Has Jose Mourinho Finally Found His Best XI?

By Brian Arnaud
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Mourinho may have finally found the correct line up for Chelsea. A goal-less tie with Arsenal and a 2-1 win against Liverpool has put Chelsea in a position that if they were to capitalize on this momentum, they could be at the top of the Premier League by the end of January. The defensive partnership between Gary Cahill and John Terry has become solid enough to hold off Luis Suarez in the midst of a goal scoring spree, and with Ashley Cole at left back while Azpillicueta plays at the right, both players are extremely competent defensively and offensively. The defensive line put up with an onslaught from Liverpool that most teams wouldn’t be able to hold.

In the mid field, the pairing of David Luiz and Frank Lampard seemed so smooth, both players made a big difference in the offense winning aerial battles and putting in key passes that would let Eden Hazard or Willian Borges da Silva take on a run that would eventually turn into an attacking opportunity. Oscar was also a constant threat in the attack and his assist to Samuel Eto’o was flawless; he’s been able to consistently place passes into dangerous positions or even place himself into a position where he could’ve capitalized for a goal.

Eto’o played well for the most part of the game and pushed Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger into making mistakes that eventually led to goal scoring opportunities or letting players like Hazard into the box. However, the few minutes that Fernando Torres played, he was lively, and if I was Mourinho, I would have played Torres ahead of Eto’o. Torres, although goal-less for the most part, has been able to play off the ball better and also been an annoyance to defenses for the better part of the season. Another good switch would be Willian for Andre Schurrle, as both players have pace and a high defensive work rate. However, Schurrle edges out Willian simply because the German has a better finishing. At the end of the day, players like Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Michael Essien are currently sitting on the sidelines and can all become that impact super sub and make an incredible difference in a game for Chelsea.

Chelsea’s best XI:  Petr Cech; Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Ashley Cole; David Luiz, Frank Lampard; Eden Hazard, Oscar, Andre Schurrle; Fernando Torres.

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