Saturday, October 31, 2015

Liverpool up, Chelsea down

Jurgen Klopp's long-awaited first victory as Liverpool manager came with a 1-3 away win against the defending champions of Chelsea. This will surely put expectations even higher for Liverpool, who looked confident and organized. There is much work to do though, and while I firmly believe that Klopp is the right man to make Liverpool better over the next year, I do not believe in immediate short term success.
As deserved as Liverpool's victory was though, one can only look in wonder at Chelsea and Jose Mourinho. Last season's awesome champions are a shadow of themselves. This was their third home defeat this season, and their third defeat in a week. It is not just that they are losing, but that they are playing dreadful! The commonly strong defense looks insecure and slow (Christian Benteke's third goal for Liverpool was an example of this), while players such as Eden Hazard, John Terry or Diego Costa, who were so strong last season, seem reduced to second-rate players.
Everyone is perplexed (if not a certain "Schadenfreude" at Chelsea). But the one who seems most perplexed is Jose Mourinho, whose normal arrogant confident makes him seem more and more like a man who does not have what it takes to lift his team from below. Perhaps he has been too long at the top, and this should be a test of whether he really is one of the greatest manager in the world.
Rumours of Mourinho being fired abound, although he seems to have the support of the fans and the players. But in Chelsea only Roman Abramovich decides, and he may not have patience with Mourinho, as he has never had patience with any managers. At the same time, this is his most winning coach ever, and it is not clear that there is anyone at his level to replace him.
So expect the Chelsea struggle to continue...

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