Interchanging Is Key

Promising things were sighted in our victory against Hull
Promising things were sighted in our victory against Hull

The first day of the season was an emotional event for all connected with Chelsea Football Club. The start of the new season, a heart felt – and rare – message from Roman after a fantastic 10 years of his ownership, and of course, the return of the king. Jose returned and couldn’t have been more pleased with the team he appeared to have inherited, at least from the first half hour. The movement of Oscar, Hazard and the impressive debutant De Bruyne drew great praise and if Jose can keep us playing like we did in those first 30 minutes consistently, we are in for a good season.

The interchanging isn’t something new for Chelsea fans, we saw it last year under Di Matteo. But this, this was different. Going forward, our midfield drifted off of each other, dragging defenders and creating space for their colleagues. The high intensity, intricate passing and teamwork made watching Chelsea very exciting, something it hasn’t really been for a while. The midfield looked very fresh, and very threatening, even if “it was only Hull”.

There was a problem with this interchanging and fluid movement under Di Matteo was our defensive work. When we lost the ball, our midfield was often caught out of position, and then we looked fragile. Not so much yesterday though, we look far more of a unit in midfield. When we lost the ball, we had players covering and tracking back. Ramires was fantastic in the game, again going underrated with his defensive work and tackling. Another star of our midfield was Kevin de Bruyne. Bringing new energy and a direct style, a bit of pace was restored and our midfield looked extremely mobile. It was also not the attacking side of his game, and the interchanging that impressed me.

Don’t get me wrong, Juan Mata is a phenomenal player but his defensive work is pretty much non existent in most cases. Eden Hazard was similar to this, but during Rafa’s reign, his defensive work improved and he did a lot of pressing and chasing back at the weekend, in order to aid the team, and a struggling Ashley Cole. Kevin de Bruyne’s defensive work and all around team play was one of the things that really impressed me. His hard working first half led him to look a little fatigued in the second half but he puts in one hell of a shift both going forward and defensively. When Oscar or Lampard found  themselves out of position as Hull attacked, it was usually Ramires and De Bruyne who helped cover and made us look that little bit more secure.

This season could be De Bruyne’s defining season, and many of us are now seeing why he was Bundesliga Young Player of the Year. But this isn’t all about him, it’s about the new found teamwork that our team showed at the weekend. We attacked as a team, fluidly, in a style very hard to defend against. When we lost the ball, our players worked hard to win back the ball and press the opposition when we didn’t have it. It’s early days, so that could be why the team struggled to keep up the intensity for the full 90, but the positives are there. The Hazard, Oscar and De Bruyne combination looked promising, Schürrle – when he got the ball – looked good, and then add to that Spanish sex god Juan Mata and it all looks rather tasty.

Our weakness in defence has been observed, but the best way to win is to outscore the opposition. With players like we have in our attacking midfield, rotating and playing like they’ve shown they can, goals shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t wish to sound like a Liverpool fan, but this year could be our year. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading and please leave us your comments about this topic and what you think! KTBFFH!

  1. Jeff says

    when we go on saying we played good for 30mins, what happens to the other 60mins which is more game time left. 1st day of the season and ok but 30mins won’t do the trick for us

  2. Anonymous says

    Jeff, Ur right. What went wrong in the last 60 minutes? We need to debate on that. Just because the The Happy One is in control then we cannot look back at the awful last 60 minute of play?

  3. Ken says

    Boring 60mins if we don’t tell ourselves the truth now, it’ll come to hunt us later

  4. krak says

    perhaps this writer saw a different game from the boring match I watched. to be honest, never have I seen Chelsea so shaky as we were against hull. we could hardly string 4 passes without loosing the ball. one will now begin to wonder if this writer would have written the same article if it was rafa in charge with such poor display. very funny.

    1. mou says

      u guys r giving the team a hard tym already midweek almost all our players played for their countries nd u expect them to play dat way for the whole match having in mind we will play on wednesday nd monday next we had the game wrapped up already give them some breathing space good work from them

    2. huwsaunders says

      I guess I must have watched a different game. I was at Stamford Bridge watching Chelsea vs Hull where for the first 30 minutes, we dominated, so what game were you watching? Or did you only see the lacklustre second half?

    3. alexcfc8 says

      First half hour we where dominate and Hull had nothing to answer with, we took our foot off the gas in the second half we 4 games in two weeks we can’t have our players running on empty half way through the season.

  5. oyedeleoriyomi says

    Pls i dnt understand,in my own perpestives i fink d team really tried,in d first game of d season keeping a cleanshit wit a great style of play,l knw wit tym and game by game d squad wil be so strong 2 defit.

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