Feature

The Burning Question – Who Are Mourinho’s Untouchables?

After a long, drawn-out summer of Fantasy inactivity, the new season is almost upon us. We’ve just over a week to go now yet, for many, plans are still tentative, with the futures of Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale still playing a significant part in how we assess the upcoming campaign. The uncertainty doesn’t end there, though, and with plenty of further questions to pose, we turn to the site contributors and moderators in the first in a series of opinion pieces leading up to the big kick off.

We get underway by garnering thoughts on Jose Mourinho’s installation to the Stamford Bridge hotseat. The Chelsea manager’s previous stint was famous for his Fantasy-friendly “Untouchables”, with many of the Blues first-team turning out to be automatic picks. This time around, though, the selection process seems a little less than straightforward and with Mourinho having plenty of options available, we consider who’ll be the mainstays of his side over the campaign.

Andy says…
Given that Chelsea have a double Gameweek coming up in the very first round I wish my thoughts on this were different. I would love to say that I think the Brazilian pair of the charming young Oscar and enigmatic David Luiz will be safe but I don’t believe their positions are as secure as I’d like them to be. Even Juan Mata, Chelsea’s player of the season just gone by, is probably going to be struck down by a bout of rotation along the way.

I don’t think Jose Mourinho has gone crackers and will begin to ignore his best players – but he quite simply has an abundance of options at his disposal and will use them as his side fight on multiple fronts. Name a player you expect to start and within seconds the Chelsea squad can throw another name back at you on parity.

I’m inclined to only think Petr Cech has got a safe spot in the team and Ashley Cole comes a close second – with all due respect to Mark Schwarzer and Ryan Bertrand. A few weeks into the season we might have a clearer picture as to who Mourinho will prefer and can maybe begin to consider adding the likes of Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic -or whomever- to that list. Until that happens, I will be vigilant and extremely wary, though Wayne Rooney will be a lock if Mourinho can prise him away from Old Trafford.

In Tommy We Trust says…
Over the years, the “Special One’s” teams have had a common bloodline ingrained into every squad he controls. These are simply described as power, pace and will-to-win at all costs. The basics and mental approach of his players are fundamental to Mourinho’s selection policy, with a stubborn cohesiveness installed in every player’s mind-set when they put on the jersey. Whether it was John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba in his first stint at Stamford Bridge, Lucio, Wesley Sneijder, and Diego Milito at Inter Milan, or even in his previous regime at Real Madrid with Sergio Ramos, Xabi Alonso and Ronaldo – Mourinho takes talented footballers and elevates them to the next level. His quotes taken from our Moving Target article earlier this summer points towards instilling these values into this young Chelsea squad.

My selections that best fit these criteria are Ashley Cole, Ramires and Eden Hazard, with the latter attracting the biggest interest from Fantasy managers. The Belgian had a successful first season in the Premier League, with nine goals, 16 assists and 22 bonus points in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game – a total of 190 points saw him finish seventh overall. Hazard has recently insisted there is more to come, pointing out his record while at Lille. For me, he can take that next step in his career under Mourinho and become the world class playmaker Chelsea anticipated when bringing him to these shores last summer.

As for Cole, he is now a figurehead – mature in his nature and a cornerstone from Mourinho’s previous reign – he may be 32 now but Cole remains one of the best left-backs in the world. Ramires, meanwhile, is the typical midfield engine, twinning the positional awareness of Claude Makelele’s awareness with a strength and stamina that allows him to make those transitional runs from defence to attack. He may not replicate the Fantasy returns of those midfielders further up the field but if the assurance of starts is key to your initial squad selection then you can do much worse than consider the Brazilian.

