Not much has happened for Chelsea in the transfer market, or at least not as much as you’d expect with Jose Mourinho back in charge. André Schürrle of Bayer Leverkusen, Marco Van Ginkel from Vitesse and Mark Schwarzer arriving to provide some experience as a backup goalkeeper.
While this definitely helps Chelsea look a little bit more like a Mourinho team – a true winger for a team that usually played with three attacking midfielders (Victor Moses never got it going over the long run) and a talented central midfielder to help solidify what might have been Chelsea’s weakest link last season.
But what about a striker? Surely Mourinho is thinking about winning, or trying to win, everything. For that, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba shouldn’t be enough, as they proved to be quite disappointing last season. At least Demba Ba didn’t cost too much money.
And what about an addition to the defense? Ashley Cole is slowly regressing, while Cesar Azpilicueta doesn’t have a good enough player to back him up, while the situation at centre back is a bit confusing. John Terry has remained, but Chelsea have looked better without him. David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill will be battling for the two starting spots in the middle, and Ivanovic can also play as a right back when needed.
And yet it feels like Mourinho prefers at least one more player at that position. Luiz has shown his ability at defensive midfielder as well, but for now, it’s all about rumors of him leaving to Barcelona or PSG.
While Mourinho did make a huge impact on Chelsea when he arrived in 2004 from Porto, there are many who would agree that it was Roman Abramovich and his money, spending that began in the previous season under Claudio Ranieri, that made most of the difference.
Mourinho likes to think of himself as a genius and an excellent coach, but he doesn’t work without incredible spending budgets, just like he had at Real Madrid, which didn’t help him when you take a three-year overview at his work, instead of just one season which is what he prefers everyone to focus on.
Without Alex Ferguson, Mourinho is suddenly the premier figure among the league’s managers. You’d expect Arsene Wenger to be that guy, but countless disappointments and evading taking the blame has changed all of that. The attention and expectations are focused on the returning manager, who claims he’s better than he was before, but like always, is depending on a generous allowance to actually look like a genius.