The last season has largely been considered successful for the Blues and rightly so. Triumphant in the League and victorious against Spurs in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley. A double is a good season by any measure of the imagination.
It is one thing to win the League and another to keep it the following season(s). Jose Mourinho knows how to do it, and he will be at it next season. You can bet your last dollar on it. He has reached the phase where team-building is complete. Now is the time to build legacies. But legacies don’t come easy. The decisions Mourinho makes in the summer, and the results he achieves next season will have a great say in that regard. Retaining the League is the definite, no doubts goal for next season. It will not be an easy task in the face of a resurgent and ever strengthening Arsenal. Both parts of money gargling Manchester will be busy building their teams for a challenge next term. If this season was a challenge, next will be the trial by fire.
However, it is hard to fathom Mourinho being satisfied by retaining the League. That’s not the type of manager he is. Polishing silverware is Arsene Wenger speciality. Mourinho wants to do it again as soon as he does it. It is at this point that one realizes that Mourinho has been five long years without a European success. It may not have started to needle him, but is there somewhere in his consciousness for sure. He needs to build this team to conquer Europe, domestic Leagues are a familiar affair for him. He needs the different kind of success to date.
Half the ingredients are already there. John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic would certainly prefer one last hoorah in the Champions League before their better days are behind them. Gary Cahill, Ramires and Mikel all know the feel and experience. First timers like Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa, Oscar, Hazard and Zouma should ensure there is no lack of motivation. Mourinho is a large part of the other half of the ingredients. However, he still needs some stuff.
One look at the Champions League winning Barcelona tells a very intriguing story. They have their approach and it’s certainly different to how Mourinho won his two Champions League medals. But still, the fact to grasp is that Barca have three forwards who can be very potent individually at serious Champions League contending clubs. Chelsea have Diego Costa and then you can count Loic Remy as the next recognized striker. Evidence suggests Mourinho will correct that shortcoming this summer.
Likewise is the case for most positions that one can think of. Willian is an engine when it comes to running. But he has been giving the feeling of something lacking all this while. Goals are hard to come by for the Brazilian. Cuadrado’s credibility is very much in the air. Going back through the line-up, whenever either of Matic or Fabregas are absent due to many of the possible of reasons, their backups are just not fitting. In fact, that is all they are: backup. Not replacements. This needs to be worked on.
Now people would say that Mourinho likes a tight bunch of players. The same XI can’t be fielded for every god-damn game through the season. Even Mourinho can’t achieve that. This is where you need players who can push into the squad and then keep that place on merit. I would not speculate on who those players are, but if he is to March into a Champions League final, Mourinho needs these players. A competing striker for Costa’s place would be a grand start.
Mourinho has himself said as much; that he will bring in another striker. The profile of that man would be a big indication of Mourinho’s intentions for the upcoming season. He has also stressed that Chelsea will buy some more players as well. The numbers have been stated as three or four. It’s a good start. Whether they will merely be bench warmers or ones who push the starters for a place in the team will be worth noticing. This squad is already very good and adaptable, if half of the new signings are in the sphere of level akin Fabregas and Costa. Mourinho and Chelsea have bright and shiny things to look forward to next season.
Petr Cech, undeniably an icon of the Bridge is said to want out. No surprises there, he should and deserves to. Mourinho, on the other hand, insists for him to stay. If he manages that, he can forget about any troubles through the campaign between the sticks. The back line was solid this season, but would do well with some insurance brought in with the future in mind. No names again, just a checklist.
All said and done, Mourinho already knows what to do and there’s little chance of him being able to hear me. Like most Blues and the management, I have faith in him. Next season will decide what he does with it.
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