Before I get lambasted by Mourinho-backers, I have to say Jose Mourinho is probably the biggest reason I became a Chelsea fan, and I was just as excited as everyone else when he came back this year.
It's not so much the fact that we lost to Everton (or Basel today) that is disappointing, but the lack of direction and conviction that Chelsea's players have that worries me.
For a man reknowned for his ability to get his players to buy into his philosphy, everyone except Oscar JT, Lamps and Eto'o, looks like their playing on egg shells under Jose. Also, even though we've invested hundreds of millions into our attacking band to play possession football, it was Everton's yeoman team that looked more comfortable on the ball, specifically in the 2nd half, having bought into Roberto Martinez's playing style.
We all know Jose is great at taking a physically strong team team and getting them to play their guts out to win at all costs, specifically, quick counterattacking football. But this Chelsea was assembled with small playmakers to play a possession based football that Mourinho has not instituted in any of his coaching stops.
If you remember back to 2007, the last year Mourinho coached at Chelsea, games were dire to watch as Chelsea lacked ideas to break down teams that "parked the bus". Now the situation is repeating itself. For all those who will bring up the lack of a good striker, you should know that 4 out of the 5 goals scored against Chelsea in the losses this year have been scored by midfielders. (Ribery, Martinez, Naismith and Salah). Our midfielders can score and last year, Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Lamps were regularly burying them into the net. (We scored the second most goals in the premier league)
Furthermore, Mourinho's man-management has been puzzling this year. It won't be lost on the squard that he promised two players playing time specifically to bring them back from loan. One, Romelu Lukaku, has been loaned out after training with us the entire pre-season, and the other, Kevin De Bruyne hasn't featured in the last two games.
He claimed he wouldn't pick favorites, but Hazard, Ivanovic and Lamps have continually played when they haven't looked like the best option. Juan Mata, the reigning two-time Chelsea player of the year, looks out of sorts, even though his supposed fitness issues have resolved itself.
Which brings me back to Martinez, as a coach known for developing young talent and playing the possession football that Abramovich craves, he might have been better for this current Chelsea squad. He wouldn't have brought in Eto'o, Lukaku would have stayed and the young players would have been getting more playing time.
Of course, no matter who manages, developing a young squad requires patience. But Chelsea had the same young squad last year, and after going through growing pains, the team eventually recovered to win the Europa League. The additions to the squad and the return of Mourinho were expected to help fine tune the team and help them ascend into the next level. However, Chelsea looks like they've regressed, with players seemingly unsure of their roles. Jose has fended off criticism by stating that his young players need time learn how to play together.
However, its looking like he needs more time to learn how to coach this team.