Enter Dave. While everyone is looking forward to Juan Mata's return to the starting lineup tonight, he is not the only one feeling the pressure to prove himself to the new manager.
No, not Sideshow Dave. Although Mourinho was not completely happy with the defender's play vs. Basel, he did single out the Brazilian for extra praise vs. Everton for his attacking, game-changing impetus. So I think David Luiz's place in the central defensive rotation is safe.
I'm talking about another Dave. Those with greater linguistic dexterity might call him Azpilicueta, but they're just showing off at that point.
"I cannot dig and dig and dig looking for the best team. The players must give me the answer."
"Do I have a doubt that [Branislav] Ivanovic is in this moment my right-back? I have no doubt. You see the way the guy performs. So it is up to them."
-José Mourinho; source: ESPN
Dave might possess the most creepy - yet charming at the same time! - smile in the squad, but he has yet to melt
HAL's Mourinho's cold, calculating heart with it. And so the right back who was the previous regime's undoubted first choice, does not have a single start to his name so far this season, his only appearance (of about 60 seconds) coming as an injury time, mostly time-wasting substitute.
Mourinho of course is not the first Chelsea manager to prefer the more defensive, fiery, and strong Branislav Ivanovic whose presence provides additional aerial weaponry on set pieces to a more attacking full back. Many of us had in fact come to believe that his best position was out wide rather than in the middle of defense, until the revelation that was his partnership with David Luiz in the second half of last season. However, with Mourinho keeping his full backs conservative, and Ivanovic doing everything not named crossing well enough, it's perhaps not surprising that we've yet to have a different starter at right back.
All that will change tonight and just like for his fellow Spaniard, here's Cesar Azpilicueta's big chance to prove the manager wrong.