Date: 24th September 2013 at 2:00pm
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La Liga giants Barcelona are mulling over a move for out-of-favour Chelsea fullback Cesar Azpilicueta, according to reports in the Metro.

The Spaniard is expected to start in Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup against Swindon but his only appearance up until now was during the goalless draw at Old Trafford as an 89th minute substitute.

Jose Mourinho prefers Branislav Ivanovic at right-back and made it clear that he would be his preferred choice early on. Even though the manager recently admitted he still didn’t know his best XI, he says he has no doubts over Ivanovic in particular and it seems as though the Serb is untouchable for now.

There’s a possibility that one of Barcelona’s own fullbacks Martin Montoya could be on his way to London in January to sign for Arsenal, so the Catalan club may seek to make the most of Azpilicueta’s marginalisation at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta, 24, arrived at Chelsea from Marseille ahead of last season and enjoyed an impressive debut year and was the first choice in his position when Rafa Benitez was occupying an interim role at the club.

I wasn’t too keen on Azpilicueta before we signed him but was glad to see him prove me wrong last year, so am a little baffled as to why he hasn’t even been given an opportunity so far this season, especially as Ivanovic is not what I’d call a natural fullback and he doesn’t really provide the same width or ability going forward as Azpilicueta, which is absolutely vital in either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3…unless you plan to lump it forward.

With all the talk surrounding Juan Mata and to a lesser extent David Luiz when they have been omitted from the side, Azpilicueta has become something of a forgotten man. Nothing against him as he’s a player that always gives his all but Ivanovic hasn’t played anywhere near as well as Mourinho suggests and had no defending to do in the last game, and he didn’t give anything going forward either. I thought that would have been a perfect opportunity to play Azpilicueta, especially at 0-0 when we were looking for width to unlock space.

He’ll get a chance tonight but no matter how well he plays it’ll ‘only be Swindon’ and he’ll have to pass greater tests should he usurp, or at least get fair time, up against Ivanovic. I wouldn’t want to see us losing good players.

Source: Metro


2 responses to “Barca eyeing out-of-favour Chelsea fullback”

  1. Joseph Porto says:

    About the article “Jose Mourinho’s approach great for long-term strategy”

    This article claims:
    “He shouldn’t be judged just yet in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.”

    So he can Humiliate destroy and abuse players and is too early to criticize him?
    Sorry but I disagree.
    It is the right time to put a barrier to what can be done and what shouldn’t.
    It is the right time to tell Mourinho that even he has merits in his career, but he has no white card to do anything he wants.
    He has done some disastrous mistakes in the past , and we want to be sure he will not do it again at least while in Chelsea. Do You agree?
    I understand the main tactic employed bu Mourinho is to obtain 150% or more productive and effort of any player. In other words to sent them on the pitch with blood in his eyes giving everything for the triumph. If some will see this approach valid . I personally disagree. because the mind games employed by this manager are far over proportion humilliating his own players and putting a negative atmosphere around them.

    If this way of training and obtaining victories will be the only one and widely used by most managers, then we will agree that could be valid.
    But the reality tell us that by the contrary only few managers use mind games to transform his players into animals to go under the circus arena.
    We have some technicians who practice beautiful football tactics and style of play that produce joy and admiration, and that was never the case of Mourinho.
    So even he has good achievements , he has no one of beautiful football.
    Some will say that only winning no matter what is important, but I disagree and others like me will do the same.
    Some people can not just be passive observers of the silly and foolish mind games employed by Mourinho to obtain his purposes over his players. And in some cases like the one of Juan Mata those mind games are not only offensive for our best player but also for ourselves. If we can’t say our opinion and express our rejection then Mourinho pretend reducing us to simple observers of a self proclaimed genius?

    Mourinho is giving to all of us the label of ignorants without a clue of what can be done and what shouldn’t.
    Tell me if I am wrong if that was the purpose of Mourinho to tell us to be apart of his decisions when he decided not to even include Juan Mata on the bench during our last match? Just to avoid pressure of the fans to include him in the field? Am I going to far? Or I am just deciphering Mourinho’s mind games?.

    For the sake of everyone I propose Mourinho stop immediately humiliating players in his own selfish benefit to be himself the only star at Chelsea. Work harder but not in his mind games to put blood in the eyes of his players, but in football tactics who dominate the opponent by the football quality and ability of our team. To stop competing for the starship with our own players. Mourinho can be a star but Mata is also a star and Luis, and Lampard ( certainly a one who must retire but that is for other day).

  2. miko says:

    Amazing how arguably the best team in Europe or perhaps the world believes in at least two of our players more than we do?? Who are the best judge?