Season review 2013/14 – Chelsea

Jose Mourinho’s first season back with Chelsea certainly frustrated a lot of neutrals, but what’s the fans’ perspective? We asked Dan Northcote-Smith (@dnsandnick) for his views on the season.

Pleasure to watch or utter disaster?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – victories at Anfield and the Etihad, plus not losing to any of the big five, makes the supporters happy. Have we played (as Ruud Gullit would call it) ‘sexy football’? The answer is a resounding no.

Chelsea's hero and villain for 2013/14

Chelsea’s hero and villain for 2013/14

Who’s been this season’s hero?
Jose Mourinho. Without a doubt he’s brought solidity to the back four, he’s got the team playing as a unit, he’s made John Terry into the best centre back in the league again. Three of our back four could have easily made it into the team of the year.

And the villain?
Jose Mourinho. He’s got big performances out of the players but his big mouth has made us into the least popular team in the country. Mind games are one thing but throwing unprovoked attacks at Wenger just makes us look unprofessional. And throwing your toys from the pram after losing to Sunderland was simply ungraceful.

Manager’s report
As above, but I think next season will be different. A couple of big signings will help the team play the way he wants and hopefully Jose will let the football do the talking.

Best signing
Hard to pick between Willian and Matic. The Brazilian works harder than anyone I’ve ever seen on a football pitch and has a great touch and shot, but I think Matic takes the prize. He is everything a modern defensive midfielder should be – strong, equally good in the air and on the ground, calm on the ball and can play a forward pass. If he adds a goal or five to his repertoire he could take the title back to the Bridge next year.

Worst signing
Less of the signing, more of a departure. Mata had to go apparently. No place is Chelsea’s robust, hard working eleven. I can see the thinking and £45 million is a decent return but given the shut outs we’ve been on the receiving end of to teams nearer the bottom the prem, the little Spanish trequartista could have been the man to unlock a stubborn rearguard.

Rising star
Mohammed Salah. Snatched right out from under the nose of Liverpool at Christmas. He had recently scored his second goal for Basle against Chelsea in successive years. The 21 year old Egyptian has phenomenal pace and a great touch, he can beat a player and has shown good finishing skills, scoring in successive matches. He’s a team player, not afraid of tracking his fullback. This is a requirement at Chelsea at the moment and with Hazard receiving criticism from Jose for this very matter, Salah could see a lot more game time over the next few years.

Highlight of the season
Sorry Liverpool fans but it has to be the shut out at Anfield. The win at the Etihad was a better performance but because of the significance of the game and the ‘weakened’ team we put out this has been the moment for me.

Low point of the season
Losing our unbeaten home record to Sunderland. I never believed we could win the league but losing a 77 game unbeaten streak hurt more than anything else.

I’ll remember this season for…
…Demba Ba bundling in the last minute goal against PSG – a vintage European night.

Ba bundles home (credit: NDTV)

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