The Challenge Ahead: Chelsea's Transition Into An Attacking Side
Ever since Roman Abramovich bought the club, 2 things have remained constant: High expectations & a strong squad. However, the squad that Roberto Di Matteo had at his disposal was one of the weaker Chelsea squads in recent memory (expectations still being as high as before). Credit must go to him for how he brought the squad together & made them play as a team. The one criticism of RDM: his style of play was considered defensive, even described as boring to watch.
|Defending was a key part of Chelsea’s game under RDM|
One can understand that criticism. A lot of Chelsea fans felt the same way. But RDM didn’t possess a squad that was full to the brim with attack-minded players. Besides Juan Mata, there was no real creative spark in the midfield. Our strikers were not in the best of form. And our defence was struggling to keep a clean-sheet. Keeping all that in mind, RDM made changes to our style of play.
He changed the formation from the patented 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, inserting 2 defensive midfielders whilst giving Juan Mata’s creativity free reign. The change worked. Our defence became reliable, and our strikers (most notably Fernando Torres) began to find the back of the net. Whilst I’ll admit it wasn’t at all fun to watch (I’m pretty sure I nearly had 4 heart attacks during the matches against Barcelona ) I knew this was the only way we would actually stand a chance of winning anything.
However, I don’t think Chelsea fans need to worry about the team playing attacking football. The signing of Marko Marin & Eden Hazard means that Chelsea’s style of play will undergo drastic changes. Don’t believe me? Read on.
When Manchester City first appointed Roberto Mancini, the team would often come under fire for being extremely defensive (despite having large resources that meant they could buy any player in the world). However, the purchase of players like David Silva, Samir Nasri & Sergio Aguero changed the look of the team entirely. Even though City were still hard to break down, the inclusion of such players in the starting XI meant that City were always a threat going forward.
I expect Chelsea to go the same way. Include Hazard & Marin in our playing XI, & we can expect plenty of flare in attack. Just imagine this Chelsea XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Ramires, Lampard, Marin, Mata, Hazard; Torres. (Formation 4-2-3-1). This is a line-up good enough to take on & beat the best of teams in Europe.
So expect plenty of attacking flair from Chelsea next season. We played “ugly football” & have 2 trophies to show for it. I can only imagine what will happen if we play football that’s a little easier on the eyes (& the heart).
Till then fellow Blues KTBFFH as always!