Chelsea 1-0 Stoke

Chelsea FC Match Report

Chelsea beat Stoke at home 1-nil, but it was a battle, and it was very narrow. Cole scored his first goal in two years, I believe. Great for him, and great for the Blues, as Cech kept a clean sheet, awarding us the win with their combined contributions.

Hardly did we take to the wings. For the most part, we tried to Barcelona our way in through the middle. Unfortunately, Torres was one dimensional, making runs forwards or backwards, but hardly ever sideways or diagonal. If we play only one forward, we need a striker who is multi-dimensional and also goal hungry. He works hard, I know, but without proper blend, he’s just being unproductive, which keeps our offense largely ineffective.

I would say that we could try a 4-4-2, but I can understand reticence against leaving the midfield partially exposed. But we used to play a 4-3-3. Why couldn’t we play a 4-4-2? For that matter, couldn’t we do a 4-3-3? Let’s look.

4-4-2

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – John Terry – Cole
Mikel
Oscar – Mata – Hazard
Sturridge – Torres

4-3-3

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – John Terry – Cole
Oscar – Mata – Hazard
Sturridge – Torres – Moses

If we have 6 attacking players from the midfield on up, we won’t need Ivanovich to push up, leaving us exposed in the back, along with Cole. Hence, we won’t need a holding midfielder such as Mikel. We have so much offensive talent now, a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 may be the only way to take full advantage of it.

In fact, if you consider today’s lineup, we found ourselves approaching our path to the goal too narrowly. Here was the lineup:

Cech
Ivanovich – Cahill – David Luiz – Cole
Ramires – Mikel
Mata – Oscar – Hazard
Torres

But, functionally, here’s how it really looked:

Cech
David Luiz – Cahill – Cole
Mikel
Ivanovich – Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard
Torres

Or, alternatively,

Cech
Ivanovich – David Luiz – Cahill
Mikel
Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard – Cole
Torres

Or, also,

Cech
Mikel – David Luiz – Cahill
Ivanovich – Ramires – Mata – Oscar – Hazard – Cole
Torres

Unfortunately, we played congested, trying to link up all of our midfielders centrally, resulting in one too many passes all too often. Someone needs to display a little selfishness, or the wing runs need to be there to add the width. I’m not saying to get into a crossing game of 50/50 balls, but we need to add width and add dimension. We were too congested in the midfield as the fullbacks pushed up and as Ramires pushed up. It’s the same thing as too many cooks in the kitchen–it doesn’t work. We need to accommodate the midfielders that we have and try and spark some life into the forward line, and I think that a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3 will help do just that, at least on paper. But I digress.

We won, isn’t that enough?

Advertisements