‘Everyone thinks we have the perfect squad, but we don’t,’ Mourinho said after watching a side lacking John Terry and Petr Cech make hard work of winning at Wigan. ‘We only have three central defenders and when John Terry is injured we only have two. We no longer have the best goalkeeper in the world, either. We have no Joe Cole, we have suspensions, red cards and bad decisions against us. If we get any more injuries we are in big trouble and we already have Khalid Boulahrouz suspended.’
‘Manchester United are top of the table with no injuries, no suspensions and no referees like the one we had at Tottenham. Everything is going fantastically for them. It is the opposite to last season, when everything was fantastic for us and they had all the problems – Paul Scholes’ eye injury, Ryan Giggs being out for a while. This season we are having the problems.’
So while the initial reaction is to laugh and point at any notion that Chelsea are allowed to complain about their squad, we’ll humour Mourinho and take a look at the defending Premiership champions’ squad needs:
Right Back/backup Centre back:
Khalid Boulaahrouz is just hilarious to watch. Got done and literally left on his arse by Robbie Keane stepovers in the loss to Tottenham, pushed Andy Johnson for the whole ‘diving’ business and proceeded to rugby tackle Everton players after being beaten easily on 3 or 4 other occasions, and then was primarily at fault for letting Emile Heskey score twice as Wigan came back from 2-0 down. Emile Heskey. Mourinho is known for his tactical media outbursts as an attempt to take attention or pressure away from his team whenever they struggle, the recent increase in Jose tantrums comes when Boulahrouz is getting more games with Terry out. No coincidence.
As much as it pains us to say, it looks like Shevchenko’s Premiership career will follow exactly the same trajectory as his fellow Milan and Serie A super-scorer Hernan Crespo. He may get a second chance next season, but he hasn’t looked like fitting in and Chelsea look a far better club with a battering ram single striker flanked by two of the millions of speedy wingers the club has. Now that he’s been banished to the bench and told he’s not ‘untouchable’ it seems that, whether Shevchenko is forced to stay in London or not, someone new will be coming in.
Because since when have 3 Premiership-quality goalkeepers been enough?