The looming question – What's best for Chelsea tactically?

The looming question – What’s best for Chelsea tactically?

Chelsea have now played a host of formations, many of which haven’t been that convincing. Probably everyone will agree to the fact that the Stoke game was probably the best of the season so far.

Thoughts have been pouring in for what Chelsea has to do to field its best formation. In my view, it will be hard for Di Matteo to decide that in one season.

A number of talented players have been brought in and this looks like the strongest formation with the perfect movment.

Could it be better?

With this kind of formation, Chelsea have proper cover everywhere. Cole and Ivanovic doing their duty in the flanks. There were huge doubts when Chelsea submitted their team sheet for Stoke. Pundits feared Chelsea would have no width but Cole and Ivan did good to prove them wrong.

Our midfield is solid. With Mikel and Ramires at the back, we have people playing in their natural positions who can help us deal with heavy attacks.
Our midfield trio up front has drawn gasps from all around Old Trafford and the Etihad stadium. Probably, 3 of the best creative midfielders out there, crammed into one area means pure magic. They are riding on expectations and despite their age, I’m hoping they do their best.
Our attacking front is probably our weak point. Not taking anything from Torres but he is having his rough patch again. Despite that I added him into our strongest formation because he really can add a lot to this team. Despite his lack of shots on target, he opens up his team-mates. He did that twice for Victor Moses against Stoke and once for Oscar. Against Juventus RDM made it clear to him that despite the 3 defenders at the back, he has to drag atleast one of them out of position for the midfielders to make the best of it. Result? 2 Oscar goals, with the first one being a deflection.
Even though this looks really good on paper, Chelsea will need to tinker against certain sides. Certain sides, that depend on their positive aspects to win a game. Like Newcastle who use width with the help of Hatem Ben Arfa. After watching the game today morning, I noticed that Di Matteo did a brilliant job by putting Ryan Bertrand in.
This was how Chelsea countered Newcastle and tried to shut them down

 

Di Matteo realized that if he needed a convincing win he needed to stop the main people from strutting their stuff. He made sure Bertrand played as he could provide cover for Ashley Cole who went forward so that Newcastle’s enigmatic Hatem Ben Arfa was largely kept quiet.
For Demba and Cisse, RDM had special plans. Luiz and Cahill were joined by Mikel and Lampard to put a stop to their actions. When Lampard decided to trudge forward, Bertrand came back which gave us two defensive midfielders again.
Hazard weaved his magic along with Mata and Torres was the man of the match thanks to a terrific goal and a brilliant rabona which capped of a good performance by the Spanish talisman.
So Di Matteo does know how to cancel out width and now some of us have been educated on why Di Matteo used him but Ramires on the wing is something that I could not find an answer for. Despite seeing his performances against QPR again and again the only solution I found out was this.
Hazard , Cole, Ivan and Mikel did the same like always.
Lampard pushed a bit up forward and Di Matteo was scared that this place could be exploited by the QPR midfield. Hence Ramires was brought in. The Brazillian could not do the job properly as he was more focused on the right wing. So by bringing him in center against Stoke he could focus more there and less on the wing.
Same for Bertrand. He was brought in to keep ex Chelsea player, Shaun Wright Philips quiet and also handle defensive midfield duties.
All in all this resulted in Chelsea not being able to score. Victor Moses and Sturridge were brought on and instantly we saw a much more attackive and creative play.
In my opinion, Chelsea have to stick to the formation they played against Stoke.
Now moving on to summing up our squad areas.
Defense : Strong and efficient with a perfect blend of youth and experience. Luiz and Cahill can go a long way under John Terry and its good to see the geezer sign a new five year contract. Ryan Bertrand is also being nurtured under Ashley Cole whereas Branislav will help Cesar Azpilicueta to adapt into the English game.
But for me the strongest back four will be Cesar, Terry, Cahill and Cole. Despite not seeing much of Cesar and Cahill, I’m confident they can fit in well into this new type of football Chelsea are playing.
Midfield : Oscar, Hazard and Mata have so far been the best combo.  I would see Moses and Marin as a replacement for Mata or Oscar when we need pace and Lampard for Oscar when we need someone to hold the area behind the final third.
Mikel and Ramires have been very impressive but if Lampard can adapt to the role, I would like to see a combo of Lampard and Ramires as well. Mikel has played a very good role so far and against Stoke it could be clearly seen but if Di Matteo does decide to go for an all-out attack , Lampard and Ramires can be useful.
In the Reading game, RDM substituted Mikel for Sturridge. This had a positive effect to the Chelsea side who looked down-hearted while going forward. Result? A 4-2 scoreline which made the match look like a comfortable one for the neutral fan, despite being far from it.
Attack : Tricky to chose. Torres can be on top when its his day but Sturridge showed us a lot in the 8 minutes he got against QPR and few against Reading. Despite him having the problem of being very selfish, at this point Chelsea need a player like him. With 3 highly creative midfielders behind him, he can go far.
Even Victor Moses could try his hand at being a CF. His pace and trickery can help him in the final third.
Sherry Philips (@bluebloodSherry)
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34 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    Sherry, I honestly think it is high time u got yourself a coaching certificate. Good job u are doing. Thumbs up! Borday from Lagos Nigeria.

