Chelsea’s status as the kings of England has changed very quickly.
When a team studded with world class talent and one of the most successful managers of all time, goes into games so unconvincingly and are happy with a draw, you know something is seriously wrong.
Performances in the league have simply not been good enough, and the only way Chelsea could save their season is if they win the Champions League. That test just got a whole lot harder with PSG standing between them and the quarter finals.
This is the third successive year that Chelsea will face PSG, who sit 17 points clear at the top of Ligue 1. The last time the two clubs met, Chelsea tried every trick under the sun, but Mourinho couldn’t outsmart Lauren Blanc. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will also be looking at this as one if his last chances to win the Champions League before he hangs up his boots, and as much as he respects Mourinho, he would love to beat him.
When Zlatan wants something I don’t think there is any team who can contain him. He always produces the magic when it’s needed.
Of course there is more for Chelsea to focus on, especially PSG’s notorious counterattacks. The French love to sit deep, wait for the opponent to make a mistake, and then hit them on the break. We used to work on that in training when I was at Stade Rennais – the focus was on scoring goals in the shortest time with the fewest passes.
But if Chelsea want to win this tie they need to pick up the pace. Currently the play is too slow and predictable, and PSG will be full of surprises. It’s not that the players and staff don’t care, but there is just no leader on the pitch and the balance is gone. The player that looks the freshest is Courtois.
When squads are bigger and two players are battling for the same position, they have to show they’re best week in week out to keep their spot in the team. But Chelsea don’t have that. I don’t think there’s a healthy battle for places in the team. Certain players know they’re going to make the starting line-up regardless of if they play at their best.
Mourinho has made it clear already he will not leave, and if Ambromovich would consider letting him go, he has to fire him.