It’s hard to say how much trust Jose Mourinho has in Juan Mata or Fernando Torres, but he realizes that in order to come away with a win in Romania against Steaua, his unbalanced preferred lineup has to be strengthened by two players he doesn’t rate too highly.
The Mata subject has been done to death, but it’s still hard to believe Mourinho thought Chelsea would be a better team without the Spanish attacking midfield in his lineup. Oscar and Eden Hazard might be harder workers and better defensively, but both of them don’t have his passing skills or the ability with the ball that makes him dangerous at almost every touch.
Playing against Swindon and coming on at half time against Tottenham was enough for Mourinho to see he has made a mistake (which he has admitted to doing) and Mata has proven to him he should be in the lineup.
The same goes for Fernando Torres, who started out being in a rotation, and then simply dropped in favor of Samuel Eto’o. But the Cameroonian striker looks out of shape, and Mourinho is tired of allowing him to earn some match fitness at the expense of his team. Torres scored against Swindon and played well against Tottenham before being sent off, especially when Mata took the field. He might be suspended for three or four matches very soon, but he can still play in the Champions League.
It’s too early to talk about crisis, but Chelsea need a win, badly. They’ve already dropped 7 points in the Premier League due to draws against Manchester United & Tottenham, sandwiching a loss to Everton. A tough schedule to begin with, no doubt, but Chelsea’s names and manager expected more. The problem is that despite the talent he has in a few positions, the squad isn’t built right, which causes a fluctuation in ability, depending on the rival’s quality in the middle of the pitch.
In the Champions League, there’s no question. Losing at home to Basel is something that can only be erased by beating Steaua in Bucharest. Anything else, and talk of Jose Mourinho not being able to grasp the second chance given to him at Chelsea will be heard loud and clear, and begin having its affect on the team.