  2. Anonymous says

    Sherry, I honestly think it is high time u got yourself a coaching certificate. Good job u are doing. Thumbs up! Borday from Lagos Nigeria.

  3. Sherry Philips says

    Haha, just 15 sir ! But I'll probably add that to the list of ambitions.

    Thanks 😀

  4. Sherry Philips says

    Haha, just 15 sir ! But I'll probably add that to the list of ambitions.

    Thanks 😀

  5. Anonymous says

    As I previously said in the comments section of your article on Chelsea possibly using a false nine, my favourite system would be 2-8-0 with 3 false nines (Hazard, Torres and Mata). Sadly it seems very unlikely that anything like that will ever happen as I honestly feel it would be absolutely brilliant.

    However some of what you say here makes a whole lot of sense. I agree that 4-2-3-1 is a good formation and one that Chelsea can and will use successfully. Oscar, Hazard and Mata behind Torres is lethal. So are Marin, Moses and Sturridge.

    Your idea of Lampard-Ramires would be catastrophic. But Mikel and Ramires as a double pivot is OK. No square pegs in round holes, quite solid and plenty of energy, if a little lacking in creativity and vision. For this reason I would want at least one of Romeu and Oscar in our double pivot, at least until January. Romeu and Oscar together looks very raw and inexperienced, but Mikel-Oscar and Romeu-Ramires look like good partnerships.

    It pains me to say it, but Frank Lampard just doesn't fit into 4-2-3-1, leaving us very short on numbers in midfield. Which is why a central midfielder should be our top priority in January. It is unlikely, but I think the perfect man is Cesc Fabregas, not Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini-Mikel would be as bad, if not worse, than Lampard-Mikel, which has been a proven failure this season.

    Fabregas, on the other hand, is a brilliant passer, disciplined when he has to be, very versatile, a good age, perfect for our new system and would command a similar fee to Fellaini, around £25m. He has struggled for minutes with Barca this season, and rumours claim his relationship with Vilanova is poor at best. And he would slot in very nicely alongside any of our midfielders, including Essien and McEachran when they come back.
    Roman, sign him up!

    As a footnote, how about this as an experimental line-up against Wolves in the Carling Cup:
    Blackman; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Aké, Bertrand; Romeu, Musonda; Moses, Piazon, Marin; Sturridge.

    KTBFFH!

  6. Anonymous says

    As I previously said in the comments section of your article on Chelsea possibly using a false nine, my favourite system would be 2-8-0 with 3 false nines (Hazard, Torres and Mata). Sadly it seems very unlikely that anything like that will ever happen as I honestly feel it would be absolutely brilliant.

    However some of what you say here makes a whole lot of sense. I agree that 4-2-3-1 is a good formation and one that Chelsea can and will use successfully. Oscar, Hazard and Mata behind Torres is lethal. So are Marin, Moses and Sturridge.

    Your idea of Lampard-Ramires would be catastrophic. But Mikel and Ramires as a double pivot is OK. No square pegs in round holes, quite solid and plenty of energy, if a little lacking in creativity and vision. For this reason I would want at least one of Romeu and Oscar in our double pivot, at least until January. Romeu and Oscar together looks very raw and inexperienced, but Mikel-Oscar and Romeu-Ramires look like good partnerships.

    It pains me to say it, but Frank Lampard just doesn't fit into 4-2-3-1, leaving us very short on numbers in midfield. Which is why a central midfielder should be our top priority in January. It is unlikely, but I think the perfect man is Cesc Fabregas, not Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini-Mikel would be as bad, if not worse, than Lampard-Mikel, which has been a proven failure this season.

    Fabregas, on the other hand, is a brilliant passer, disciplined when he has to be, very versatile, a good age, perfect for our new system and would command a similar fee to Fellaini, around £25m. He has struggled for minutes with Barca this season, and rumours claim his relationship with Vilanova is poor at best. And he would slot in very nicely alongside any of our midfielders, including Essien and McEachran when they come back.
    Roman, sign him up!

    As a footnote, how about this as an experimental line-up against Wolves in the Carling Cup:
    Blackman; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Aké, Bertrand; Romeu, Musonda; Moses, Piazon, Marin; Sturridge.

    KTBFFH!

  7. Sherry Philips says

    The experimental lineup is spot on !
    The Lampard and Ramires is a combo, I wanted to try, but you never know.
    Agreed, after watching the Stoke game it does not look like Lampard will be needed.

  8. Sherry Philips says

    The experimental lineup is spot on !
    The Lampard and Ramires is a combo, I wanted to try, but you never know.
    Agreed, after watching the Stoke game it does not look like Lampard will be needed.

  9. Anonymous says

    @Sherry
    Your Lampard-Ramires idea would be disastrous because you have to have at least 1 man staying back and neither of them have nearly enough discipline to play the Mikel/Romeu role, helping the defence out and breaking up play and only occasionally going forwards.

