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Moving on from here ...

Moving on from here ...

To Di Matteo's credit, he has still not made excuses this season calling Chelsea a team in transition or blaming the off field distractions of the past few days on the recent team results.

There is not much he could have done either in terms of the result against West Brom because a majority of the players were involved in the midweek International friendly matches and with an upcoming crucial fixture against Juventus, he had to field a weaker team.

However the reality that we have all come to now accept is, Chelsea's major issues with the centre forward position and a flakey defense which is letting in some truly avoidable goals; are the major reason for the recent slump in form and dropping of points in the Premiership.

There may be fixes to the problems in January, but the question remains in the minds of many: Would that be a little too late?

I do not suggest that for our upcoming games, we need to do anything radical in terms of team selection or shape but rather focus and utilize in the best possible ways on the positive aspects that we have seen, in different areas of the team.

Making these minor tweaks and altering the team a little, depending on our opponents, could still keep us in the running in the Champions League and the Premiership before we can add any reinforcements or recall our on loan players in January.

So listed below are some positive aspects that I believe can be best leveraged in the short term,

Solid performances by our bench players Azpilicueta and Moses.

These two players have taken their chances very well and also have the tactical ability to play in different areas of the pitch if needed. Moses can play on either wings and I do feel that Azpilicueta if given an opportunity can contribute the same as Bertrand did last year to play higher up the pitch depending on the situation.

Marin's return from injury

Though Marin has not featured in our games this season we have seen his performances in the pre-season to suggest that his return back from injury can give us another attacking option in our games.

Hazard's versatility

Hazard has the versatility to play in different areas on the pitch and has displayed his goal scoring skills as well. If Torres and Sturridge continue their struggles of scoring goals, playing Hazard in the false number 9 role is worth a try.

Oscar's ability to play in a deeper role

Oscar has played a few games in the deeper central midfield role, alongside Mikel or Ramires and displayed his ability to build up plays from the back or efficiently distribute the ball. Playing Oscar in this role, frees up a spot on the team to use a wide option of Moses or Marin.

So here are some possible team shapes and formation worth a try:

Option 1: 4-2-3-1 Using Oscar in the Pivot and Moses / Marin in the wider positions, against teams that prefer to defend deep in their own half. CF - Torres / Sturridge Attacking Midfield - Moses / Marin, Hazard, Mata Pivot - Ramires/ Mikel , Oscar Defense - Cole/Bertrand, Luiz/Ivanovic, Cahill, Ivanovic/Azpi

Option 2: 4-3-3 Using Hazard as a False 9, and utilizing either Bertrand or Azpi in the midfield against teams that play 3-5-2 (Juventus) Attacking - Oscar, Hazard, Mata Midfield - Ramires/Bertrand, Mikel, Ramires/Azpi Defense - Cole, Luiz, Cahill, Ivanovic

So as much as we cannot just push the blame on Di Matteo for Chelsea's recent slump, his leadership and tactical ability will now be under constant review and if Chelsea can still be in running for the Champions Cup competition and a top 3 Premiership finish come January, we can all be very proud of him.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday November 18 2012
Time: 12:05PM


