The Rise of the Wizard of Os

The Wizard of Os: Our new trio have been creating magical performances all season long

Not too long ago, few people could ever imagine a Chelsea without Juan Mata. Voted Player of the Year for 2 seasons in a row after inspiring the team to victory in the Champions League and then Europa League, Mata was the driving force that led the team to glory; the heart of the team. He was constantly involved in the team’s attacking forays, and was the lone bright spot in an ageing and underwhelming Chelsea team in transition.

Few people would have foreseen the demise of Mazacar and the rise of the Wizard of Os. Mata was so seamlessly yet controversially streamed out of Chelsea’s attacking trio that few seemed to realise any distinctive difference in Chelsea’s performance on the pitch. Yes, Mata’s demise was widely publicised and his unhappiness was well documented, but his absence wasn’t keenly felt on the pitch. And the main reason for this has undoubtedly been Willian’s immense performances for Chelsea.

The irony is really how so many pundits were so sceptical of Willian’s arrival at Chelsea, claiming that he was bought simply to deprive Tottenham and Liverpool of their man. With the wealth of talent Chelsea had in his position, possessing 7 attacking midfielders at one point, no one thought that Willian would be playing such a pivotal role for this Chelsea side.  But Mourinho proved his critics wrong, and saw in Willian the perfect man for his team. His tactical versatility compensated for his diminutive size, and he has clearly repaid Mourinho’s faith in him with the kind of performances he has been putting in.


But more impressive than his displays on the pitch are probably his displays off the pitch, during training, which convinces his manager to pick him over the other more established attacking midfielders.  Mata was the fan favourite and had built a reputation for himself at Chelsea, while Kevin de Bruyne was an extremely talented player who made his bow on the opening day of the season. Willian was clearly seen as an outsider to earn a starting spot, but he did what seemed ‘impossible’ by ousting Mata from the pitch.

During the early weeks of the season, Mourinho was tinkering with his squad, unsure of what was his best squad and still experimenting with different tactics. WIllian did not feature much during this period, given odd substitute appearances and run outs in cup games. But since late November, WIllian cemented his place on the field and Mata’s on the bench, starting 19 of the 22 matches since the start of December. His tracking back and defensive duties, seen to be the hallmark of Mourinho’s teams, earned him a starting berth, and together with Oscar and Hazard, formed a formidable attacking trio that seems to be a vast improvement on last season’s Mazacar.

But Willian’s brilliance does not take any of the limelight away from Hazard or Oscar. The Belgian wonder kid is just simply world-class and nothing more needs to be said about him or his talent. Where we should really focus our attention is the other Brazilian, Oscar. His performances last season led many to believe that he would be the sacrificial lamb if the manager decided to introduce fresh faces into the already established Mazacar trio. But he has improved so much that Mourinho had decided to build the team around him, and made him the first choice playmaker ahead of fan-favourite Juan Mata.

Of course, much of this had to do with Oscar’s ability to perform his defensive duties well, but his early season form was so impressive that Mourinho had no option but to play him ahead of his other creative players. While Hazard was still settling in to the new manager’s plans, Oscar took huge strides to establish his position ahead of his compatriots, racking up 6 goals and 4 assists to spearhead Chelsea’s campaign.

While Willian may seem to be Mata’s replacement in the starting lineup, it is in fact the case that Oscar has been Mata’s direct replacement, playing in his preferred role of playmaker, while Willian has drifted out wide to play a role more similar to Oscar’s last season.

Oscar deserves as much credit, if not more credit than, Willian for playing Chelsea’s brightest and most entertaining football in almost 3 years and establishing Chelsea’s first title charge in 4 years. Hazard is clearly Chelsea’s best player this season, and his ability to produce magic on the field has become an all too familiar scene for Chelsea fans.  Willian, Oscar and Hazard have been working in tandem to rejuvenate this Chelsea team and lead us back to the world’s elite.

The Wizard of Os is truly back.

  1. Fik says

    Z new trio is much better than last yr interms of defence, dribbing and speedy playing style. Williams support to Hazard while two or more players allocate around Hazard playing field is very good thing seen this season. But William has to learn from Mata is that passing last ball effectively to z one in good position to score. Last William pass is not effective as that of Mata and his shot also not strong. These have to improve. Oscar has to improve looking other players in good position to score and pass ball timely rather than shot from distance. Haz is simply best. If this trio develop in this way together, no team can stop blue in coming decads…

    1. Gbasha.bitto says

      Mata was scoring and creating chances why Willians didn’t, they lack shoting points amd 10minutes nocking football(passing)

      1. Anonymous says

        Thats why we finished 4th last year. Because of the so “many” goals and chances we had.

  2. Neri Abayomi says

    Wizard Of Os! Are you kidding? You did a lot of soul searching to get this name coined, nice one.

    Defensively, Wizard of Os is super but attackingwise they require rapid improvement especially when it comes to making the final pass. Oscar needs improvement in his decision taking, Hazard needs to be more clinical, Willian can work his socks off but he needs to improve his overall passing esp in the final third. They can definitely grow together.

    1. fish says

      Dude Mourinho’s teams are all about defence , they usually attack on the break (counter) , the first quality he searches for is defense .

  3. Anonymous says


  4. Alex says

    Chelsea’s defense has been fantastic this season, but it means nothing if we cannot score. I believe that the midfield need to improve on scoring from open play and counter attacks. If Zouma or Ake can replace John terry smoothly in the next couple of years and Lukaku or Costa can make a lethal striker similar to king Ddier then we will truly be a formidable team, certainly in England and maybe even in Europe :).

  5. Zyte says

    i think we should celebrate cech,iva,jt,cahil,azpi,matic & hazard are the outstandn players.willian & oscar stil hav a long way 2 go.a counter attackn team like cfc willian & oscar need 2 release timely through balls often like the oscar’s assist 2 eto against gala.lets celebrate our defenders bcos they are the high point of our season thus far.ktbffh.

  6. Vaakmeisster says

    Our attacking third to me need to do more.

    Willian, high work rate,but not creative enough.
    Oscar, very creative, good tackler, been played in the wrong position all season, leading to poor form
    Hazard, brilliant player, can do more considering his talent especially in his decision making. Too slow to make decisons

    Personally, I prefer Schurrle and Salah to Willian. With Oscar playing in the middle

    Schurrle; clinical finisher, good off the ball and him and Hazrd seem to have developed an understanding
    Salah, hasnt’t been given the chance, but he is brilliant off the ball. and more importantly he’s a winger. Willian and Oscar are not wingers.

  7. Martin, Norway. says

    Good article, nothing much to say all those players have been central components of our success so far this season. Keep the blue flag flying, adm i like the sketch of Wizard looks great.

  8. Anonymous says

    it’s funny people what people say. on no account should any chelsea fan beret Juan Mata and rubbish his assists saying< we weren't epl contenders. You are just a sissy! What was the calibre of coaches during that period and until last season which Chelsea player was outstanding? The great DD was even diminishing prior to his glorious exist. Mou didn't like Juan Mata's pattern PERIOD and we has since moved on! So, anyone saying Mata is this or that , or his assists weren"t good enough as we were struggling to even qualify for UCL, should go and check his or her head!

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