Chelsea - Depth in Squad!
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Depth in Squad!

The problem for Chelsea from my perspective has little to be said about coaching.

The results have been so inconsistent under various coaches we have had since Carlo. Ordinarily, team like West Brom, South'ton, QPR and Fulham should not be a problem to Chelsea under Jose.

However, our lack of depth in squad is causing us a great deal. Looking at Chelsea`s bench (Terry, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Ryan Bert (all defenders), Marin and Torres) on Weds night indicated we have not got enough players.

When Oscar and Mata failed to perform on the night who do we call on from the bench?

We all knew who. It is so pathetic to compare our depth in squad with the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs or even Arsenal.

Arsenal at their worst will have at least 4 midfielders/striking options as substitutes.

One should expect (as the norms of great team) that our substitutes should be able to make a great impact when it matters in games. Man U/Man C always have at least 5 players who could make impact on bench. Spurs at times will have the likes of Parker, Dempsey, Gyilfi, Sandro etc on the bench.

We think we could dictate the terms and conditions for players and coaches. We bought whom ever we seem fit with or without the approval of coaches. We do not expect coaches to have their own minds. Even the great Jose would not succeed under present dispensations.

Imagine, buying him almost all the players with little inputs from him as coach unlike when he was given a blank cheque to run the show. A lot of people have started clamouring that he should be brought back. However, Mourinho hates working with half-baked players.

Believe you me, all our projects will go down the drain. Players like Oscar, Hazard, Mata will all become substitutes. I doubt it not if Lampard, Essien, Terry and Malouda would not play for another 3 seasons before they are gone.

The management is well aware of 2 key players leaving for Africa Nations Cup and it is baffling to think there was no arrangement in place to bring in replacements, even if it were to be on loan to the end of the season.

Romeu is out due to injury and by the time Mikel and Moses are back, they will be too tired to make an impact on the squad. I can't believe Chelsea cannot get players on loan, at least to fill the void left by those players.

The last time we had players going for ANC, we had enough players in our squad. Even, the absence of Drogba and Kalou didn't really matter because we had 3 other strikers (Anelka, Sturridge and Torres- though not prolific).

Our striking options are not adequate and impotent. Before Sturridge left for Liverpool, we have had no striker as far as am concerned. Now with Ba, we have only one striker. Torres is just like Macheda in Man U.

Manu still have other 4 striking options (RVP, Welbeck, Rooney and Chicarito). We are no Barca. Man City have got 4 striking options too. We should not expect miracles from Rafa or any coaches from little inputs. We had spent more to get few players.

Hazard, Oscar and Torres are good but they are not worth those prices we paid for them. Those players making great impact right now at Chelsea are those with little prices on their heads.

Enough of the wastefulness! Many of our youths could have developed into a better players had we had stability in coaching and club development. Finally, I believe Roman is surrounded by sycophants or else they would have left the club if they think Roman has not been doing the right thing.

The fact that the CEO, Director of Football, Technical Director etc still believe they are doing well in the last 5 years has indicated Roman might either be surrounded by those whose love for money is over and above what they could contribute to the club or they are just ignoramus.

Thanking God Pep didn't take our offer. He would have failed working under this bunch. This is because Chelsea are not Barca and will not be unless we change our mentality and re-focus on doing those things that will bring greatness to our club, not short-cut measures.

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

The Journalist

Writer:  sojibu  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 17 2013

Time: 4:40PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Rafa reacts seldom to change his tactics and when he does it's too late. We still need a second top striker to compete with Ba. Long term we need to have a better second choice keeper. Deep midfield in an acute problem: Mikel just doesn't convince and Luiz propably could do a job with someone. Lampard is not a holding midfielder neither is Rami.
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17/01/2013 17:09:00

the lack of depth in our squad is so alarming that i wonder why we even send our players out on loan. Lukaku, De Bruyne, Kakuta, Josh would benefit more playing in our squad and would benefit the club more than lampard playing in the same team. The problem we have is the unrealistic expectations of the board and owner of the club that puts unbelievable pressure on the coaches to win something ( ditto the meeting between Emenalo and Benitez in which Rafa was told to that he should be able to win something with the team). the coaches are never allowed to build the youth or utilize them in any way cos he knows that if he doesnt' win anything, he is out of the door. we need to take five steps back to move forward. (1) We need to get Roman/ Gourlay/Emenalo etc hand off all tranfers and meddling with the team. (2) Get a clear cut plan and stick with it (3) Find a coach with enough pedigree and experience to lead ( not Mourinho, he is to egostical, divisive and sort of a journey man to handle a long term project) (4) Give him a free hand (5) Bring back the players on loan; have them compete for a place in the team and ruthlessly weed out the losers. If we get these rights, i can guarantee that we will/may not win anything for a season or two but we will eventually become what we've all hope for.
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17/01/2013 17:28:00

