Crisis, what crisis? That was the question being asked in the Football Transfer Tavern after Chelsea beat Fulham to go to the top of the Premier League table temporarily yesterday.
It was also the theme of Jose Mourinho’s post-match press conference. That being said, Chelsea were still less than convincing and fans have a way to go before they start to believe this Chelsea side is anywhere near the quality of the one managed in Mourinho’s first spell.
One of the big losers from the game against Basel was David Luiz, who like Juan Mata, failed to even make the 18-man squad. Luiz is reporetdly not a ‘Mourinho type’ defender and as our landlord notes, looks like being one of the high profile casualties of Mourinho’s reign.
Another player who has barely featured despite being one of Rafael Benitez’s favourites last season is right back César Azpilicueta who has seen his action limited. Severely. Of course, the point that gets raised over our evening meal, over and over again is the fact that John Terry cannot play every week.
The skipper, who was one of Mourinho’s ever presents during his first spell, is older now. JT has to be taken care of, and despite still being the best defender at the club, needs to be rested. This of course means that the team will be altered from time to time when he is unable to play. It is not just JT’s defending that the Blues miss, but it is his leadership and authority.
With that in mind, Mourinho has to decide on his starting defensive line when his main man cannot feature. Not only that, but the season is long and hard. Injuries and suspensions, especially for defenders, is the name of the game. Therefore, we have put together a list of the five potential combinations that Mourinho could utilise at the back while picking out the one we believe to be the best. Here are our choices.