Patience is a virtue.
This season has seen the return of Jose Mourinho, The Second Coming as his Chelsea 1.0 transitions to Chelsea 2.0.
Comparisons to Mourinho's immediate and successful first reign have been quickly highlighted to this current reign. Mostly to paint this Chelsea 2.0 in a negative light. Chelsea have conceded as many goals (18) so far this season as he did in his entire first season (15 goals) in the Premier League while being 2 points off the leaders Arsenal in 3rd tied only with 2nd on Goal Difference.
It should be know that John Terry is 9-10 years older, more experienced but as life of footballer goes on year by year a gaping void appears from your prime towards the end of a football career. John Terry has filled that void this season regaining form after years of injuries and off the field distractions. But voids have been formulated within the squad as the core of the team goes on annually. Didier Drogba has left a gaping hole of struggles as many of Sturridge, Torres, Ba and now Eto'o have yet to fill the void. Lampard is still mobile with his standard shots and late runs but not as mobile for his new role in a double pivot. Cech has been suspect with errors appearing and his lack of agility has become apparent.
The Old Guard of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and are not the world class players' of old. They have been receding since Ancelotti's 2nd season, the up-and-down Eras of AVB-Di Matteo and most recently Chelsea fans along with Mourinho's arch-nemesis, Rafa Benitez. But for two great European triumphs, from the pinnacle of European football, The Champions League to it's consequential secondary the Europa. Chelsea's league form has been inconsistent. while transitory, Chelsea finished 2nd, 6th, 3rd recently. There has been no Premier League Title since Ancelotti's first season in 2010 and 1 in 7 years since Jose Mourinho's original reign.
As these players decline, most supporters dislike this word. So as they encounter transitory periods of their football careers and are engraved as Chelsea Legends there will come a time when replacements have to be found. Petr Cech's Champions League run and penalty shootout heroics, Lampard becoming the Club's All-Time Top Scorer with 203 Goals while securing Champions League position at Aston Villa , and John Terry return to supremacy this season have defied critics in the latest stages of their careers. But teams need to be rebuilt and transitions accounted for.
The club and hierarchy, created a plan as in preparation for Chelsea 2.0. The Blueprint consisted of signing a Belgian contingent of potentially capable replacements of Chelsea 1.0 core. Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne where bought and eventually loaned with a new structure of obtaining some of the world's most talented young players and guiding their development on loan. Urgent reconstruction was made with the purchases of Europe's most prized young player, Eden Hazard and Brazil's emerging #10 in Oscar, building on previous purchases of Ramires, David Luiz and Juan Mata. The Belgian contingent of Lukaku, Courtois and De Bruyne were drawn up as eventual replacements to the departed Drogba, and transitory Cech and Lampard.
Mourinho's return has seen, Juan Mata, the club's two time player of the season finding himself out of contention earlier in the season with Oscar prefered in the #10 role for tactical reasons, and Juan Mata role requiring adapting of defensive responsibility. The sporadic defender but highly talented David Luiz has been linked with an exit from Chelsea as soon as Mourinho returned. A mistake thru bad communication with Cech and inept concentration against Cardiff saw him lose his position to the capable Cahill. Cahill himself has not been a drastic improvement. Lukaku has been loaned, Courtois arrival awaits and De Bruyne has struggled to adapt. Their integration and future at Chelsea remain a concern due to speculation but their growth, form and development reeks positivity as Chelsea build a successful team again.
Eto'o, Schurrle Willian have strengthened Chelsea's squad as they compete for the Premier League title, a challenge which has all but diminished in previous campaigns at this current time in December mostly due to the proclaimed November slump. November saw some inconsistent results with losses and draws taking away from a rather consistent October of six straight wins in all competition. The start of Mourinho's campaign also encountered similar inconsistencies before October.
Currently Chelsea are 3rd tied with Liverpool, who are 2nd after demolishing a former Chelsea manager in AVB. Chelsea are two points off the leaders Arsenal with a bidding for the Title match after a Cup Quarterfinal to a previous opponent Sunderland, who Chelsea just recently had a erratic performance despite winning. These erratic performances occurred twice against Basel while finishing first in the Champions League Group. Supporters have been skeptical at Stamford Bridge and thru the digital sphere of the internet as Chelsea transition and adapt to yet another Manager. Gratefully, Mourinho has seen success at Chelsea before and around Europe, hence his title the Special One. However his reputation was tarnished after his debatable success in dismantling Barcelona's throne of Spain yet failure in what his specialty was to bring in La Decima at Real Madrid.
Now titled the Special ONCE by critics, the damage at Real Madrid has left a doubtful and negative perception of Mourinho, with fears of recurrence or continuity of his last season at Madrid in the minds of most, including Chelsea fans. Player fall outs, an apparent defensive mind and little consideration for Spanish youth were some of the criticisms. Jose's 2nd season saw Real Madrid score 120 goals with 100 pts, a historical La Liga championship, so much for being a defensive coach. Mourinho however does consider defence before attack and demands defensive responsibilities from all players. The expression Mourinho type of players has become prevalent, assuming he prefers workrate and defending before passing, flair or creativity.
This has seen concerns emerge about the long term future of David Luiz and Juan Mata, previous seasons best players who have had to be patient for game time while adapting to Mourinho's demands. Yet not alone, as Ashley Cole form and position faltered with the emergence of Azpilicueta at left back and the disappearing act of De Bruyne Chelsea future have left supporters aching. Jose pride's his teams on defensive stability and so has demanded that the team presses and wins the ball quickly. Mata and De Bruyne notably being pure attackers have had to adapt and develop defensive responsibility to their game. Notably, Juan Mata has improved while adapting increasing his pressing, ball recovery and tackle success rate. Juan Mata has gained back his place and has offered his contribution in recent weeks.
There is reasoning behind every Mourinho decision and meaning, whether fatal or for the better. His decision to critique Mata was tactical and for the better. Mata's future still remains uncertain but the questions have been retracted for now. As I quote from Juan Mata during his struggles, it may also be a message for fans/supporters.
"I know you'll be patient, I know you'll work hard and that you'll be back even stronger. You can cope with anything, pirata"
Patience is a virtue as Mourinho formulates Chelsea 2.0. Chelsea are in contention for the Title, and still in all competitions notably a Cup Quarterfinal and round of 16 for the Champions League. A win next against Arsenal means a return to the top of the table since Di Matteo, A Loss and the criticism continue.
Perception may influence supporters to think negative of Mourinho with some players futures concerning, notably Mata, Luiz, De Bruyne and Loanees Lukaku and Courtois. The perception of Mourinho ruining creative players or youth is prevalent but Mata's improvement offers a glimmer of hope. Mourinho is formulating his Chelsea 2.0. Adaptation to his tactics seems crucial while he builds a new team. As Chelsea 1.0 transitions to Chelsea 2.0 Mourinho has a foundation in place; Key loanees ready to be integrated and key players such as Mata and hopefully David Luiz ready to adapt.
Hopefully Supporters, Players and even Manager, as he faces criticism understand that Patience is a Virtue.
The message to all : "I know you'll be patient, I know you'll work hard and that you'll be back even stronger. You can cope with anything, pirata"
The Special One, now the Happy One or The Special ONCE to become The Special Once Again.