Why the hell did we get rid of Essien and Mereiles, without replacing them. West Ham and Swansea away, Juve and Southampton at home are just 4 examples, when we could have introduced either of those players to hold on to a lead and get us over the line. But neither RDM or RB had that option, the only choice they had was to bring on another attack minded player. Blame Roman and the board for that stupid shortsighted error I`m afraid.
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17/01/2013 18:02:00

"Hazard, Oscar and Torres are good but they are not worth those prices we paid for them"....i can understand about torress...but oscar and hazard i think we have got bargain in both case what are you expecting from those two young players in their first season witj different managers to score you lots of fact hazard has 8 to 10 assist witb 5 goals oscar has 5 goals in cl and has olayed well in epl also....and toress he...hmmmmmmm...he is sheeet...i dont agree with you about hazard and oscar case....they are real gem.along with marin but all they need is a one or two season and you will know the difference... regarding squad depth we lack but more than squad we are not utilising our player properly players are playing out of their position....didnt understand piazon loan when we are lacking squad depth..
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17/01/2013 18:07:00

Our team looks unbalanced, we need specialist players in the pivot not Luiz/Lampard who will go forward whenever he can and will shoot to get his name in the record book instead of passing to a team mate. I still thinking our defending is still not good (We don't defend well enough as a unit) just like our strikers. ManU concede 2 goals but they make sure they score 3 goals cause they have good strikers.
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17/01/2013 19:03:00

We should not have let Meriles go. Very big mistake. Raul-Mikel were gradually forming a solid combo, remember the Newcastle game??? Balanced and Perfect pivot.
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17/01/2013 19:49:00

Do we need suad depth? I have been talking about how we need it since the time we sacked rdm, but I can't be more wrong, we don't need squad depth at all, yea u'll think I am a crazy person, but tell me, what is the use of having depth, when the manager keeps playing the same team over and over again and didn't bother to use the little squad players we have, we were all expecting great things from piazon, but he played only a few minutes, we are treating marko marin like an invalid, not playing him at all, if not for the fact that moses brings pace and some trickery to the team, that fatso won't play him either, he'll have ruined him as he did babel and riera, he didn't change anything thing in this team, he keeps playing rdm's formation and also selecting the same players rdm did and his now ruining oscar's career
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17/01/2013 20:06:00

@Shlok27.....I was not talking about Hazard and Oscar goal scoring or their assists. Guide me if am wrong, am just simply comparing the prices we paid for players. Except for PSG, Real Madrid, Barca, Manu or Bayern would not have paid such for up coming players. For example, compare Pep contract at Bayern - 27m(plus additional 6m in bonuses) to 54m Chelsea was offering for 3yrs. He will be getting half of what we intend paying him. Getting a player should not be at all cost. Have Chelsea ever sold a player for a value of 20m and above.
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17/01/2013 20:25:00

@Desmond,but rafa gets bashed here for his rotation policy,so many folks fault why he should always tinker with the winning team so its strange u are complainin rafa keeps playin the same team over and over again...rafa has used the little squad we have,everybody has gotten game time(except malouda) even fereira has dust up his old boots and is now involved
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17/01/2013 21:29:00

Some people only see goals. Mikel doesn't convince is probably because of his scoring record which doesn't matter when you consider how many other DMs score in their careers.
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17/01/2013 21:30:00

@Desmond,but rafa gets bashed here for his rotation policy,so many folks fault why he should always tinker with the winning team so its strange u are complainin rafa keeps playin the same team over and over again...rafa has used the little squad we have,everybody has gotten game time(except malouda) even fereira has dust up his old boots and is now involved
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17/01/2013 21:30:00

@samex,lampard and luiz also had a great game in the pivot vs aston villa,but have been below par in most u cant judge a player/combo by just 1game
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17/01/2013 21:37:00