    Also, Mikel and Romeu are much better passers than Lampard or Ramires. The two of them would be much more of a liability than Lampard-Mikel because
    a) we would be constantly losing the ball near our own goal.
    b) the gap between defence and midfield would be far too big.
    c) neither is creative enough to properly bring our 3 playmakers into the game.
    d) both have a natural urge to join in with attacks, leaving us ridiculously exposed to counter-attacks.

    For those of you that want Fellaini to be Chelsea's marquee January signing, when played in double pivot (usually what he does for Belgium) he is as bad, if not worse, than Frank Lampard.
    Ramires can play in a double pivot, but not with Lampard. No-one can.

    I could write a whole article on why Lampard-Ramires is a disaster waiting to happen, but I think I've said enough.

    Thanks for your support of my experimental line-up!

  10. Anonymous says

    @Sherry
    Your Lampard-Ramires idea would be disastrous because you have to have at least 1 man staying back and neither of them have nearly enough discipline to play the Mikel/Romeu role, helping the defence out and breaking up play and only occasionally going forwards.

    Also, Mikel and Romeu are much better passers than Lampard or Ramires. The two of them would be much more of a liability than Lampard-Mikel because
    a) we would be constantly losing the ball near our own goal.
    b) the gap between defence and midfield would be far too big.
    c) neither is creative enough to properly bring our 3 playmakers into the game.
    d) both have a natural urge to join in with attacks, leaving us ridiculously exposed to counter-attacks.

    For those of you that want Fellaini to be Chelsea's marquee January signing, when played in double pivot (usually what he does for Belgium) he is as bad, if not worse, than Frank Lampard.
    Ramires can play in a double pivot, but not with Lampard. No-one can.

    I could write a whole article on why Lampard-Ramires is a disaster waiting to happen, but I think I've said enough.

    Thanks for your support of my experimental line-up!

  11. Sherry Philips says

    If RDM goes with the current state of playing than it would be disastrous and completely agree with all the points mention. Kudos !

  12. Sherry Philips says

    If RDM goes with the current state of playing than it would be disastrous and completely agree with all the points mention. Kudos !

  13. Anonymous says

    Big thank you for your support, not often my ideas are appreciated. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @BKnight01CFC

    Just hope that RDM can see what we can regarding Chelsea's tactics, especially because most of it is blindingly obvious.
    Once more, KTBFFH!

  14. Anonymous says

    Big thank you for your support, not often my ideas are appreciated. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm @BKnight01CFC

    Just hope that RDM can see what we can regarding Chelsea's tactics, especially because most of it is blindingly obvious.
    Once more, KTBFFH!

  15. Anonymous says

    @sherry u're really doing a good job here.As we've seen in our last match,Ramires/Mikel partnership is the best for our team.Lampard can only be coming on in the later stages of the match.Esteban 4rm Ibadan,Nigeria.

  16. Anonymous says

    @sherry u're really doing a good job here.As we've seen in our last match,Ramires/Mikel partnership is the best for our team.Lampard can only be coming on in the later stages of the match.Esteban 4rm Ibadan,Nigeria.

  17. Anonymous says

    Sherry are you truly 15? Love your write-up. Kudos!
    Kenechi: Lagos-Nigeria.

  18. Anonymous says

    Sherry are you truly 15? Love your write-up. Kudos!
    Kenechi: Lagos-Nigeria.

  19. Sherry Philips says

    Yes, I am !
    Thanks 🙂

  20. Sherry Philips says

    Yes, I am !
    Thanks 🙂

  21. Anonymous says

    15years with such talent of wonderful articles. Its mysterious.

  22. Anonymous says

    15years with such talent of wonderful articles. Its mysterious.

  23. Sherry Philips says

    Agreed !
    Thanks 🙂

  24. Sherry Philips says

    Agreed !
    Thanks 🙂

  25. Sherry Philips says

    Haha, I'm serious !
    Thanks 🙂

  26. Sherry Philips says

    Haha, I'm serious !
    Thanks 🙂

  27. Anonymous says

    Thats just 360 😉

  28. Anonymous says

    Thats just 360 😉

  29. Puru Jain says

    Don't you think in the first two formations, our midfield is a bit exposed from the left (in the first) and right (in the second)?

  30. Puru Jain says

    Don't you think in the first two formations, our midfield is a bit exposed from the left (in the first) and right (in the second)?

  31. Sherry Philips says

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Sherry Philips says

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Anonymous says

    4-2-3-1 is our best term formation. Big matches should be like dis. cech, 4-iva/cesar,luiz/cahill,terry,cole. 2-ramy/lamps,mikel. 3-oscar,mata,hazard. 1-Torres/sturidge. Then for capital cup. 4-2-3-1.Blackman, cesar,luiz,cahill,betrand,romeu,oscar,mata,hazard,moses,sturidge. From Arthur Osadebe

  34. Anonymous says

    4-2-3-1 is our best term formation. Big matches should be like dis. cech, 4-iva/cesar,luiz/cahill,terry,cole. 2-ramy/lamps,mikel. 3-oscar,mata,hazard. 1-Torres/sturidge. Then for capital cup. 4-2-3-1.Blackman, cesar,luiz,cahill,betrand,romeu,oscar,mata,hazard,moses,sturidge. From Arthur Osadebe

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