i'd go with the false 9 but i think mata is a better finisher than hazard
18/11/2012 12:55:00
if i had to play a 4-3-3 i'd do Marin-Mata-Moses Ramires-Hazard-Mikel Bert/Cole-JT/Luiz-Cahill/Luiz/JT/Iva-Azpi-Iva
18/11/2012 12:58:00
18/11/2012 12:59:00
A sumptous article, I couldnt have written it better myself. I'm eagerly looking forward to RDM's tactical change come Tuesday night. Hopes he gets it right!
18/11/2012 13:52:00
FFS the false 9 is the fkin problem nt the solution. torres right now is a false 9. we need som1 2 run behind da defence nt stand in front of it. studge gt 3/4 chances by making runs. a false 9 is the worst possible solution
18/11/2012 14:43:00
I think after yesterday we now know what our strongest starting line up is.
--Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Cole--
18/11/2012 15:04:00
While I like Marin's skill I really question his ability to stay healthy enough to warrant a long term position on Chelsea's team. He is so small and will always be a defensive liability I just don't know if he will be able to justify a position on the team. Personally, I would rate KDB and Piazon over Marin. Furthermore, I believe KDB and Piazon are just as creative as Moses and are both better finishers.
18/11/2012 15:46:00
A False number 9, cannot be blatantly called a problem. It's a problem when implemented without the right kind of player. Messi and Barcelona have shown this to the world. What a False number 9 requires is correct positioning, intelligent running off the ball and quick decision making. Each of our number 10 players Oscar, Mata and Hazard have shown this ability with the type of goals they have scored. Just imagine on the Oscar flick, to Sturridge yesterday if Hazard was its receipt, very likely the ball would have been squared to Mata to score. I have also noted that this option is only when Sturridge or Torres are not doing well. It also could be a good option for a game against Juventus where we would need to have an additional midfielder in the center to counter their 5 men midfield. In such a case I would rather prefer to have Hazard upfront rather than Torres so that we can have an additional player in the midfield.
18/11/2012 15:48:00
ess...da bison i would play the same team you suggested....that lineup so many option for us....if we cant prevent leaking goals with playing two defensive midfilder then its better to play one....if marin is fit then i would play him in place of moses...if he is fit...otherwise its a good line up...
18/11/2012 18:28:00
Good points lads, I definitely agree on the idea of using Oscar in the pivot at least until Lamps is back as we need someone who can switch play to the wings like Xabi Alonso does so very brilliantly for Real Madrid.
18/11/2012 19:43:00
I wouldn't put Marin ahead of Moses at this moment, he isn't match fit and doesn't have the same pace and strength as Moses, i think we need at least one person like this in the line up forcing defenders to change the way they deal with the wingers when they switch flanks. Also from what i saw in pre-season Marin is very one dimensional in the sense he always cuts onto his right foot and his weaker foot is really poor.
18/11/2012 20:00:00
Hazard was a winger for Lille, why do we persist with him in the middle?? 4-1-4-1 with Moses at RW and Hazard at LW will negate the needs for our defenders to run forward thereby exposing their flanks for counter attacking. It'll also allow us to further improve on Oscar and Mata playing as CAM's behind a very mobile and hungry Sturridge. Ofcourse we'll sacrifice 1 pivot player (Mikel most definitely) but with all our 4 defenders available and Ramires assisting, we'll be more solid
19/11/2012 06:43:00
Most of the goals we've conceded have been crosses from the flanks, so the problem is not the middle but our RB's and LB's who are presumably 'busy' attacking that they get too worn to defend effectively. Get the defenders to do that primarily (as I'd been suggesting since the start of the season) and we'll be better defensively.
19/11/2012 06:46:00
Oh and move Luiz from CB too, I've said this since his first game vs Fulham where he conceded that penalty, he's a better ball player than CB, try him in the pivot vs 'smaller' teams for a start then grow on that
19/11/2012 06:46:00
These are good points and myself I realized that chelsea are always playing a player less. We have the quality and Oscar has proven to be a ball winner and harasser to recover possession. He managed to play very well in the deeper position and hope we rest the issue of the double pivot for the upcoming games and let him have the free role in a midfield 4 of him, Mata, Hazard and either of Moses/Marin with Sturridge as the mobile striker.
19/11/2012 08:25:00
We know Ess--Dabison hates Mikel. i am surprised though
19/11/2012 09:04:00
I think I'll go along with ess da bisoon's formation, but I don't like rammy insted of mikel,he is easily bullied off the ball, his passing ratio is also likely worser than mikel's but it won't hurt to try rammy ahead of mikel
19/11/2012 09:45:00
"Di Matteo hints at axing Torres for vital Chelsea clash with Juventus"- no one can blame him, i was a supporter of the give torres a chance campaign but now it's clear to all the guy is finished! so we all got to move on with Danny boy now!
pego sama
19/11/2012 12:53:00
I suppot him and hope it works out since we do not want to create history the bad way by failing to qualify
20/11/2012 07:43:00
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