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Chelsea FC: The Tactical Changes That Mourinho Can Bring

Jose Mourinho under pressure at Madrid

When Jose Mourinho walks into a club, the management and the supporters of the club expects to see many apparent changes taking place. But one of the very vital effects that the people wish for Mourinho to have on the team is the tactical makeover he could bring in with him.

During his first tenure, Mourinho steered the club to domestic glory and established it as an European superpower with his brilliant tactical strategies. In 2007, Jose Mourinho, the visionary, employed the 4-2-3-1 tactic while the English clubs were still restrained to the 4-4-2 strategy. And this provided instant success to him as the depth of the squad increases manifold with this formation because the 2 in the midfield can drop back when necessary and also move forward when the team is leading the attack.

Mourinho continued with the same attacking system throughout his Inter Milan days and then at Real Madrid where he had a player like Xabi Alonso at the heart of the midfield, who was at his prime which made him the central figure of Madrid’s midfield. Later he also included Sami Khedira at the centre of the team and put together with the attacking trio of Ronaldo-Ozil-Di Maria, the team had both solidity and the right mixture of attacking flair added to it. This is the primary reason why both Alonso and Khedira are being linked to Chelsea right now as Mourinho has always wanted players like them into the team.

This formation demands that the team has excellent wingers who should lead the attack from the wide positions and coordinate with the full backs. Chelsea had exactly that kind of vibrant players in the wings in the form of Robben and Duff and they crafted the path for Chelsea’s dominance during Mourinho’s era.

But one of Chelsea’s problem this season has definitely been their one sided attack at times. The preferred attacking channel of the team has been the left side of the pitch with the right side remaining unexploited. It was often left to Cesar Azpilicueta to move forward and provide the team support from the right side of the pitch.

When Mourinho takes charge of the team this time around, he will probably keep the formation unchanged and opting for quite the same tactics. In Cole and Azpilicueta he has found two full backs who are extremely capable to initiate the attack from the back. Then come Hazard into the left wing and Andre Schurrle (probably) into the right wing, two very astute wingers of the modern times capable of taking the attack to any team. The deal for Schurrle is yet to be finalised but Mourinho will hope that it is completed pretty soon to restore the balance in the team.

Oscar, Ramires and Lampard can all take charge of the two box to box midfielders slot that has become one of the most prominent features of this formation. Mata is probably one of the most talented central midfielders in the world right now and his operation from the CAM position is going to continue giving nerves for the opposition.  Although Oscar was mainly deployed in the final third of the field more often this season, but he has shown a tendency to assist the team in the defence, irrespective of his frail structure. This will certainly instigate Mourinho to drop him back more than Di Mateo or Benitez did this season.

In defense, David Luiz may prove to be one of the backbones of this system and he may replace Ricardo Carvalho from Mourinho’s first stint, who is right now in Monaco. Luiz’s versatility will prove to be an asset for any team in the world and he may always provide an opening when things are not functioning according to plan.

With just one striker up front, it is to be assured that the front man is a world class player, blessed with immense scoring abilities. If there is one person Chelsea has missed most the previous season, it is Didier Drogba and the timid looking combination of Torres and Ba could not provide them with the required impact. Edinson Cavani may ideally be the man for Chelsea right now and if he is included into this team, the whole equation of this team changes.

Chelsea would certainly need some time under Mourinho to make this system work, but once the team gets used to this tactic, Chelsea would be unstoppable in the coming seasons and the Manchester domination may soon start to deteriorate.