Jose And Chelsea's Selection Headache: Part Two
Another player capable of playing in the centre attacking midfield role for Chelsea is Kevin De Bruyne. The young Belgian had a great season on loan at German club Werder Bremen. Notching 10 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, he has done well for a player of his age and experience. Like Oscar, he is also being utilised in the central role for his national team, and has had a great world cup qualifying campaign to back his claim up. However, so far this season, he has had a very limited role in Mourinho's plans and has not performed to his capability when given the chance. If Jose were to use him in his favoured position, the whole team would benefit but at the cost of pushing a player like Mata or Oscar to a wider and more uncomfortable role.
Speaking of Belgians, Chelsea have another young one who seems to be quite good at football. Great things have been said about Eden Hazard and how he is the ‘next big thing’. With 13 goals and 20 assists in his debut season for the blues, the fans warmed to the two time Ligue 1 player of the year very quickly. His main strengths lie in his outstanding close control and his ability to run at defenders at pace. From the matches so far, it seems that Hazard is a big part of Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea. Impressing earlier on in the season with a brilliant performance in the Super Cup loss to Bayern Munich, he kept his place in a Chelsea side that was constantly being rotated. However, recent performances have caused critics to question Eden Hazard and to wonder whether opponents are starting to read the Belgian’s play too easily. In the game against Basel, as soon as Hazard got the ball, both the right back and the right winger would close him down and force him into either an error or passing back to Ashley Cole. Eden Hazard will need to pick up his game in order to maintain his spot in a Chelsea side where not much is certain. The goal against Norwich on the weekend should hopefully spur him on to performing at his usual top class level from now on.
Injury meant that Hazard sat out the Champions League game away to Steaua Bucharest, therefore giving Andre Schurrle a chance on his preferred left flank. Schurrle exceeded expectation and received a deserved man of the match award for completely turning the opposition right back inside out. As to whether this is due to the opposition underestimating the young German, or if it was just due to his sheer quality that night, we will find out soon. The transfer of Andre Schurrle was one that many people doubted due to sheer amount of players in his position at Chelsea. However, I believe that he will be a crucial player this season for the blues as he is probably the only on that delivers true width on the pitch. The full backs at Chelsea cannot be expected to reach the by-line every 5 minutes, especially if they are two over 30 full backs such as Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic. Andre Schurrle will be the player that Chelsea can count on to be able to put the ball into the box with quality and finesse, he also poses a threat to the goal from long distance, something that Chelsea lack when Frank Lampard is not playing.
The many attacking midfielder's at Chelsea will give Jose Mourinho a headache, but one I’m sure he will enjoy having. There aren’t many teams in the world that can boast this amount of attacking quality outside the starting eleven. Willian hasn't played enough for me to make a fair judgement but I will be sure to write about him in the near future. Jose needs to use this international break to start analysing the first few games of the season in order to draw up a team sheet that is well balanced and full of quality.
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