Chelsea continues to perform but it is clear that they are not the dominant team that they were the last two seasons. I have rarely seen Jose Mourinho look so dishevelled. Part of the problem is that the three big Chelsea players signed to bolster the attack have not panned out. Sheva is playing the keyhole, as a holding striker while Drogba has stamped himself as the striker to go to. Drogba is powerful and is impressive off the air, more suited for the physical English club defences and reliance on aerial attacks. Sheva's strength during his AC Milan days is like that of a goalpoacher in the Hernan Crespo mould. At Chelsea he has had to go deeper to create chances for him and for others. Sheva is not a playmaker, a role he is not used to. He is allowing himself to be defined. Michael Ballack is not been given very much playing time with a crowded midfield and John Obi Mikel looked slow in his first fulltime debut. In an ideal situation, Ballack would have been doing what Sheva is been forced to do. 45 million pounds and not much to show.
The defense has been stellar and the player that has the most impact is Khalid Boulahrouz, a relatively last minute inexpensive signing. He has formed a great defensive wall at the back with Terry, he kept the Reading strikers, Lita and Doyle off their game, with his timely tackles and defensive anticipation.