Blue’s boss Jose Mourinho is facing a different sort of selection dilemma for Chelsea’s Champions’ League clash against Schalke this midweek. Prior to the game against Newcastle United, the squad looked impressive and confident and the Portuguese exclaimed that it was difficult to decide who to leave out, as everyone was performing well and deserved to play. The situation after the game when reviewing the carnage of what was a very ordinary performance against an admittedly inspired Newcastle team is somewhat different.
The temptation to make wholesale changes must be tempting indeed, and some newspapers are suggesting that this is precisely what Mourinho has in mind. The Chelsea boos however, is nothing if not pragmatic, and having seen his team comeback from an embarrassing home defeat t Swiss club Basel on Matchday One, with two impressive and professional performances against Steau Bucharest and in Gelsenkirchen, he will be wary of letting slip the club’s sound position.
With this in mind, it’s entirely appropriate to expect a number of changes, Cahill for Luiz, Schurlle for Mata and, whisper it so softly, perhaps even Eto’o for Torres, could be on the cards, but the prospect of seven or eight changes is probably unlikely to materialise. Ever the publicist savvy operator, Mourinho will want both the players, and the fans, to know that he was unhappy with the performance at St James Park, and that things must be better.
The paint may well have been stripped from the walls at Cobham today, as the manager seeks to remedy the malady that affected the performance over the weekend. The team that walks out to face Schalke will certainly know what is expected of them.