Since becoming the first English team of the modern era to receive a history-altering amount of financial investment in the last decade or so, Jose Mourinho’s formidable Chelsea side have never been seen as the ‘people’s favourite’, both domestically and in Europe.
Their fast-track route to success has left many football fans, for want of a better phrase, somewhat bitter towards their success – with many labelling their most recent achievements as unjust and seemingly undeserved.
Whether or not such notions are born out of pure rationality, or perhaps instead from a degree of jealousy, Chelsea have stormed on successfully regardless of what their critics have to say, and have therefore won a great deal of silverware as a result. However, the Blues have nevertheless alienated many purists of the game in the process.
This means, that whilst many English supporters would theoretically like to see their the fellow Premier League counterparts triumph over whatever the rest of Europe has to offer, Chelsea have remained a pretty un-favoured team in the Champions League, even when they go out to perform as the clear underdogs.
In light of such beliefs, can Jose Mourinho’s expensively assembled outfit continue to frustrate their critics by adding another Champions League title to the Stamford Bridge trophy room come the end of the season?
Many experts within the game say they can. The Blues bring with them a magnitude of footballing talent that could rival any team in Europe at this current stage. Including the likes of Diego Costa; a striker who’s movement is seemingly unmatched by most players in the game right now, Cesc Fabregas; the assist king of Europe, and Nemanja Matic; a simply formidable midfield enforcer that is one of the best at playing the all-important box-to-box role – Chelsea have undoubtedly looked unbeatable at times during this campaign.
Eden Hazard, Oscar, and the newly acquired Juan Cuadrado, also give Mourinho an impressive attacking outlet this season, whilst John Terry and co. have characteristically remained a resolutely strong force at the back for Chelsea throughout 2014/15.
All in all then, the Blues certainly seem in good shape to say the least. Having said that, another reason why many don’t fancy Chelsea to do the business in Europe this season has been their playing style, or in other words, their lack of playing style.
Despite having several of the world’s most sought after talents at his disposal, Jose Mourinho seems unable to detach himself from the defensive, counter-attack approach that has left many disappointed with Chelsea’s apparent inability to entertain. Last week’s match-up with PSG acts as a good example for such a statement – as although the Blues landed themselves a pretty promising result to take into the second leg – the rest of Europe’s football minded followers felt robbed of what was supposed to be a truly enticing match. Mourinho may have had success in the Champions League by adopting this style in the past, but let’s face it, no one came out to see a 1-1 bore draw between two of the Europe’s supposedly strongest outfits.
Ultimately, as Chelsea don’t exactly shine themselves in the greatest light with their increasingly expensive transfer activity yet lack of entertainment value in their most significant matches, very few non-blue fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for Jose Mourinho’s potential success in the Champions League this season.
The ever-enigmatic Portuguese boss nevertheless stands a great chance of winning the tournament, even if his side have to drop their attacking qualities on route to do so, and favour a somewhat characteristically boring approach to seeing out their upcoming matches. As the Champions League knock-out stages very rarely fail to disappoint in the end however, perhaps a few deserving match winning performances may just await the Blues in next few months.
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