Setting Up a Jose Mourinho Team with Chelsea's Current Squad

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 5, 2013

Setting Up a Jose Mourinho Team with Chelsea's Current Squad

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    Chelsea fans want Rafa Benitez out, and many would love nothing more than to welcome Jose Mourinho back to Stamford Bridge.

    Since leaving the Blues, his philosophy hasn't changed too much. He's still the same tactically astute coach who can motivate his team, so what would he do with the current Chelsea squad on offer?

    Read on to find a Mourinho starting XI, set out in his classic 4-5-1 formation.

GK—Petr Cech

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    The one and only.

    Jose Mourinho didn't sign Petr Cech, but a preseason injury to Carlo Cudicini allowed the new arrival the chance to impress his new boss. He did so with aplomb.

    He's gone from strength to strength and enjoyed his finest year to date in 2012.

    Ross Turnbull isn't even close.

Full-Backs—Ashley Cole, Branislav Ivanovic

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    Jose Mourinho never expected too much in terms of attack from his full-backs at Chelsea, though if one was favoured to go forward, it was Ashley Cole.

    Paulo Ferreira was steady—unspectacular, but solid. Branislav Ivanovic fills that quota quite nicely on the right-hand side and brings balance to the side.

    As much as Cole is an attacking outlet, he's very mindful defensively. Ryan Bertrand is not and therefore wouldn't start.

Centre-Backs—John Terry, Gary Cahill

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    There's something about David Luiz that wouldn't sit right with Jose Mourinho.

    The centre-back pairing of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho was no-nonsense and uncompromising.

    Gary Cahill isn't as good as the Portuguese in his prime, but he's more reliable than the one they call "Bob".

    You'd have to say Mourinho's tastes haven't changed. Pepe is eccentric from the perspective that he kicks people in the groin, but he doesn't charge recklessly up the field and forget he's a defender first.

The Makelele Role—Oriol Romeu

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    The obvious choices here are John Obi Mikel or Real Madrid loanee Michael Essien, but in terms of what the role requires, Oriol Romeu is the finer fit.

    He's a better tackler than Mikel and a far better physical presence.

    Jose Mourinho will know Essien is far from the player he relied upon during his time at Stamford Bridge and could only use him as backup.

    You can't play in this role if you're timid, nor can you if you criminally undersell easy passes in dangerous areas,

Central Midfield—Frank Lampard, Ramires

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    Frank Lampard was a big favourite of Jose Mourinho's, and if the tactician was at the club right now, he'd find a way to get the playmaker more than the one-year extension currently on offer.

    He liked him so much he tried to take him to Internazionale, and to be fair, his goal-return is simply irresistible.

    Lampard and Oriol Romeu aren't full of pace though, so it's best to secure a mobile threat in midfield.

    Ramires will do the trick.

Wing—Eden Hazard, Juan Mata

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    Pace, trickery, goal threat.

    Three things you need on the wing, three things Juan Mata and Eden Hazard bring you in abundance.

    Having a nice balance of a playmaker and speedster—similar to the balance brought by a marauding full-back and a steady one—is essential for the formation, so you'd ideally see Hazard on the right-hand side.

    Jose Mourinho would be positively blessed with options here.

Forward—Demba Ba

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    Jose Mourinho always relied on a powerful front man to do the business.

    Didier Drogba has acquired cult status at Stamford Bridge, thanks to his ability to contribute in so many areas of the pitch and do so much for the team.

    He didn't just score, he bossed defences and made himself a target to carry the team up the field.

    Demba Ba is no Drogba, but Fernando Torres wouldn't have a chance under Mourinho.

    Unfortunately for the Spaniard, the Real Madrid tactician is correct in his assertion that if you're a striker, you're supposed to be in the penalty box.