Jose Mourinho has admitted that it may have been a mistake to only make two changes for last night’s match against Aston Villa.
Chelsea claimed all three points and are currently sitting at the top of the Premier League table but the win was hardly convincing.
Without going into the grievances of Villains boss Paul Lambert over the referee’s failure to send Branislav Ivanovic or award a penalty for John Terry’s handball, the Blues looked a little leggy.
The season has only just begun and no matter what you do over the pre season there’s nothing like competitive football to get you back to match sharpness, so everyone’s squads are still getting back into the swing of things.
Mourinho made only two changes to the side that played Hull as Demba Ba replaced Fernando Torres and Juan Mata came in for Kevin De Bruyne.
The Portuguese manager said:
“Maybe my decision of not making many changes – only two – was not the best.
“Maybe it would have been better to put more fresh players in from the beginning.
“I felt my players from the midfield to the attacking areas were not very sharp and that was understandable.”
He also went onto explain that Torres was left out of the squad because he didn’t need two forwards on the bench as he may have needed Cesar Azpilicueta or the experience of John Obi Mikel during the match.
The selection of Ba surprised most and I don’t think many would have predicted that he would make the starting line-up. As it was, his performance was dreadful as he spent most of the time offside and when he was onside he didn’t know what to do with himself.
I did not expect to see Frank Lampard start back-to-back games in four days either, especially considering Mourinho’s words ahead of the match, and this game passed him by. Villa played with a high line forcing the attacking midfielders into deeper areas and Lamps was looking to make his forward runs, but it just wasn’t the right game for that and Fabian Delph did not give him a moments peace.
It’s nice to see that Mourinho is humble enough to admit that he ought to have selected a fresher outfit though and the main positives are the points as well as the match saving performance of Petr Cech.
Chelsea know that they’ll have to play a lot better against Manchester United otherwise they’ll come unstuck but I expect them to raise their game for the big stage and don’t think these early season teething problems will be anything to worry about long-term.