It must have been exhilarating for Chelsea fans to watch their team collect all 3 points against Everton, they left it late but stoppage-time winner from John Terry ensured that the blues remain at the top of the Premier League table. It’s not always about beautiful game-play and comprehensive victory, but it’s important for a champion team to continue winning, even if that means winning ugly. Chelsea dug deep last evening and displayed stuff of champions, but it’s important for Jose Mourinho to ensure that it doesn’t become a habit.
The team off-late has looked jaded and had to labour hard for their results. We are fast approaching the final and most crucial part of this season and it’s vital for the club to maintain a high level of performance to finish at the top.
Chelsea will begin their Champions League’s knockout campaign against Galatasaray this midweek and we all know how demanding these matches are. Above all, the blues have already played 42 games this season and the team is bound to have form and fitness issues.
Mourinho has opted for an attacking trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar & Willian for most of the games since November, but this trio lacked pace, creativity and spark against Everton. It has become pivotal for Chelsea to make necessary changes to their squad to keep all of them fresh and performing at their best.
The club has been over-reliant on Hazard this season and his below-par performance in last three games have really hurt Chelsea. Willian has put in an average shift in last few games, while Oscar has been anything but the player who kept Juan Mata out of this team. In fact the Brazilian is looking out of sorts at the moment. There are no two ways about it that these players need some rest to recapture their form, but there is another school of thought that this dip of form can be a result of lack of competition within the squad.
The defenders, defensive midfielders and our strikers are constantly rotated as per their availability and importance of the game, however, the attacking trio behind the striker have largely remained untouched. Mata’s presence at the club was crucial in keeping Oscar and Willian at their toes and since his departure they haven’t faced much competition.
It has now become imminent for Chelsea to shake-up their squad a little and offer more game time to Andre Schurrle & Mohamed Salah. Both of these players are spending a lot of time on the bench and will have a different level of motivation to prove themselves, which can work in favour of the team. Their introduction to the starting XI will not only bring a new energy, but also a new dynamics to the team. This will also provide valuable rest to other attacking players and create a sense of competition among them, necessary to bring out the best.
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This article first appeared at SPEAKING MY MIND