A humbling defeat by Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night leaves Chelsea on the brink of winning nothing.
Jose Mourinho’s return last summer was heralded as the dawning of a new era at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea would climb back to the summit of the Premier League after not winning the title for three years.
But the Portuguese boss, who referred to himself as ‘the Happy One’ during his first press conference, has not appeared the same man who took English football by storm when he first arrived and upset Manchester United and Arsenal’s hegemony.
Here, Sportsmail looks at the five things Mourinho do to must improve Chelsea next season.
Dropping the ball: Jose Mourinho must make big changes for Chelsea to be successful next season
Glum: Roman Abramovic bringing Mourinho back to the club was meant to be the dawning of a new era
The seven Chelsea players heading for Stamford Bridge exit
Bring in fresh blood
Areas of the squad are stale, short of ideas and need changing. The first priority for Mourinho is to bring in a world-class striker. After Diego Costa’s excellent performance last night he is the obvious choice, but someone who has the quality to guarantee 25 goals next season is a must.
Nemanja Matic has been a massive improvement in central midfield, but he needs someone better alongside him. Ramires, David Luiz, Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel are all very good players but Chelsea need better to compete with the best. A potential move for Tottenham’s Paulinho is an encouraging start.
Top priority: Diego Costa must be top of Chelsea’s shopping list this summer – the Blues need a goalscorer
On their radar: Tottenham’s Paulinho would be an improvement in central midfield
What about Torres?
Fernando Torres has never lived up to his £50million price tag and it is time for the club to cut their losses. Now 30, the Spanish striker has endured a miserable season with just 10 goals in all competitions. Any sale would mean a heavy loss, but Torres has had his chance – he’ll never be the same awesome player he was at Liverpool.
Time’s up: Chelsea must cut their losses and move on from £50million flop Fernando Torres
Not enough: Torres was opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge but he has just 10 goals this season
Cheer up, Jose
He may have claimed to be the Happy One when he arrived but Mourinho has proven to be anything but this season. The constant negativity and blaming of referees and outside influences is clearly affecting the squad. He must forget the mind games, the ‘little horses’ and the ‘specialists in failure’. Mourinho must dig deep to create belief and positivity. That is what this group of players has been missing all season.
Attack, attack, attack
Chelsea have paid a heavy price for their ultra-defensive tactics. It may have brought wins against the likes of Liverpool , Manchester United and Manchester City, but when Chelsea have needed to take the initiative, they have been found severely lacking. Defeats by Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Sunderland exposed their lack of invention, while Chelsea were all but out as soon as Diego Costa scored the equaliser on Wednesday night. The players knew they didn’t have enough to break down Atletico.
Eden Hazard was the latest player to moan about Mourinho’s negative tactics and he, along with Willian, Andre Schurrle and Oscar, need to be given more freedom to show what they can really do.
Attack: Players like Eden Hazard need to be let off the leash to prove what they can really do
Discipline: Willian is rarely allowed to play with complete freedom – he has just four goals this season
You might win something with kids
Thibaut Courtois has looked commanding, assured and utterly brilliant over the two legs and has earned rave reviews in Spain all season. Romelu Lukaku is a raw talent, but his goals have fired Everton into Champions League contention.
The Under 21 team are top of the Premier League table and the Under 18s have a chance to win the FA Youth Cup next week. Chelsea have spent millions on youth coaching and players under Abramovich, it’s time to see some of them, such as midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and possibly Patrick Bamford (scoring 25 goals on loan at MK Dons and Derby), given a real chance.
Youth: Loanees Thibaut Courtois and Romelu Lukaku should be given a chance in the first team next season
Talent: Youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek should also be brought into the fold more than they are
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