Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Mourinho gives Courtois the nod

After a summer of speculation, Jose Mourinho appears to have opted for Thibaut Courtois as his number-one goalkeeper ahead of Petr Cech after the Belgian youngster was selected for Chelsea’s opening game of the season.

Ten years younger than Cech, Courtois is undoubtedly one of the best young goalkeepers in world football and someone who could be Chelsea’s number-one for the next 15 years.

Despite being one of the Premier League’s most solid keepers for a decade, the talk throughout the summer had been whether Cech would be able to maintain his grasp on the number-one jersey despite Courtois returning to the club following his three-year loan spell in Spain with Atletico Madrid. Mourinho now appears to have answered that question after Courtois was given the nod for Chelsea’s first game of the new Premier League season against Newcastle.

While Mourinho has refused to come out and admit Courtois will be his nailed-on number-one this year, the Chelsea boss did give a heavy hint that Cech could be forced to play back-up to the 22-year this season. Mourinho, who handed the Czech Republic international his Chelsea debut back in 2004, made it clear he is keen to keep Cech at the club in order to challenge Courtois for the number-one jersey.

“Petr Cech was disappointed but football is sometimes like this, players can often be unhappy and be unhappy with managers. But between the group of players and their mates they have to be supportive,” said Mourinho.

"Obviously a goalkeeper is not the kind of player you change match after match, you must give a bit of stability, but this is about performances so Thibaut has to know that having a goalkeeper of Petr's level sitting on the bench, it means from him we want a high level of performance.”

While it would certainly be a huge boost to Mourinho to have two keepers of the standard of Courtois and Cech, it doesn’t look that realistic. Should Cech feel he isn’t going to be given a chance this season, there would be a host of clubs throughout Europe who would be delighted to have the 32-year old in their goal. bet365 fans are already tipping Cech to be on the move at some point his season, although it would be unlikely Chelsea would let the stopper leave during this transfer window.

There are some Chelsea fans who will be rightly concerned to see the club throw all their eggs in the basket of a keeper who they have seen very little of since he signed for the club from Genk in 2011. For all the praise and plaudits Courtois has garnered during his three years in La Liga with Atletico, the youngster will have a lot of work to do to win around all those Blues fans who are worried about the prospect of letting one of the world’s most consistent keepers walk out of the door and a relatively untested 22-year old take the reins.