How Mourinho got it all wrong

Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich celebrates his 50th birthday on Monday and could not have wished for a better present than a victory over Jose Mourinho.

The Russian billionaire must have been too busy planning his party to be at Stamford Bridge, but he will have been delighted with the result and his latest head coach Antonio Conte.

The Italian is succeeding where Mourinho failed last season by getting the best out of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, finding solutions such as Victor Moses from within his squad and being brave enough to try a new formation. Chelsea have finally moved on from Mourinho.

Paul Pogba looked to be the statement signing that would help United compete for trophies again, but the Frenchman has so far failed to justify his world record transfer fee. Having been moved forwards following Mourinho’s decision to drop Wayne Rooney, Pogba should be terrorising opposition midfielders and defenders, but he was anonymous at Stamford Bridge.

When he did get the ball, he could not cope with the energy of his France team-mate Kante who was quick to rob him of possession and force him into errors. Pogba dropped deeper following the half-time introduction of Juan Mata, but it did no good.

Mourinho nicked Pedro from under the nose of Manchester United for Chelsea last summer, but the Spaniard took a long time to settle in English football. The early signs under Conte were not particularly encouraging, but, suddenly, Pedro has shown why the Blues decided to nip in ahead of United.

Conte’s switch to a 3-4-3 seems to have suited the former Barcelona forward, who has started the last two games and been influential in both. Having set up Eden Hazard to score against Leicester City, Pedro was on target himself after just 30 seconds against United and set up N’Golo Kante’s superb goal.

Eden Hazard – The Belgian epitomised much of what went wrong for Mourinho at Chelsea last season. But Hazard has come back with a bang under Conte and his goal against his former manager was a cracker. Marcos Alonso also deserves a mention, as the left wing-back performed admirably both in a defensive and offensive capacity.

Mourinho needs to find a new approach with United or risk being left behind. They have looked slow and outdated in the games against their rivals this season. The biggest factor may well be whether Mourinho can get the best out of Paul Pogba. So far, he hasn’t.

Post a Comment