Green Windmill says…
Unfortunately for Fantasy managers this is probably a list with just one name on it – Petr Cech (although as Iker Casillas can testify, even big name goalkeepers can fall out of favour with the Portuguese). Whilst Mourinho’s previous spell in charge of Chelsea seems to have garnered him something of a reputation for keeping rotation to a minimum, a glance through his Real Madrid teamsheets from last season tells a different story: Cristiano Ronaldo started more games than anyone else for Madrid but even he was missing from the starting XI on eight occasions. Given that a player of Ronaldo’s calibre is subject to being rested under Mourinho, Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba look set to be shuffled continuously.

With the embarrassment of riches available and the hope that a successful season would see them play around 60 matches, it seems unthinkable that Mourinho won’t utilise a strict rotation policy. Despite all this, even if double Gameweek 1 wasn’t a factor it would be a brave manager who didn’t fit at least one Blues player into their team. If we accept that rotation is inevitable, the key is then coping with it when it hits – a strong bench may well be essential this season.

Mark says…
It’s questionable whether there is such a thing as an “untouchable” in this new Mourinho era. To his credit, Jose has been candid and handed us Fantasy managers plenty of pre-season clues as to his thinking on his first choice XI. However, while we can be fairly certain that he considers the likes of David Luiz and Juan Mata key players, there is no question that their talents will be handed rests on occasions with Chelsea’s schedule set to pile-up as the months roll on.

The rotation policy will be clear to us almost from the off. The early double Gameweek offers an immediate poser with back-to-back home matches with Hull and Villa, proceeding one of the biggest fixtures of the season – the trip to Old Trafford. That’s three Premier League matches in the space of eight days, culminating in a game that Mourinho will surely prioritise.

There’s no doubt that Jose will be looking to get his strongest side on the pitch for the United clash – fresh and prepared for the challenge. That will surely impact on his selection for the Stamford Bridge clash with Villa and offer immediate clues as to his rotating cast.

I’d go so far to say that only Petr Cech and possibly Ashley Cole are placed to play all three matches – even in their case, Mourinho has options that could be brought in to do a job against Paul Lambert’s side.

Where does that leave us Fantasy managers? We have to make the decision as to whether the likes of Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku can provide value given that periods of rest and rotation will arrive. Whether the security of others in their price bracket can offer stronger returns. We also have to be prepared for frustration and play the long game – knee jerking because Hazard was rested to the bench is not a desirable scenario and one that, over the season, any Fantasy manager could regret.

Working with Jose is not going to be easy but it could undoubtedly pay off for those willing to strap themselves in for the ride.

5,121 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Manani
      3 years, 10 months ago

      there seem to be no Coleman in RMT anymore,

      when it starts, virtually every team has him.
      Is he still a good pick?

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      1. Tadic is the new Eriksen
          3 years, 10 months ago

          for 5m he is amazing value, especially with his fixtures

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        • Adam West
            3 years, 10 months ago

            Everton traditionally start slowly and Martinez's Wigan did not start well, Martinez's Wigan were not defensively solid. I'm guessing those are the main reasons

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        • Birthday Sess
            3 years, 10 months ago

            Think I've decided on my 4.5 mid. Reckon he could be this year's Sterling.

            http://www.kumb.com/story.php?id=126950

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            1. r0binh0
                3 years, 10 months ago

                I'm very tempted to start with GW1 with a stacked midfield and then downgrade 1 of them to Ravel if he plays so I can fund my RvP acquisition. If Ravel doesn't start then there's always another budget candidate.

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            2. Tadic is the new Eriksen
                3 years, 10 months ago

                Pick one:

                a. James Morrison/other 6.0 (sissoko/gaston/lallana), Benteke
                b. Snodgrass, Giroud

                thanks

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              • Chrissy Waddle - 2016/17
                  3 years, 10 months ago

                  @Chelsea Harbour

                  Excerpt from yesterdays match report v Roma:

                  "In the 60th minute, Eden Hazard fed Demba Ba, who hit a pretty flick through to Lampard (all subs). From there, the veteran Englishman hit a clinical finish to the far post to equalize."

