Jose Mourinho was appalled at Chelsea's weekend loss to Newcastle United, claiming he picked the wrong XI. Here are 5 changes he should make for Wednesday.
1): David Luiz
The Brazilian defender has seen a fall in grace and form… from Confederations Cup hero with Brazil, to the catalyst for a dressing-room split after the 2-0 defeat to Newcastle United at St James' Park. Luiz's positional sense seems askew of late and his focus on the long, through-ball rather than simple, possession-retaining football has angered the club's fanbase. For the Wednesday, November 6 Champions League clash with Schalke 04, Luiz should be replaced with Gary Cahill.
2): Frank Lampard
The Premier League veteran is a club legend, an all-time great and a consummate professional, however, at 35-years-old it is unrealistic for him to feature in consecutive games… particularly when the role he is playing is more withdrawn, next to Ramires, rather than playing-up to the box-to-box abilities that made his name have star value. The defensive work of John Mikel Obi will allow Ramires to shine and must be considered for tomorrow evening's match at Stamford Bridge.
3): Eden Hazard
One of the top chance creators in the Premier League and a regular on the team-sheet when it comes to domestic football, yet the highly-rated Belgium international appeared out of place against the Magpies and, for that left flank role, there appears to be someone far better suited to a: hugging the touchline, b: getting the better of the opposition defence and c: his knowledge on German football. That player is Andre Schurrle.
Like Hazard, has become accustomed to one of the first names on the team-sheet in the Premier League. His tackling is so adept it almost belies a man who is known for his attacking prowess but he was largely anonymous in the no.10 role versus Newcastle and, even though Mourinho will unlikely name this player as the replacement, Juan Mata could inflict serial damage due to either a: his drawing of fouls in good set-piece places or b: his ability on the ball and for the pass.
5): Ashley Cole
If there were only five changes to be made from the disappointing XI who took on Newcastle, then there would be an ardent case for the omission of Fernando Torres, however, the Spaniard was effectively starved of good service and, with Mata and Schurrle behind him, may find more joy with that supply mid-week. Instead, Cole - who was confounded by Mathieu Debuchy on Saturday - should be rested in favour for Ryan Bertrand, who performed admirably against Arsenal.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald