Chelsea FC: Jose Mourinho Unimpressed With Performances Vs. Shrewsbury Town


In Tuesday’s Capital One Cup action, Chelsea FC were able to muster up enough quality to advance past League Two side Shrewsbury Town FC by the score of 2-1. Coming off their disappointing last-gasp drop of two points against Manchester United on Sunday, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made seven changes to his starting lineup for the match. Younger players Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, Andres Christensen, and Mohamed Salah all were given the start with an opportunity to grab the attention of Jose in their bids for more senior playing time.

While the victory may not have been up to the caliber some would expect given the competition, securing a win at the rainy New Meadow Stadium is still a positive result.

Speaking after the game, Mourinho gave praise to his players that had featured in both matches over the three day period.

"“The message I want is the message Didier, Filipe, Oscar and Cahill gave: doing something that they shouldn’t be allowed to do, but they did, which is play two football matches in 48 hours. They were fantastic… Today even if I lost I would have the same kind of words for my players – their respect for the competition, for the opponent, for Chelsea and the Chelsea fans was fantastic."

But the Portuguese manager felt unimpressed by the fresh faces he had selected to face Shrewsbury.

"“I expect people that have not been playing a lot to raise their level and create problems for me. I love problems of choice, but it’s easy to choose my team for Saturday.”"

Clearly the performances of the lesser used players were not enough to convince Mourinho that changes should be made to his established Premier League starting 11.

Mohamed Salah and Andre Schürrle turned in decent performances from the wing positions, each playing a key part in setting up Didier Drogba’s left-footed, half-volley effort in the 48th minute that broke the deadlock. But the shooting of each showed why they’ve been making most of their appearances off the bench this season. The World Cup winner Schürrle wasted some great chances to score throughout while Salah again had trouble even finding the target. If either wish to take the place of Willian or Eden Hazard they will have to be much more clinical with their finishing.

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John Obi Mikel and Nathan Ake played centrally in the midfield, and did well stifling the limited offense put against them. Mikel was, however, primarily at fault for Shrewsbury’s equalizer in the 77th minute. The versatile Ake was strong in possession and appears only a few seasons away from making a serious case for the first team.

With the Blue’s defense being depleted by suspensions, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen were put into back line. Out of position at right back the 18-year-old Christensen did surprisingly well, providing defensive stability while also playing a part going forward. Zouma used his advantage in physicality to suppress Shrewsbury’s attacks but still needs work on the technical side of the game before he can challenge the spot of Gary Cahill or John Terry.

Chelsea next play in the Capital One Cup on December 16 when they’ll face Championship leaders Derby County. With clubs like Manchester City, Manchester United, and Arsenal already out of the cup, the Blues should use this competition to secure the first of hopefully multiple trophies this season.