It’s Not That Hard To Manage Chelsea
With every impressive Chelsea performance the spectre of Jose Mourinho lifts a little more, and who was really responsible for the club’s utter meltdown during the first half of this season becomes increasingly apparent.
The Portuguese – so obsessed with control – clearly took things so far that a number of his players rebelled, and all that Guus Hiddink has done since his appointment is make the club a happy place to be at again.
Chelsea players are actually playing football with smiles on their faces – something that Mourinho didn’t seem to allow even when they were winning – and their veteran boss must be shocked at just how little he’s had to do.
Sometimes expensive footballers just need their egos stroking, and that’s all that’s happening here.
Oscar Thrives In The Role Of Leading Man
And key to all of that enjoyment was the Brazilian Oscar, who enjoyed himself immensely here as he took his place just off Diego Costa and enjoyed the acres of space which the Milton Keynes Dons felt obliged to give him.
At his best the Brazilian is a staggeringly complete footballer, capable of almost anything on the pitch as he floats across it, and as apparently one of the more vocal malcontents during the end of the Mourinho reign, he will almost see his improved form as a two-fingered salute to a previous boss who often seemed to marginalise him.
Hiddink was wasted no time in tapping into that desire and making him his leading man, and it was no surprise to see him withdrawn early here with Watford away in mind on Wednesday.
Karl Robinson Got This Wrong
There are many ingredients to pulling off the type of shock result which has made the FA Cup what it is to so many people, but one of the key ones is usually being horrible.
Getting in the faces of your much-vaunted opposition and making life difficult for them is usually objective number 1 in matches such as these, but Karl Robinson seemed to instruct his MK Dons side to stick to their principles and take on their illustrious opponents at their own game.
The result was far too much space given to footballers who don’t often need that, and in truth the hosts were lucky that their visitors only managed five goals.
Bertrand Traore Looks Like Another Casualty Of Chelsea’s Stockpiling
He came on after 57 minutes and scored five minutes later, but how many more times will we see Bertrand Traore in a Chelsea shirt this season?
The Blues have completed a loan deal for Alexandre Pato to add to the striking ranks at Stamford Bridge, and so the young Burkina Faso forward must know that it would be a surprise if he were to get another first team appearance this season.
Trusting in youth is something that Chelsea have always seemed reluctant to do in the Roman Abramovich era, which is what made it so pleasant to see Traore and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both in action here.
They should give them more of a chance.
Chelsea Should Really Go For The FA Cup This Season
He won it in his first spell in charge of the club in 2009, and Hiddink will know that if he can chisel an FA Cup success out of this bizarre Chelsea season then he’ll have secured a place in club folklore.
Granted, the Dutchman’s motivation isn’t too clear as he ticks towards the end of a long and illustrious career, but as discussed above, this really isn’t too taxing a job.
They have every chance of winning this competition again.
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