Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho must be looking for some of the young blood magic that has christened Van Gaal this EPL season.
Mourinho in a press conference on Monday revealed that 19 year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek will start for Chelsea after the international break.
The move comes at a time when Mourinho is clearly struggling for answers for the form of both his team and individual players. Two particular starters that cannot seem to bring their game up to the Premier League level are Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas.
Matic was subbed on at half to take Ramires’ place in midfield on Saturday during Chelsea’s 3-1 loss to Southampton, and then pulled back less than a thirty minutes later. Matic has failed to contribute any assists to the 2015 campaign and has only netted a solitary goal.
Fabregas has been applauded for not losing confidence during the dip in his form, but Mourinho is hoping that Loftus-Cheek has the something he needs to revitalize the midfield.
On the thinking behind his decision, Mourinho touches on his struggling midfield and the issues he’s faced trying to slowly phase out veteran Captain John Terry,
‘In difficult moments, what’s the best thing? Can the most experienced players cope better? When I don’t play John Terry everyone says: “Why don’t you play the captain? The team needs the captain’s leadership and personality”.
‘With Ruben, it is exactly the same. Ruben, Matic, Fabregas or Ramires? Who can cope the best with the pressure? Maybe with the situation so negative for us, the young player feels less pressure than when the team is top of the league.’
Give Mourinho credit, it is at least, a decision that appears fueled by logic rather than passion which seems to be a struggle for the Portuguese manager in 2015. Jose has been embroiled with the FA, Chelsea fan base, and his players over seemingly everything except for the quality of football which has obviously suffered.
If the 19 year-old Loftus-Cheek doesn’t take too much responsibility and expectation on himself it may be the ideal time for him to have a chance for the first team. He has appeared three times for Chelsea– once in the EPL, Champions League, and the English Cup. He helped to hoist the title for both the FA youth cup and Chelsea’s Under-21s.
Mourinho has given Ruben a vote of confidence and a reality check to his own situation with a handful of young players,
‘Clearly it is time. Not to play four, five or six kids – some are not ready – but Ruben is a case where he’s more ready, and if everything goes normal during the next two weeks, he’s a player to start the next game and a run of matches, to try and get that stability as a first-team choice.
‘Not to save the season. The profile of the moment and the profile of the young players makes it a good moment.’
If Mourinho keeps his eyes open and continues to make decisions that fit the predicament of the moment it’s likely the former league champions see a turn-around to their abysmal start.