Posts Tagged ‘chelsea torres RDM’

Another season, another new manager at Chelsea but just how much have things changed? It’s quite clear from who Chelsea have signed in the transfer market that the defensive style of football we saw at the end of last season, will not be seen again this season as Roberto Di Matteo tries to put together a Chelsea team that will play the ‘sexy football’ that owner Roman Abramovich has apparently always craved. What can we expect from this current Chelsea side though? Seeing as Di Matteo isn’t quite set on his strongest starting XI, here is who I believe should be in Chelsea’s starting XI;

Petr Cech: Untouchable. Heroic performances throughout last season’s Champions League campaign showed the world that he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. I’m pretty certain that Cech will be Chelsea’s no.1 for many seasons to come.

Cesar Azpilicueta: I can’t say I know much about ‘Dave’ as he has been nicknamed by some Chelsea supporters but he wouldn’t have been signed unless he was going to be the first choice right back at the club. Despite Ivanovic starting the season strongly, he defensively remains quite poor and struggles to move the ball quickly which will no doubt be a key figure in how Chelsea play this season. Let’s just hope Azpilicueta settles quickly like his countryman Juan Mata did.

David Luiz: Mr erratic himself. I like Luiz as a player and a person (judging from his twitter and instagram antics) but he really needs to chill out when he’s playing football. He will be needed to cover in behind John Terry a lot this season but at the moment his positioning is all over the place. I’d feel a lot more comfortable if he relaxed a little bit whilst on the pitch and was always read to slip in behind Terry when we’re being attacked down the left with pace.

John Terry: Whilst Terry certainly is our ‘captain, leader, legend’ it wouldn’t surprise me if Terry’s place in the starting XI came under serious question this season. Firstly, if he receives an 8 game ban like Suarez did and Gary Cahill and Luiz impress, then I think it would be hard for him to dislodge the ever improving Cahill. Whilst Cahill isn’t quite at Terry’s level yet, I think the majority of Chelsea fans have been surprised by just how good Cahill is; certainly looking a steal for the £7M we paid for him. Secondly, Terry has an unfortunate habit of ending up on his arse. His lack of pace is a serious hindrance in my opinion but fortunately for him, the defensive line shouldn’t be too high up, unlike under AVB. Terry is obviously still a great defender and he certainly is ‘Mr Chelsea’ but I think this season will be first where his place comes under serious question.

Ashley Cole: Easily still one of the best left backs who seem to be teaching Ryan Bertrand a thing or do. His place should be safe for this season but the ever improving Bertrand will no doubt provide him with great competition.

Mikel: The first of two defensive midfielders. Whilst still not being a ‘fan favourite’, most fans know that does a great job for the team, most of the time. He does sometimes have the odd game where he seems to hide and the play just passes him by but he’s improved massively under RDM. His performance against Newcastle was a great example of how he shields the defence in a similar way to how Makelele used to do it.

Frank Lampard: Big Frankie Lampard. Another Chelsea legend but how long can he remain a starter? Obviously Lampard can still a decent job in the midfield for Chelsea and despite having the nickname ‘Fat Frank’, he keeps himself in great shape. The signing of £23M Brazilian prodigy Oscar, will further put Lampard’s place under pressure. It’s easy to forget Raul Meireles as well. Meireles’ performance against Newcastle was very impressive, he kept the ball moving quickly which is I imagine what RDM wants from the player who plays in the position. I suspect there will be a lot of rotation in this position throughout the season; hopefully RDM selects the right player for the right game.

Eden Hazard: Three games in and it’s already looking like we’ve got an absolute star on our hands. Whether he will play on the left of the three of in the middle, I’m sure Hazard will destroy most defences in the league. He’s already suffered from some rough treatment but hopefully he’ll be able to cope with it and continue to dazzle us in the fashion he has so far.

Juan Mata: The little Spanish wizard. Whilst not being able to dribble past players like Hazard, Mata remains a key part to our team. He’s looked absolutely exhausted though for the past eight months and I struggle to understand how to club hasn’t found two weeks for him to have a proper break so he can refresh his batteries. No doubt Mata will provide multiple assists against this season, probably from the central position behind Torres and hopefully many assists for Torres himself.

Ramires: I’m not quite sure what Ramires’ best position is. Would it work if he played alongside Mikel? I don’t think so. He put in numerous good performances on the right of the attacking three last season so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him continue there again this season. He may lack that bit of magic in the final third but his energy and occasional dazzling runs are sure to trouble enemy defences. I’m sure Moses, Marin and Oscar will offer something else on the right but I think RDM will use Ramires there for the majority of games.

Fernando Torres: Is he back? He probably will never reach the same heights he reached at Liverpool but he’s certainly looking better. I still find it very frustrating watching him. He often seems to make pointless runs and when it looks like he should be making a near post run or trying to lose his man in the box, he stands still whilst Hazard or Cole runs towards the corner flag with the ball because they have no options. I’m glad he’s looking sharp and scoring goals but there’s still a lot more I feel he could bring to the team. When Luiz or Lampard pick up the ball, Torres should be on the shoulder of the last man, pointing to where he wants the ball, he might not be as fast as he once was but he could still outpace most defenders in the league. I’ve wrote thousands of words in the past discussing Torres and it’s hard not to go into too much detail so it’s best if I just leave it. There is the possibility that Torres gets injured this season and what do Chelsea do then? Is Sturridge good enough to lead the line? It certainly is an issue; I just hope Torres remains fit for the majority of the season.

This season is the first time in many years where Chelsea has a really strong bench. With people like Moses, Marin, Oscar, Sturridge, Meireles, Cahill, Bertrand and Ivanovic on the bench, Chelsea certainly won’t be short of options if they need someone to change the game or step into the side for an extended period of time if someone suffers an injury.

It’s hard to predict where Chelsea will finish this season. If Mata, Hazard and Torres all click then Chelsea’s attack will be arguably the best in the league which they will need as the defence hasn’t looked great, so I believe it will be a case of conceding two but scoring three for Chelsea this season. Will they win the league? Probably not but there will certainly be up there. Will they retain the Champions League? Again probably not but I’m sure they will put up a good fight to hold onto their crown.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @aidansweeney_

Advertisements