Samex,but i agree we should never have let meireles go,he would have been an option/cover now mikel is at the afcon
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17/01/2013 21:40:00

Im blaming tactics more than depth. So what if there is 3 defenders? Luiz can be used as an attacking option and pushed into CM so bringing on a defender is not always a 'defensive' option. Fact is for Southampton game, we were 2-0 up at home, Rafa should have adjusted to ensure we close out the game, even if it means shutting up shop from which he had the personal available to do that. With regards to attacking options, he had Torres and Marin. One he failed to use and the other came on with little time to make an impact. If the bench was full of defenders only (or attackers for that matter) then I would be up in arms over that as there is no balance in options available for all needs. Also I dont buy the argument of comparison to City/United with amount of strikers on the books - We play systems with one striker only and have donefor a while, so 4 strikers is overkill. 2 minimum and 3 maximum otherwise you are going to have too uch rotation and/or very uhappy players doing feck all , all season. Totally agree with regards to Torres however, IF we had someone to replace him in the squad that was quality the striking problem wouldnt be so much of an issue..
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17/01/2013 22:09:00

In say the above,with Mikel gone for the moment but more inportantly Romeu gone for the season, I would have expected for us to make a CM signing? We really only have two specialist central midfield players in Rami/Lamps and Luiz to do a job (whch he can and has been decent there), but are definitly light atm in that position in particular.
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17/01/2013 22:16:00

In terms of a model club we should look at ajax who have a fantastic youth system with every age group playing the same style of football, doing the same drills, and tuning their skill so when they are able they just slot into the first team
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17/01/2013 22:19:00

Excellent article sojibu ..i have been shouting on the roof tops about this since the summer. I hate to be an alarmist but mark my words there is far more trouble coming. Any careful observer would have noticed that recently some of our players like Mata and even Oscar have been looking dull and leggy. This is particularly an issue when they play mid week after playing on the weekends. The thing is these poor guys have not seen anything yet..The moment the europa league starts we will see the full consequences of not having adequate squad depth because this is totally different from playing Carling cup or FA cup games within the UK on tuesdays or Wednesdays. Dont be surprised as injuries pile up when the Europa league starts and when our boys look half asleep on the weekend games after a mid week Europa league fixture. To play those Thursday Europa league games in some back water place in continental Europe on pitches that may not be top draw against teams that will see playing us as their equivalent of a major tournament final. These games will tax us and with our thin squad Rafa will have little choice but to play first team players. Besides this the man will be trying to win the thing to pad his CV for his likely summer departure. Can you imagine playing late into the day on thursdays, returning home on friday and then having to play competitive games in the BPL the following Saturday or sunday..this is what we face. the more i think about it, the more i realize it will be a blessing for us to get knocked out of the europa league ASAP to save her hopes of a top 4 finish.
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18/01/2013 03:34:00

@ken tinkering is different from total alienating, my gripe with him emerged from him alienating some players like his pool days, when he tinker with the team it is usually stupidly, why? As a coach, u need to understand the strength and weaknesses of ur players, he keeps playing hazard and mata in all our games and mostly for 90 minutes and only rests them in just one odd game before overusing them again(when he did not prepare their replacement properly to deputize for them), so what is the assurance that if we buy new players he is going to use them? the retard had to be bashed by the fans before he brought ba on in an important game FFS (despite his form), marin haven't been played for a while now and his confidence is already shot to pieces, marin is a player that we ought to be playing on every match day even if its only 15 minutes cameos (consistently) just to make him match fit, so he'll be ready and useful for us to play when we really need to rotate and rest some players, he'll gel with the squad effortlessly by that time, but he won't play the poor lad in 5 games, he'll play him after the 5th game just for 15 minutes and won't play him again for the next 5 games and we sit our asses in front of our pc and say marin is not fit or good enough. A tin horn will use the squad better than rafa, mata keeps playing 80 - 90 minutes almost in all games, he won't remove him, same with hazard, and when he breaks down we'll all say he is not worth 32m, when all we do right now is overuse him, alex ferguson keeps getting ahead of us in the PL because he knows how to manage his players well and get the best out of them, if mata plays 65 minutes as a no.10, oscar can come in for him, if mata gets tired or injured, oscar would be ready, but rafa will play oscar in the lw, rw, cam and the damn pivot, as a 21 year old inexperienced kid his attacking instincts would diminish, rafa should manage the team properly first and then we'll really know where we need reinforcements. As for me our subs on every match day should be oscar and marin (if they don't start) with any other. We've made their replacements believe the are irreplaceable hence they get too comfortable in their positions and they won't bother to up their game since there isn't adequate competition, and we call our club a big club
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18/01/2013 05:38:00 said it your comment only...the price we paid is right for them i dont think we paid them said in your commenat big clubs were after them but we got it them...why they were because everyone knew that they are future star...hazard is top clas player he has won french league and has been awrded player of the season twicw or thrice there thats itself a big achievement in a big way and he i still 22 only...and reagarding oscar he is the no 10 of brazil and we all know what that mean....this talent you wont get in less price we had to paybig to land those or else somone else will but them...for me both are bargains at todays price....regarding pep i agree with you that was foolish to pay those kind of wages....i wanted pep but not at that price...we all knew roman was so desperate to land him so he was doing his best to land him...i think this sason we ave got all our ransfer in perfect price...we were good in transfer this season..
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18/01/2013 07:31:00
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18/01/2013 10:34:00

