Can Mourinho Re-Ignite The Deadly Duo?
As we get closer and closer to Falcao signing with Chelsea for a season-long loan, skeptics have already started questioning the move. The lack of both goals and fitness Falcao has had to endure in his first season in the Premier League with Manchester United has caused many to doubt the Columbian’s prowess.
On the other hand, rival fans are keeping their fingers crossed, hoping to see discontentment from Chelsea’s top scorer last season, Diego Costa. The Spaniard may well lose his place if Falcao hits form. It is hard to argue with the concept and utility of a lone striker being assisted by wingers in the modern game. Nonetheless, you can always count on the genius of Jose Mourinho to be able to use both the strikers in a way that would derive the optimum benefits, much like their time together at Atletico in the 2012-2013 season.
Derailing Costa will not be an easy task, given his performances last season. After a forgettable World Cup with Spain, Costa hit a rich vein of form with Chelsea, taking absolutely no time to settle into the team. From the word go, he started scoring goals for fun. After scoring Chelsea’s first goal of the league against Burnley, Costa never looked back. He scored his second goal in the next match against Leicester City, third and fourth in the next match against Everton, and a hat-trick against Swansea City in just his fourth match in Chelsea blue. The bullish forward also broke Sergio Aguero and Micky Quinn’s record for the most goals in the first 4 Premier League matches. Costa also snapped up the Barclays Player of the Month for August, that too with a niggling hamstring injury.
Costa scored his 10th league goal in the 2-1 away win against Liverpool, and then scored Chelsea’s second goal in the Capital One Cup Final, thus winning his first trophy with the club. He finished the season with 20 goals from 26 appearances in the league. Costa also found his way into the PFA Team of the Year, in his debut season in the Premier League, along with five of his teammates.
But if Costa were to play together with Falcao, it might bring back the days when these two were unlocking defenses with their brilliant partnership at Atletico Madrid. Jose Mourinho knows very well how much of a havoc these two can create together. The sight of Falcao spinning two players and sending Costa through on goal with the net bulging a second later at the Santiago Bernabeu, in a 2-1 win against Mourinho’s Real Madrid, reminds everyone that the two players can indeed forge a deadly on-field chemistry. With a total of 31 goals scored by the two players when playing together in 27 appearances for Atletico Madrid, a rival fan must be now scratching his head, if he were hoping to see the attacking force disrupt in the wake of adjusting both of them into the attacking line.
During their Atletico days, Falcao was a world star while Costa was more of an understudy. Fast forward to 2015, Costa is one of the best strikers in the world with last season’s Premier League medal, while Falcao is back from the worst season of his career, with a team that no longer wants to sign him on a permanent deal. However, we all know what a fully fit Falcao is capable of, especially when he is surrounded by champions. And Jose Mourinho has the capability of unlocking his old form.
A 4-4-2 is a well-proven system that worked quite well under Carlo Ancelotti when Drogba and Anelka were scoring goals for fun, supported by Malouda, Lampard, and Joe Cole. There is no reason a 4-4-2 with Costa and Falcao will not work when they are supplied with the through balls and crosses from Hazard, Fabregas, Willian or Oscar. In fact, a 4-4-2 diamond, with Fabregas in the hole behind the two forwards, Hazard and Willian on either wing and Matic at the base, seems like a pretty good ploy. And in case it doesn’t, Jose can always revert to the 4-2-3-1, with Costa leading the line and Falcao waiting for his chances.
With the impending signing of the Colombian star, the Blues fans are hoping to see a rejuvenated El Tigre strike fear into the hearts of the opponents with Costa by his side once again, while fans of rival clubs, especially those belonging to the red half of Manchester, will be praying that Falcao has another bad season. But you rarely doubt a player in whom Mourinho puts his faith. Whatever the formation, whether it is Falcao and Costa together or just Costa like last season, it will be a win-win situation for Chelsea.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni
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