As the light blues welcome the arrival of new coach Manuel Pellegrini, questions are already being asked what needs to change to bring success.
The 59 year old Chilean will firstly need to assess what big earners need to go. The likes of Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure have gone and with interest in the likes of Gareth Barry and Carlos Tevez, more will surely follow shortly. The current squad is simply imbalanced.
Spreading the play
Predecessor Mancini favoured a narrow point of attack meaning no room for direct wingers. Already this summer has welcomed the arrival of silky winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla for £14.9 million that indictates width will feature prominently in the new structure.
The club can boast a quality back four with captain Kompany likely to lead from the back and youngster Nastasic improving with experience. The midfield balance needs to be reviewed with influential Yaya Toure being deployed in a regular role to gain some form.
The search for a new striker will also be key; the failure to land Robin Van Persie last summer hurt the team badly. Pellegrini has always favoured a powerful centre forward so a move for a player such as Aston Villa’s Chrisitan Benteke would seem plausible.
The new manager faces a challenge to unite the squad and remove the divisions created by the outgoing Italian. Keeper Joe Hart was irrational held responsible for a number of defeats last season which eventually impacted on his form. The debacle around Carlos Tevez also split the camp and wounds have yet to heal.
Finance is no object at City, expectation is very high and it is arguably a tougher job than the Chileans stint at an aging Real Madrid.
With the return of the “special one” to Stamford Bridge Chelsea fans will all now be expecting their club to return to the top flight of English football, which surprises me when their interim manager Rafa Benitez actually did quite well for the club, with them finishing in third place and qualifying for next seasons Champions League.
They also won the Europa League which isn’t bad for a manager that was only there for seven months. This of course was not good enough for the Chelsea fans, as all they were ever going to settle for was having Mourinho back. A lot of bwin football offers will be taken up to make a bet on this move happening!
After only being in place for a day Mourinho has announced his new signing Andre Schurrle from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £20 million with an official announcement to be made Wednesday night.
Along with Schurrle I expect to see the Blues make a move for Manchester City’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, and if reports in the British tabloid Sun are to be believed he might also go for 28-year-old Wesley Sneijder.
“The Galatasaray playmaker is set to move to Chelsea according to reports in Turkey… Sneijder has struggled under boss Fatih Terim and the Turkish club will listen to a ‘reasonable’ offer.”
Speaking at a press conference after being announced as the new Chelsea manager, something that has to go down as the worst kept secret of the year, Mourinho said:
“We have to improve the team, and when I say improve the team people are already thinking about how many millions Chelsea is going to spend.”
“When I say improve the team I am saying improving by work. If after that we can improve the team by buying a couple of players it is fantastic. In the last two years we were struggling in the Premier League.
“I like the profile, I like the fact we have three, four or five players from the beginning and I think they have to be always a part of the Chelsea soul.
“The profile of the younger players with long-term space for improvement and development, I like very much. With the immediate age of Eden Hazard, Oscar, David Luiz and these boys, I think it will be good for me to work with them and good for them to work with me.
“It’s a young squad with a lot of talent and I think they need stability to reach a high point of their evolution and for their careers.”
Since having the man Abramovich wanted to sign Radamel Falcao stolen from Chelsea by AS Monaco another club that has big plans, my feeling is that Brazilian striker Hulk could also be on the cards, along with Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic.
All this means despite what Mourinho might say about developing players, is that the west London club will be shopping for talent, so look for Chelsea to spend big this summer, as their owner wants nothing but the top prizes for his team.