Jose Mourinho's tactics are stifling the creativity of two of his best Chelsea stars.
Jose Mourinho’s tactics have guided him to success wherever he’s been in his managerial career but they have a dark side and one which could cost the Blues two of their best players.
The performances against Liverpool in the Premier League and Atletico Madrid in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final showcased what can work and what can backfire with Mourinho’s defensive setups.
The defensive performance against Liverpool was superb but when Chelsea needed to turn things on and attack against Atletico, the side looked drowned of all creativity and attacking flair.
Both of them are not as high as they’d like to be in terms of Premier League goals and assists this season, which is a direct consequence of the results driven football Mourinho seems to prefer playing in big games.
Hazard is five behind Luis Suarez (most assists in the Premier League this season) while Oscar, favoured over Juan Mata at the start of the season, is ten behind the Uruguayan.
The pair are also off the pace in terms of goalscoring with Hazard behind the likes of Jay Rodriguez, Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud and Wilfried Bony. He’s also five behind the highest scoring midfielder, Yaya Toure.
Oscar has eight goals to his name this season, which is a figure that he’d want to be in double figures at this stage of the season.
The stifled creativity of two very talented players is muted by the fact that Mourinho seems to have got his entire squad to buy into the team mentality and hard work ethic but frustration will creep in at some point.
Mourinho would be well advised to let Hazard and Oscar off the leash at some point before the end of the season because consistently negative football, engineered to get results will impact their games and has the potential to make them vulnerable to agents and anyone who would step all over Chelsea to get them signed up.