Date: 21st December 2014 at 12:15pm
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Although it is pretty much a cliché these days, its indeed exciting times to be Blue. Its Jose’s second year back and we all know how the “Jose Mourinho Second Season Syndrome” always plays out…but let’s not jinx it by dwelling too long on that. At the start of the season, a lot of the media attention as well as of the fans like myself centered on our new Spanish duo, Francesc Fabregas and Diego Costa. Well not that such attention could be begrudged, they were arguably the best signings of the summer transfer window in the EPL, coming off the back of a collectively woeful performance by Spain at the World Cup and with big price tags too. So there was all to prove although some could argue that Cesc was well accustomed to the EPL and that Costa was Didier 2.0 so they would fit in but we all know football isn’t so straightforward. Thankfully they have justified and are still justifying their price-tags.

It’s the festive period again and we are top of the league and still contesting on four fronts. It’s a pretty precarious stage in the season and depending on Jose’s handling of the squad in terms of rotation and motivation, we could either still be on course for an unprecedented quadruple or the wind could have been well and truly knocked out of our sails. Of course every member of the squad is very important but sometimes as it often is in football as well as in life, some are more important than others. In my opinion, there are is one player we cannot afford to lose to injuries this season or else our early season momentum could be lost as fast as it was gained.

So who really is this “real pivot”? Nemanja Matic. To be honest, I was one of those absolutely perplexed by the decision to let Matic leave as part of the David Luiz transfer back in 2012. Although I had only seen him play once at the time. I was so impressed I had dubbed him the natural replacement for Michael Ballack at the time. I wasn’t so surprised when Jose went all out for him last winter because Matic is what I would like to refer to as the new Essien of this Jose revolution. Tough tackler, tactically astute, has good range of passing and even scores goals also. Essien was the enforcer in the team after Makelele had brought more of an edge to that defensive/central midfield position. It appears that Jose has gone for another upgrade as Matic brings even more to the table.

Evidence of Matic’s importance to the team can be seen in the loss to Newcastle. Watching the video of the game, it’s obvious that as the longer the game stayed at 0-0 the more we pushed forward in search of a goal and Pardew sensed that and sent on Papiss Cisse who has always had a good record against us, and knew how to position himself better when Newcastle came at us on the counter. His gamble worked a treat and whenever Newcastle came at us, the static Mikel could not keep up and Cisse was able to score twice, taking advantage of the space and panic within the defence.

It’s not a coincidence that our defence has always seemed more assured and calm. JT isn’t getting any younger and it’s slightly showing as he is forced to play deeper. With Matic ahead of him, he doesn’t necessarily have to do as much defensively because of Matic’s terrier-like approach to protecting our back four. The alternatives; Mikel whom I believe is quite good but hasn’t developed his game and isn’t mobile enough and Rami; who isn’t as tactical disciplined as Matic or as physical, do not bring that same assuredness to the table. Keeping Nemanja Matic fit and firing should be Jose’s priority if we are to achieve this dream of a quadruple. We have the team to do it and the manager to do it as well as the motivation of the fans to rub it in the face of all the naysayers who say we have got no history.


22 responses to “The only player Chelsea cannot afford to lose to injury”

  1. baba T says:

    U ppls ar sayin cos of matic no play dat y we lost 2 new castle u av 4get dat even b4 matic come JM has neva win @ st.james park b4 pls stop sayin nonsense mikel try his best dat day nd we lost if we lost 2morrow nd matice play we wil knw nex tin 2 do

  2. vic brown says:

    Mikel was d worse player on d pitch dat day, he was too slow in his tackles he had chance to stop d 2nd counter dat lead to d 2nd goal bt he fell at d centre of d pitch, somtimes tactical fouls are important, newcastle did dat several time matic did dat in his last game dat gave him his 5th yellow card dat made him miss d newcastle game, mikel had a clear chance to stop dat move bt he missed d ball nd allowed d man to move a yellow card won’t kill him bt wld have kept d game within chelsea reach, mikel is no longer useful in chelsea he is not working hard to improve his game at all he even hard a clear cut chance to level d score clear and unmarked but he headed wide jas 5m away from post from fabregas awesom delivery. Mikel is not useful anymore at chelsea if possible sell him and use d resource to finance khedira arrival to stamford bridge, khedira can deputise for matic and play alongside with matic as a box to box midfielder, it will give chelsea a chance to play a 4-3-3 formation matic, khedira and fabrigas at the middle and hazard costa and osca upfront willian schurle and ramires remi and drogba can be a good rotation option or sub. Mikel is too conservative and invites opponents too close to our box let him go please

  3. figer says:

    Its a shame ur so right” mikel is wark

  4. figer says:

    I think u hv a point,

  5. gtee says:

    u all are Racist,Mikel has bn loyal to ds club since 06 n shuld nt get such remarks frm all u.d guy has got somethn to offer dats y he is bn played by all d managers dat has managed d club till note Mikel is not a defensive player rite frm youth days bt a central or offensive player so no tnx to JM for d improvise,in my opinion Mikel is a gud feet n a balance to chelsea wen played..

  6. Breakthrough says:

    Baba T, Vick brown,figer you all are fools you don’t add sentiment in comments, Mouriho said Mikel was the best player of the team Even Matic is inferior to mikel he is just fortunate he is still a new toy, Don’t worry he will soon fade away, Ramires was on benched and went to mouriho room to ask why Mikel was playing and he on bench mouriho said because he is playing better. Mouriho went ahead an said mikel is a crucial player he plays well the team wins and he makes mistake the team loses what do you have to say about that Racist like you all and fools.

  7. OMG says:

    Unfortunately, Racism has not depart from our mind even though d law has forced us to remove it from our mouth. JOM has been a crucial player in every manager’s team in Chelsea why? it is because u pple are morons u dont think.

  8. Mcdos says:

    It always amazes me whenever i hr or read pple saying Mikel is a gud player. Sometimes i even wonder wat he is still doing at chelsea. Dis dull player,dnt even knw hw to break ball,dnt knw hw to shot,dnt knw hw to tackle,gives passes back to senders even wen they are in bad position,sends ball back wen nt necessary,looses ball easily,etc… I tot he being a black guy nd wid his body structure,he wud hv been de strongest player in de team but wat do we c wen he plays.? He even appears as de weakest player on de pitch. JM pls, i will always prefer u play Ake instead of Mikel. Giv dat yng boy playing time nd he will jxt be gud as Matic. Mikel has got enough playing time nd he has never impressed de funs. Weneva Mikel plays, u will c our players suffering bcos dey will need to put in more nd do more running. Its like they are playing 10 against 11. Mtchewwww…..

  9. Mcdos says:

    I dnt anything like racism in dis. If u are nt gud u are nt gud. Is he de first black player playing dis team.? Go nd check de number of black players dat has played for Chelsea b4. Hw many of dem hv been criticized in dis way.? Essien nd drogba,are dey whites.? Dey all played dis team nd dey were treated like kings even drogba still playing nd even at his age he is beta dan Mikel. Even wen Essien was livn Chelsea,som of we de funs were against dat decision som even crying. But if Mikel is to liv Chelsea right now,u will c pple who will Are dey all nt blacks from de same African continent.?

  10. jay says:

    Sentiment apart, mikel is no more the mikel we all used to know, I’m a Nigerian and a chelsea fan, in truth ,he is no more useful to chelsea ,he doesn’t want to improve, he struggles against direct plays and counter attack..he is not physical and doesn’t have long ranges of passing ,slow ,plays too carefully and doesn’t score .he has a good history with chelsea bt @ this stage he doesn’t really have enough to offer, he needs to be sold .we need mobile and physical midfielders like pogba ,yaya ..well I’m not just a fan of khedira..matic will go down in history as a legend ,because he really is the most important player in that team