Several Chelsea players have found life tough at Stamford Bridge so far this season.
Players such as David Luiz, Juan Mata, Fernando Torres and several others have failed to appear regularly for the first team, challenged by Jose Mourinho to change and force their way into his first team.
It all seemed fairly professional, based on something a professional coach has seen as Mourinho urges those players to change and fit in with his style of play in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
However, Goal.com has claimed the problems run a little deeper, that they’re a little more personal and relate back to the regime of former coach Rafael Benitez, who moved on at the end of last season.
“Mata, Torres and Azpilicueta, according to some close observers, are 'being treated like lepers' by Mourinho, who is supposedly punishing them for their close relationship with predecessor Rafa Benitez,” reads part of the report.
Rafa Benitez was not at the club for a long enough period of time to significantly change the techniques of certain players, getting them to play in a certain way that now makes Mourinho’s life hell as he tries to implement his own style and tactics.
He made the best of a bad situation in the respect that he found himself at a massive club where generally he wasn’t really wanted by supporters with a very talented squad.
The fact he’s Spanish and the players in question are Spanish does lead to a natural relationship but doesn’t mean Mourinho should treat them any differently.
It’s also important to bear in mind that Chelsea have a massive squad and it’s not the manager’s fault if certain player are performing more effectively and consistently than other players.
Any player that makes an impression at the start of the season deserves the right to be in the side, regardless of how talented and special the back up player to his position may be.
The manager’s job is to ensure that the players in back up positions are ready to step in when they are needed and that’s all that Mourinho is doing.
Mourinho is surely not naïve enough to risk upsetting the dressing room with Mata and Torres in particular popular players with some of the more experienced members of the Chelsea squad.
If he is mistreating them as professionals or personally, then there is a good chance he’ll start to lose the dressing room as respect from key figures would dwindle.
Mourinho knows that and he’ll also be very aware of what happened to AVB at Chelsea, when he challenged key players in the squad, lost the dressing room and results eventually forced his exit.
image: © tpower1978