                  Hazard did play. So why exactly was I misleading people? Yours was a very strange reaction to my post.

                  Anyway. moving on....

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                  1. Chelsea Harbour
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    3 years, 10 months ago

                    nooooo, not this still 😆

                    Chrissy - did you watch the game? not a smart ar$e question either, just curious if i've misunderstood the post and that's why we still discussing...

                    I guess I just found it weird mate... Was something like: "Here's my take from last night"... then had 3 bullet points of 3 players who didn't start, had 45mins max and mentioning of some issue with Luiz if I recall (cant be bothered now finding original post), to which was weird because he had his first start.

                    guess the late nights and this pre-season tour just has me tired and grumpy 🙂

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                • @BigChrisso
                    3 years, 10 months ago

                    Happy with this attaching 8:

                    Wally, Silva, Coutinho, Hazard, Whittingham

                    Lambert, Lukaku, Soldado

                    Bring on GW1

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                    1. Tadic is the new Eriksen
                        3 years, 10 months ago

                        solid

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                      • Chelsea Harbour
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        3 years, 10 months ago

                        like that a lot

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                    2. r0nh
                        3 years, 10 months ago

                        New post

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                      • Mak_Gold
                          3 years, 10 months ago

                          Which two out of Michu, Silva and Coutinho?

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                          1. Speaking of Spurs
                              3 years, 10 months ago

                              Silva, Cout. Though Walcott/Haz miles ahead of all if you don't have them.

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                            • Brucey
                                3 years, 10 months ago

                                Silva and Cout for now.

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                            • Speaking of Spurs
                                3 years, 10 months ago

                                Not much interest in Aspas any more, surely he's still a great pick with Sturridge struggling for fitness and Suarez banned/grumpy?

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                                1. r0binh0
                                    3 years, 10 months ago

                                    I'm not sure. He looked a little lightweight vs the big Celtic boys last night and he's not really shown himself to be clinical in front of goal. Can see Stoke keeping him nice and quiet.

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                                2. clump39
                                    3 years, 10 months ago

                                    any feed back please guys

                                    boruc

                                    collins toure ivan

                                    hazard walcott coutinho kim

                                    lukaku van persie dzeco

                                    davis par brayford thomas

                                    cheers guyyyssss

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                                  • goldfish156
                                      3 years, 10 months ago

                                      Just wondering if RVP is going to be indispensable from the start. Some feedback on how I've fit him in and its justification would be great, thanks!

                                      Boruc (foster)
                                      Cole, Toure, Collins (4.0?, 4.0?)
                                      Ramsey, Coutinho, Hazard (C), R.Morrison (Ben Arfa)
                                      RVP, Lukaku, Benteke

                                      Without RVP it was... RVP->Sturridge, Ramsey->Walcott, Ben Arfa->Nolan, and the 4.0s->4.5s. Is he worth it?!

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                                      1. r0binh0
                                          3 years, 10 months ago

                                          I think you have to have Walcott. I'd upgrade Coutinho and downgrade Ramsey (Koren/Kim). I think generally though, if you want RvP then you should be looking at a 3-5-2 rather than having him with 2 other pricey forwards. Helps you retain a better balance I think.

                                          I was initially anti RvP but he's just such a standout captain choice (partic assuming Bale goes) that I think he's worth the cash.

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                                          1. goldfish156
                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                              The choice for me is if RVP is worth not having Coutinho, Walcott and Hazard, when all 3 seem such good attacking prospects, I don't know if I can do without any of them... And yes 3-5-2 with Anelka coming in for Lukaku GW2 is what I was thinking!

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                                        • Blackito85
                                            3 years, 10 months ago

                                            please RMT I'm a first timer...Still got £3M in the bank and current problem I got 3 LFC player.
                                            Thinking either
                                            coutinho->silva or coutinho->bale if he stays

                                            Mig (Boruc)
                                            Toure, Shawcross, Jagielka (Shaw/injured atm, Baker)
                                            Coutinho, Hazard, Cazorla ( Snodgrass,Colback)
                                            Benteke, Anelka,Giroud

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                                          • indiangunner
                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                              Soldado or Bony + 1.5 m in the long run?

