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
      4 years, 8 days ago

      there seem to be no Coleman in RMT anymore,

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

      Open Controls
      1. Tadic is the new Eriksen
          4 years, 8 days ago

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

          Open Controls
        • Adam West
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          4 years, 8 days 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

          Open Controls
      2. Birthday Sess
          4 years, 8 days 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

          Open Controls
          1. r0binh0
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            4 years, 8 days 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.

            Open Controls
        • Tadic is the new Eriksen
            4 years, 8 days ago

            Pick one:

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

            thanks

            Open Controls
          • Chrissy Waddle - 2017/18
              4 years, 8 days 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....

              Open Controls
              1. Let's talk about Cesc
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                4 years, 8 days 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 🙂

                Open Controls
            • @BigChrisso
                4 years, 8 days ago

                Happy with this attaching 8:

                Wally, Silva, Coutinho, Hazard, Whittingham

                Lambert, Lukaku, Soldado

                Bring on GW1

                Open Controls
                1. Tadic is the new Eriksen
                    4 years, 8 days ago

                    solid

                    Open Controls
                  • Let's talk about Cesc
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    4 years, 8 days ago

                    like that a lot

                    Open Controls
                2. r0nh
                    4 years, 8 days ago

                    New post

                    Open Controls
                  • Mak_Gold
                      4 years, 8 days ago

                      Which two out of Michu, Silva and Coutinho?

                      Open Controls
                      1. Speaking of Spurs
                          4 years, 8 days ago

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

                          Open Controls
                        • Brucey
                            4 years, 8 days ago

                            Silva and Cout for now.

                            Open Controls
                        • Speaking of Spurs
                            4 years, 8 days ago

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

                            Open Controls
                            1. r0binh0
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              4 years, 8 days 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.

                              Open Controls
                          • clump39
                              4 years, 8 days ago

                              any feed back please guys

                              boruc

                              collins toure ivan

                              hazard walcott coutinho kim

                              lukaku van persie dzeco

                              davis par brayford thomas

                              cheers guyyyssss

                              Open Controls
                            • goldfish156
                                4 years, 8 days 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?!

                                Open Controls
                                1. r0binh0
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  4 years, 8 days 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.

                                  Open Controls
                                  1. goldfish156
                                      4 years, 8 days 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!

                                      Open Controls
                                2. Blackito85
                                    4 years, 8 days 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

                                    Open Controls
                                  • indiangunner
                                      4 years, 8 days ago

                                      Soldado or Bony + 1.5 m in the long run?

                                      Open Controls
                                      1. goldfish156
                                          4 years, 8 days ago

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

                                          Open Controls
                                      2. trenekas
                                          4 years, 8 days 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.

                                          Open Controls
                                          1. goldfish156
                                              4 years, 8 days 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?

                                              Open Controls
                                              1. trenekas
                                                  4 years, 8 days 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

                                                  Open Controls
                                            • Magic Hamster
                                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                              4 years, 8 days 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.

                                              Open Controls
                                            • billnats
                                                4 years, 8 days 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!

                                                Open Controls
                                              • flippetyflop
                                                  4 years, 8 days 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 🙂

                                                  Open Controls
                                                • NovaHammer
                                                    4 years, 8 days 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.

                                                    Open Controls
                                                  • Vukasin Srbija
                                                      4 years, 8 days ago

                                                      Mignolet (Boruc)

                                                      Collins Toure A.Cole ( Garrido) (Chester)

                                                      Nolan Coutinho Hazard Wallcott Silva

                                                      Dzeko Aspas (Lambert)

                                                      1-10?

                                                      Open Controls
                                                    • cally
                                                        4 years, 8 days 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

                                                        Open Controls
                                                      • champion_elect
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        4 years, 8 days 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?

                                                        Open Controls
                                                      • JoeWoe
                                                          4 years, 8 days ago

                                                          HELP

                                                          Mirallas and Chester

                                                          or

                                                          Zaha and Dawson

                                                          Open Controls
                                                        • Ash11
                                                            4 years, 8 days 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

                                                            Open Controls
                                                            1. HINS
                                                                4 years, 8 days ago

                                                                A

                                                                Open Controls
                                                            2. Darnell
                                                                4 years, 8 days ago

                                                                RVP scores

                                                                Open Controls
                                                              • Darnell
                                                                  4 years, 8 days 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

                                                                  Open Controls
                                                                • DAVE47
                                                                    4 years, 8 days 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.

                                                                    Open Controls
                                                                  • Nolberto Solano
                                                                      4 years, 8 days ago

                                                                      RMT please!

                                                                      Mannone

                                                                      Ivanovic Lescott Mertesacker

                                                                      Hazard Walcott Coutinho Mirallas

                                                                      Lukaku Benteke Giroud

                                                                      Subs: Boruc R.Morrison Brayford Chester

                                                                      Open Controls
                                                                    • DoubleD
                                                                        4 years, 8 days 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

                                                                        Open Controls
                                                                      • trent9002
                                                                          4 years, 8 days 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

                                                                          Open Controls
                                                                          1. DoubleD
                                                                              4 years, 8 days 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.

                                                                              Open Controls
                                                                          2. CurryForMario
                                                                              4 years, 8 days 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

                                                                              Open Controls
                                                                              1. DoubleD
                                                                                  4 years, 8 days ago

                                                                                  There are higher scorers than Ramsey out there for 5.5.

                                                                                  Open Controls
                                                                              2. swingworkstheoracle
                                                                                  4 years, 7 days ago

                                                                                  Current team:

                                                                                  Boruc (4m)

                                                                                  Mertesacker Johnson Garrido / Clyne (4m)

                                                                                  Walcott Mata Hazard Bellamy (Alex Pozuelo)

                                                                                  Anelka RvP Lukaku

                                                                                  Thoughts?

                                                                                  Open Controls