Scott: How do you think Chelsea’s season has gone so far?
Ramon: Personally I think it has gone about as well as it could’ve done so far. Obviously, you can point to a few disappointing results, our “Don’t lose” mentality away from home against the big teams has been rather annoying considering the form United and Tottenham have both been in this season. Both Basel results in the Champions League were pretty poor but at the end of the day we are third in the league and in the Knockout round of the Champions League. I think those that have expected more from the team should remember that our best players in this squad are relatively young and have a lot of improvement ahead of them.
Scott: What do you think Chelsea’s biggest problems have been this season?
Ramon: There’s a few you can point to; the lack of strikers is perhaps our biggest issue. There’s been very little contribution in way of goals from them and even more importantly their link up play is not fantastic. Whilst their effort is rarely in question they can often be anonymous. Our midfield has been short of depth with van Ginkel’s injury, Ramires, Mikel and Lampard have been rotated often but they all can seemingly slow down the tempo of play with their passing, which has resulted in Luiz being installed as a makeshift centre mid at times. Matic’s signing may go some way to improving that issue though. Ashley Cole is really the other problem, having dominated the league for a decade, time is catching up to him and is often caught upfield without the pace to recover.
Scott: Are you a win at all costs sort of fan, or do you think Mourinho would implement more attractive football at Chelsea?
Ramon: Win at all costs. It’s why I loved people like Michael Schumacher, Mourinho is ruthless and above all else is a winner which is fundamentally what fans want to see. I don’t think the football has been ‘ugly’ when you have players like Hazard, Oscar, Willian and Mata (when he plays), there’s always going to be attractive football being played, Mourinho has just reigned in some of that freedom and added discipline to the set up of the team. There are select games when Mourinho abandons the sort of football that is considered attractive but it would be wrong to confine him to one tactic, he’s the best around because he adapts and plays off the other team’s weakness as much as his side’s strength.
Scott: Who has been your best player this season?
Ramon: It’s a toss up between Hazard and Oscar, they’re both incredibly gifted but I prefer the latter because he may well be the most complete footballer in the league. It’s pretty hard to complain about the absence of Mata when the player Mourinho has chosen to replace him with at the number 10 role has been so influential. He’s the second top scorer for Chelsea behind Hazard but his defensive contribution and importance to the set up of the team, especially when pressing the opposition is key to our success. His intelligence on the pitch is far beyond that of anyone his age, he understands his role in the team and what is expected of him. In that regard he’s already a genius on the pitch. I’d go on but I think I do that enough every day.
Scott: Which United player would you most like in your team?
Ramon: In a magic turn around from the last time we spoke about him a year ago, I’d take Rafael. With Cole on his last legs and Azpilicueta equally adept at playing left back, Rafael gives you an outlet on the wings from a full back position which Chelsea have sorely lacked for most of the season. Whilst Rooney or Van Persie would seem the logical choices due to our deficiencies up front, I think if you weigh up Rafael’s quality vs. other right backs compared to Rooney and the strikers around Europe, he would rank higher.
Scott: Do you think Moyes will come good at United?
Ramon: I’m not sure what United fans will consider good? I think he will do better, and I think the club will give him time because they pretty much have to after apparently excluding Mourinho because of his tendency to change clubs. Whether doing better than he currently is doing, will be good enough, I doubt. I don’t think his career at the elite level will last longer than another 18months. I do feel sorry for him though, he hasn’t been backed by the club financially like he should’ve been but he hasn’t helped himself by signing someone of Fellaini’s quality and expecting him to have the same impact as he did at Everton.
Scott: What would you consider to be a successful season for Chelsea this year?
Ramon: A successful season would be winning the league but I wouldn’t deem it unsuccessful if that wasn’t achieved. An FA Cup and a top 2 finish is perhaps the most realistic expectation. There are too many teams in Europe with incredible squads to expect a trophy but given Mourinho’s record in Europe, there is always that possibility of a long run. Again, the youth of star players means you have to put achievements into context, if we expect them to win everything when they are 22, what are they meant to do when they reach their peak?
Scott: Predictions for today?
Ramon: I’m hoping Mourinho goes for it, I think the attacking trio of midfielders will prove too much for the United midfield and defence to cope with. Given that and Mourinho’s home record at Stamford Bridge in the league it is difficult to see past a win… 3-1. Good luck for today, but not really.
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