sorry just a little bit of digression but it would appear that RA isnt that much involved in player acquisition after all...coming from an ex chelsea coach - cfc fans need to support our board a bit more and stop believing all the negative press. I'm so happy that Ray Wilkins shared this information
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18/01/2013 10:36:00

@desmond,who and who did he alienate here??(just bein curious)...yes he alienated players in his pool days but i dont think he has done that here,since he came onboard every player has gotten involved(except maybe hilario and malouda)...when he tinkers and we won its not stupidity but we lost u call it stupidity...rafa understands(and stil learnin) the strength and weaknesses of the players thats why u see stuffs like mata/oscar/bert on the wings,luiz in the pivot,iva in cb, e.t.c. He trains with the players everday hence it affords him a better chance to assess their strength and weakness which he uses as an advantage in deployin his tactics for the next game,sometimes it pays off while some other time it backfires(thats why its a risk)...since when did playin mata and hazard regularly turn playin same team regularly??..he has been here for 2months and the games have been comin thick and fast(all crucial games),meanin he has to use his best 2 players more..if u go review our games u would see that most games either hazard or mata were subbed to give them the little rest we could afford at that critical stage of the season..ok let me ask u how did we perform when mata is not on the pitch?? far its only ba we ve bought and he has used him effectively,as 4 the swansea game,he started torres to rest ba for the stoke game but when things werent goin accordin to plans he had to bring on ba(though we can fault the timin),so if we buy a new player there is every chance he would use them ... Marin not playin is not rafa's fault,as he has only had 20mins C0C action in 4months before rafa came and rafa has equally given him a fair gametime..marin does not have to come on every 15min,we play different teams on matchdays,so the coach would only use his subs in accordance to his tactics and if marin is not in the plan then so be it,he got his chance in the odd starts and comeos he should workhard and use it effectively to stake his claim to a shirt..we cant sacrifice our whole team to build the fitness of one player(same mistake we are payin 4 in poorres)..sir alex can afford to rest players because he has got depth and his strikers are firin on all cylinders(same cant be said about us)..rafa has given oscar 3starts now and he has been poor,if u agree with me there seem to be no space for oscar in the team as rafa prefers moses to give us width(we can keep playin 3 no10s,it makes our play very narrow)..u really want our subs in every game to be oscar and marin??talk about friend if u really eager to blame rafa ,find someother fault cos rotation has been his strongpoint
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18/01/2013 10:40:00

Thanks johnny 4 that information,but the question now is who signed sheva and torres??
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18/01/2013 10:50:00

According to ray wilkins, both Torres and David Luiz were specific requests by Carlo Ancelotti....dont know about Sheva :)
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18/01/2013 10:54:00

JohnnyOz. Ancelotti did want Torres, but he wanted him in the summer 2010. So he could train and get him a place in the team.
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18/01/2013 11:02:00

yes but Liverpool refused to sell him that summer...
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18/01/2013 11:18:00

And how does wilkins know that? He was fired in october, november.
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18/01/2013 12:17:00

