force
He can do the same for Chelsea next season and, importantly, play to that commanding standard throughout the season. For Oscar was one of few performers who made a major contribution in almost every game he played last term. Granted, his goals weren’t there, but his commitment levels and class cannot be questioned.
Fans of live football commentary, likewise, saw David Luiz have his best spell after a gruelling trip to Japan and back. His reliability and confidence in the heart of the Chelsea’s defence proved almost like a new signing and he is partially responsible for our winning streak over Christmas and into January.
Who said Brazilians can’t play in cold English conditions eh? Both Oscar and Luiz proved that, despite both playing +60-match seasons, they can still perform at the highest level when required. If they can play like they did on Sunday then the rest of the team can too and this puts Mourinho in good stead to guide Chelsea for a fourth Premier League title.