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                                              1. goldfish156
                                                  3 years, 10 months ago

                                                  why would you want £1.5m sitting in the bank in the long run?

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                                              2. trenekas
                                                  3 years, 10 months ago

                                                  Hello! My team for round 1:

                                                  Szczesny
                                                  Collins K.Toure A.Cole
                                                  Silva Ramires Hazard(C) Walcott Kagawa
                                                  Giroud Soldado

                                                  on the bench Anelka Brayford and Shaw

                                                  Maybe any feedback 🙂 I would appreciate it.

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                                                  1. goldfish156
                                                      3 years, 10 months ago

                                                      Looks good! Ramires is a good idea for GW1 but I'd probably take him out pretty soon after that... I favour Coutinho over Silva, and Soldado is untested in the premiership, but who knows... it's a good starting point! Who is your sub keeper?

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                                                      1. trenekas
                                                          3 years, 10 months ago

                                                          Thanks for comment. My sub goalkeeper is Jakupovic but I think he will not play 🙁 I have only 4m for sub keeper and dont know better solution in this situation

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                                                    • Magic Hamster
                                                        3 years, 10 months ago

                                                        Can I get RMT, think I may be done tinkering...for now anyway!

                                                        Mignolet (Davis)

                                                        Mertesacker Cole Coleman (Chester Ward)

                                                        Coutinho Walcott Mirallas Hazard (Colback)

                                                        Sturridge Grioud Lambert

                                                        £0.5 in bank.

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                                                      • billnats
                                                          3 years, 10 months ago

                                                          Current Team (1m to spend):
                                                          Mig (Davis)
                                                          Lescott, Cole & Mertesacker (2x4m defenders)
                                                          Hazard, Walcott, Coutinho, Mirallas (Thomas)
                                                          Soldado, Benteke, Anelka

                                                          Which combo:
                                                          A) Coutinho & Anelka (current)
                                                          B) Snodgrass (for Countinho) & Sturridge (for Anelka)
                                                          C) Chadli (for Coutinho) & Bony/Lukaku (for Anelka)
                                                          D) Coleman (for Lescott), Kaboul (Mertersacker) & Dzeko/Lambert (for Anelka)

                                                          Thanks!

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                                                        • flippetyflop
                                                            3 years, 10 months ago

                                                            Mignolet (Boruc)

                                                            Luiz Lescott Olsson (whittaker) (brayford)

                                                            Hazard (c) Coutinho Walcott Nolan (pennant)

                                                            Giroud Walcott Soldado

                                                            Boruc (mannone)

                                                            mertesacker collins lescott (shaw) (whittaker)

                                                            Mata silva walcott snodgrass mirallas

                                                            benteke sturridge ( Jrod)

                                                            Team A or B and why please 🙂

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                                                          • NovaHammer
                                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                                              Thinking Stevie G is still the one to have with him pulling all the string regardless of who is up front(Sturridge/Suarez et al) plus his Set Pieces as a bonus... thoughts svp.

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                                                            • Vukasin Srbija
                                                                3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                Mignolet (Boruc)

                                                                Collins Toure A.Cole ( Garrido) (Chester)

                                                                Nolan Coutinho Hazard Wallcott Silva

                                                                Dzeko Aspas (Lambert)

                                                                1-10?

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                                                              • callysalter008
                                                                  3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                  Finally think I've got the right combo

                                                                  Mignolet (Davis)

                                                                  Ivanovic Zabaleta Rat (Cyne) (Coleman)

                                                                  Walcott Ramires Hazard Coutinho R. Morrison

                                                                  Soldado Dzeko (J Rod)

                                                                  1.5 in the bank to switch ramires with mirallas after DGW

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                                                                • champion_elect
                                                                    3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                    More I think on it the more Mignolet represents a risk to the opportunity cost of 3 Liverpool outfield players. If I don't go that route, it has to be to spend 9 rather than 9.5. Just not seen ANY decent options - have I missed something?