We don't have the depth in our squad. A depth in the squad would enable us to play different formation against different team. Even a good coach would not be able to get the current Chelsea gets going as we don't really have a good squad for any formation (e.g. 4-2-3-1; 4-3-3; 4-4-2 or 3-5-2).
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18/01/2013 13:34:00

@ken, ur argument here is baseless, so bcos rafa is has different tactics for each game, that means marin should be featuring once in 5 games? Piazon who we loaned was sparingly used too, u conveniently forgot to talk about oscar and the way he is being utilized too, his timing of his sub is another thing u touched on in only one phrase, when this little things are the things costing us games after games!! I am not a fan u'll be spoonfeeding that reasoning to mate, I know what I saw and what I saw is that rafa is tactically inept!
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18/01/2013 14:16:00

@desmond,i can see u are stil angry at the result of the southampton game,its 2days gone now and thats enough time to get over it..u practically want to blame rafa for the draw(which i agree to) but choose the right reason not the wrong one..i can see u have systematically dodged my questions above.. how can u say he alienated players and he played the same team over and over again?? When we all known that since he came onboard he has been rotatin the squad like he is changin his cloths,i remember u applaudin his squad rotation after the qpr defeat despite constant bashin and slatin of the policy by fans here..however i dont know what your obsession for marin is about but the lad only played 20mins of Capital one cup in 4months under rdm but rafa had given him substantial game time includin starts and occassional comeos...if he needs to defend a one goal lead,would subbin in marin do that??,what spectacular thing has marin done with the few opportunity he got??u should be glad rafa is givin him gametime,if marin does not suit his tactics for any game he has every right not to use for the piazon loan,u should be askin the board about that...oscar has not bein used for the same reason as marin,the mazacar thing has failed infact it was another reason we were dropin point under rdm,teams have noticed they like dropin to the middle therefore makin our play narrow,rafa noticed that and replaced him with moses who is offerin us width,now moses has gone to afcon oscar has a golden chance to reclaim his shirt but he has been extremely poor so far.u can always fault the timin of rafa's subs(sorry,thats the much i can say about that) not spoonfeedin u,just correctin your wrong...his CV does not suggest he is tactically inept!
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18/01/2013 16:25:00

@ Ken4CFC I agree with you on that - you can call RB many things but you can never call him tactically inept...My brother is a Liverpool fan of almost 40 years and he still raves on today about Rafa's tactical acumen
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18/01/2013 17:04:00

@Ken4CFC....@JonnyOz......Ken4CFC, I buy into what you're saying really as against JohnnyOz. Marin and Piazon could not be that too good to be left on the bench by RDM and now by RB. I watched Piazon in almost all his matches for U21. He has got potentials but he's still raw. He needs many games at top flight but we cannot risk many games for him at the moment. Same thing happened with Josh before he went on loan to Swansea. Most of us thought Carlo should have given more time. He went on loan and failed to even make it to their first team. Marin always want to prove himself and thereby overplaying himself. This is not type of bench we had under Jose or Carlo. Rafa would have been using them in his rotation policy had they been proven good.
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18/01/2013 18:58:00

Rafa's tactical acumen that made him win how many trophies for pool? He won the league for valencia since how many years ago and the EL? After 2005 fortuitous victory at the expense of chelsea with luis garcia's ghost goal, when was the last time his tactics win anything?
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18/01/2013 19:34:00

What he has won he has won,u cannot rewrite it no matter how he won it and how long he won it..the last time his tactics won him something was at his last job,he won the CWC in 2010
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18/01/2013 20:13:00

Thank u @sojibu,am glad u understand my position...@johnn0z,exactly mate
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18/01/2013 20:18:00

Alleged lack of depth is not true. Yes, Chelsea got rid of Drogba, Kalou, Meireles, Essien and in practice Malouda. Of these, just Drogba and Meireles were regular starters for the last year. True, Chelsea didn't bother to replace Drogba (until now that we got Ba) but Oriol Romeu had in practice already taken over Essien's place. As for the rest, Moses for Kalou, Oscar for Meireles and Hazard for Malouda doesn't seem that bad a trade off, does it? And on top of that Azpi and Marko Marin, so the depth was in fact improved this summer... And then we have Lukaku, DeBruyne and Chalobah who'll reinforce us this summer, so no need to buy any depth!
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19/01/2013 01:10:00


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