When the legendary 11 jersey was being handed to Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior, many fans and supporters of the club questioned the rationale behind that. Was it because he asked for that particular number? Does this kid have the guts to replicate the performances of the previous owner of this jersey? Was the number to challenge him to work harder or was it just because he is from the home of football, Brazil? These questions that lingered in the minds of the Blues’ fans were as candid as could be especially when the said jersey was worn by the big man, Didier ‘the drog’ Drogba.
Fast forward to 2013, and all the questions asked are entirely wiped out of the mind of each and every ‘doubter’ of Oscar and the 11 jersey. The 22 year old has not only become a starter for the Blues over these few years but has also cemented his place as regular for the Seleção. His all round play and his work rate has made him the toast of every manager he has worked with since joining the Pensioners. Having been coached by Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez in the past, it is Jose Mourinho who has really ‘squeezed’ out the best in Oscar. He has been described as the ‘perfect number 10’ by his current boss and no wonder he’s a regular in the side.
Mourinho has shown on his return to the Bridge that players are chosen based on their performance and that seems to be doing the trick for Oscar to work harder. The kid from Brazil has been very impressive and his work rate is very admirable so far in the season. Oscar is the sort of modern day ‘number 10’ who is difficult to play against. Not only is he the creative force but also a very tough tackling player who covers a lot of ground in a game. He passes really well and his vision is so unbelievable for his age. He dribbles, as expected of a Brazilian, and makes those fascinating runs to put his teammates in a good position to score. When the team is pressing high up the pitch, the tenacity and dexterity with which Oscar does it is so incredible. He makes short passes as accurate as he does with the long passes. Thus, he barely goes wrong with any pass! One enviable asset that Oscar possesses is his eye for goals; he makes good goals look so simple!
“Oscar turned on a sixpence and put the ball under the bar. I won’t say it’s nice to concede a goal, but it’s still nice to be a part of a great goal like that, compliments to him”. Those were the flattering remarks from the legendary Gigi Buffon after Oscar scored a wonder goal on his European Champions league debut; that goal was actually his second on the night. Indeed our maestro from Brazil is very naturally gifted!
The stats have really improved in all aspects of his game and he seems to be more of a technical player now. That was evident when he tried to pull a fast one on the referee by diving, thinking the goal keeper will come at him in the game against Southampton! He reads the game really well and supports the team defensively too. For now, Oscar can be mentioned in the same vein as the world class playmakers as Mata, Ozil, Fabregas, Silva, Iniesta and he’s getting even better. As the season wears on, we can expect more from Mr. Emboaba as he continues to prove to be the livewire and game changer in this current Chelsea side.