A lot of Chelsea fans have been wondering why Oscar, our talented Brazilian youngster, isn’t featuring as regularly as he was at the beginning of the season. Why would he benched when he had such great performances in the CL, especially in the game against Juventus? The answer is simple, his performances just haven’t been good enough, compared to his Belgian and Spanish teammates.
As you can see, there is a vast difference between the amount of chances Eden Hazard and Mata created against the amount Oscar created. With both nearly creating twice as much chances, and given Oscar’s CAM position, it is easy to see why he has not featured regularly. In his the position he is currently playing at Chelsea, he is expected to compete with Juan Mata and Hazard in terms of chances created.
Chelsea need width
Chelsea desperately need width in the past few months, most of our attacks have been direct, straight through the middle. With Hazard, Oscar and Mata constantly interchanging positions, it rarely leaves any of them drifting out wide. Chelsea need someone with the pace, strength and agility to cut through the flanks and hassle off defenders in order to put in the right cross and Oscar simply does not do that. Which is why, under Rafa Benitez, we are seeing Moses starting to get more chances. Moses, unlike Oscar, has the strength and the pace to cut through the flanks. Although, Moses can improve on his finishing and his cross accuracy, he does get the job done and I believe this will improve with more game time for him.
Attack not his best position
Maybe Oscar is better suited to be playing in the double pivot role.
As evident, Oscar has very similar passing accuracy to that of Ramires and Mikel. This is important because in that role, it is very important to be very accurate in your passes and make sure that your passes don’t lead to mistakes. We’ve seen Oscar play in the midfield before and he has impressed.
Oscar likes to play the short pass, which in the double pivot role, is very important as most of your passes are either to the defenders in the back, or to the attackers in front. With his passing accuracy and his lack of chances created, it is evident that Oscar prefers to pass the ball intelligently to other more capable players of providing assists then providing the assist himself. What better other position to do so then the double pivot role?
|Player||Average Defensive Actions per game|
Oscar has an average of 2 defensive actions per game – that includes blocks, interceptions and clearances. Compared to Mata and Hazard he is obviously superior. Hazard and Mata don’t have one blocked shot this Premier League season – Oscar has 4. This shows that unlike Mata and Hazard, Oscar tracks back alongside Mikel to defend, whereas Mata and Hazard prefer to stay more up front. If played in the double pivot role, he will definitely help the team.
Final verdict: Play Oscar in double pivot
It’s obvious that Rafa Benitez currently prefers width rather than being direct, and Oscar simply does not provide that. What he does offer, however, is the ability to play in the double pivot role, where he can defend and at the same time provide quality assistance to the attackers upfront. Obviously, once played in the role, Oscar will need time to adapt. It is worth noting that all the stats mentioned above were of him playing in the CAM position. If played in the double pivot, his defensive stats will definitely get better and most importantly help the team. Oscar is too good of a player to be a substitute, if played at the double pivot role, he will provide much more to the team. Oscar hasn’t been featuring regularly because I believe Chelsea are integrating to much wider play under Benitez. If Oscar is played in the middle he will definitely succeed. All stats are to his favour.
*all stats were taken from www.squawka.com
*all stats mentioned above were for the Barcalys Premier League only.
Follow me on Twitter: @TheChelseaTalk