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                                                                  • JoeWoe
                                                                      3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                      HELP

                                                                      Mirallas and Chester

                                                                      or

                                                                      Zaha and Dawson

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                                                                    • Ash11
                                                                        3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                        HELP
                                                                        A)
                                                                        Mignolet
                                                                        Azpi-Clyne-Gibbs
                                                                        Zaha-Hazard-Carzola-Coutinho
                                                                        Soldado-Negrado-Bony

                                                                        OR

                                                                        B)
                                                                        Begovic
                                                                        Kaboul-Gibbs-Azpi
                                                                        Hazard-Carzola-Coutinho-Nolan-Oscar
                                                                        Negrado-Bony

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                                                                        1. HINS
                                                                            3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                            A

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                                                                        2. Darnell
                                                                            3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                            RVP scores

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                                                                          • Darnell
                                                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                              hi guys:
                                                                              so i'm thinking two things:

                                                                              Best 4.0 defender options?

                                                                              Best 5.0 midfielder options?

                                                                              who are the standard pics ?

                                                                              thanks in advance

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                                                                            • DAVE47
                                                                                3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                Mignolet (Boruc)
                                                                                Zab - Ivanovic - Olsson ( Shaw, Brayford)
                                                                                Hazard - Coutinho - Walcott (Routledge, Koren)
                                                                                Soldado - Lukaku - Giroud.

                                                                                Any suggestions on the team above? Can't make up my mind on whether RVP is a must or not.

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                                                                              • Nolberto Solano
                                                                                  3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                  RMT please!

                                                                                  Mannone

                                                                                  Ivanovic Lescott Mertesacker

                                                                                  Hazard Walcott Coutinho Mirallas

                                                                                  Lukaku Benteke Giroud

                                                                                  Subs: Boruc R.Morrison Brayford Chester

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                                                                                • DoubleD
                                                                                    3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                    Any advice on this team guys?

                                                                                    Szczesny Boruc

                                                                                    Coleman Shaw Turner Terry Chester

                                                                                    Walcott Hazard Bellamy R.Morrison Mirallas

                                                                                    RVP Berbatov Rodriguez

                                                                                    2 Million in the bank at the moment

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                                                                                  • trent9002
                                                                                      3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                      Any advice?
                                                                                      Mignolet Boruc
                                                                                      Coleman Baines Riether (Parr, Brayford)
                                                                                      Hazard Walcott Snodgrass Mirallas (Kim)
                                                                                      JRod (prev. Hooper but got injured) Giroud Soldado
                                                                                      2.5M in the bank

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                                                                                      1. DoubleD
                                                                                          3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                          I wouldn't go with both coleman and baines in defence, one or the other, not both, 3 everton players is too many, 2 is enough.

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                                                                                      2. CurryForMario
                                                                                          3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                          Put in RVP, need a quick opinion please!

                                                                                          Cech (Mannone)

                                                                                          Toure, Vlaar, Coleman (Diakité, Shaw)

                                                                                          Hazard [C], Westwood, Navas, Ramsey, (Kim),

                                                                                          Soldado, RVP, Berbatov

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                                                                                          1. DoubleD
                                                                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                              There are higher scorers than Ramsey out there for 5.5.

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                                                                                          2. swingworkstheoracle
                                                                                              3 years, 10 months ago

                                                                                              Current team:

                                                                                              Boruc (4m)

                                                                                              Mertesacker Johnson Garrido / Clyne (4m)

                                                                                              Walcott Mata Hazard Bellamy (Alex Pozuelo)

                                                                                              Anelka RvP Lukaku

                                                                                              Thoughts?

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