Former Chelsea defender explains why Jose Mourinho is going back to basics
Mario Melchiot runs rule over Chelsea's performance at Tottenham Hotspur
Mario Melchiot believes Jose Mourinho is going back to basics with his struggling Chelsea squad.
The Blues battled to a goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s London derby at White Hart Lane after Mourinho opted to start without a recognised striker.
He’s starting all over again. Explaining the things that used to be second nature to his word class squad
The defending Premier League champions are 14 points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Leicester City after winning just four of their opening 14 Premier League games.
And former Chelsea defender Melchiot explained why Mourinho was happy with a point against Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side in north London.
“Sometimes you have to go back to the basics,” Melchiot wrote on his website.
“That’s exactly what Mourinho is doing at the moment with Chelsea. He’s starting all over again. Explaining the things that used to be second nature to his word class squad. Where they should position themselves when they don’t have the ball, and the shape they should take when they regain possession.
“When your team is off balance you can’t get away with leaving your attackers up field, and at this moment, it seems Chelsea will be hurt every time they give any space away.
“This weekend against Tottenham you could see how Pedro and William were doing way more back-tracking than usual. They were also taken off at the end of the game, replaced by Kennedy and Loftus-Cheek to make sure Chelsea wouldn’t lose that balance and to waste some time.
“It also gave a clear signal that Mourinho was happy with a point on the back of Tottenham’s good form and the difficult period Chelsea are facing.”
Chelsea have earned 14 points from a possible 42 after 14 Premier League games this season.
The Blues have remarkably lost seven times in the English top-flight, including defeats by Crystal Palace, Southampton and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea can extend their fragile unbeaten run to three games if Mourinho’s side manage to beat newly-promoted Bournemouth in west London on Saturday.