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Are we so good?

We play either the 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1, 3-5-2 or 3-6-1 (depending on how you look at it when we are losing.

Now the best teams for the first two formations are as follows (however, according to my taste)

4-3-3 : Cech, Cole-Terry-Cahill-Dave Mikel - Rami - Lampard Hazard -Torres - Willian

4-2-3-1 : Cech Cole-Terry-Cahill-Dave Mikel - Rami Hazard - Mata/Oscar - Willian Torres (notice the slash for our number 10's so depending on the opponent )

So those to me are the best team we can possibly put out with the formations

So a few players I would like to talk about.

Now we all know Cole is not as good as before as a matter of fact based on just performances in 2013 ONLY Bertrand has been better than Cole, now why he does not get a sniff is not known to me but then again Dave has not been too bad over there, as a matter of fact he has been very good, but anyway the point is, Cole is not where he once was and it seems he will play mostly big games and it would have been lovely to see Bertrand get a chance rather than being linked to other players for his position.

And it is a shame our second choice RB is actually playing better than our two LB`s although Bertrand has not had much of a chance. Terry has declined a bit, maybe it might be due to age but it is not as drastic as the other old guards and he has still put a decent shift in for us so far this season, and I think he has maybe another season or two left depending on who the manager is at that time. Now to me so far I think Terry is the best CB we have, now I know a few with a different opinion but so far Luiz has not been convincing and don't bring up his ball playing attributes because those are secondary to his PRIMARY DUTY of DEFENDING which Cahill has outperformed him at (although still not sure how he will be in midfield permanently). Now what worries me is that not seeing him in the line up gets me worried, which is bad considering the fact that he is getting to mid-thirties and he is not as good as before and you'd be forgiven to have forgotten about Kalas and Kenneth.

Torres is not as good as his Liverpool days and that is very obvious, Eto'o is also not as good as before so our top 2 strikers are past their peak and maybe a season or two away from a steep decline, Ba has been used as second or third choice, which brings me to my point. Now I am sure everyone has noticed we have not challenged for the title since 2012 which was Ancelotti's second year and coincidentally the year Torres came to Chelsea for the outrageous sum, I am not saying he is the cause as there are other factors but his issue has definitely been a contributing factor, so I think we need a new first team CF

Lampard's curve has become really steep he is actually 35 I think sometimes I find it hard to believe that due to the amount of game time he gets, I complain about his inclusion but then again for his role as the DLP in our club no one seems to be better than him. The whole Mikel, Ramires combo seems good but then again against Schalke, I saw how neither of the 2 could make passes more than a few metres forward and how uncomfortable they were with the ball and it was obvious because Cahill and Terry had so many passes in that game due to the amount of passes that went backwards

Also having Essien not in the squad is also an issue but he is past his peak so we don't really know how he will perform when on the pitch Now I am not defending his inclusion in this part but we don't know how Van Ginkel could have turned out but it pains me to see that in his role he is the best we have right now. So looking back at the transfer window getting Willian for 30 million looks a bit silly but then that will be for another article.

Cech has become rather complacent or maybe he has actually dropped in abilities, I am not too sure due to his position, as keepers tend to go on till their late 30's but then again he seems to come alive around February /March that at the end of the season we are convinced that he is the man between the sticks for the following season. So basically I think he needs competition to keep him on his toes. But about him and Courtois I think I will pick our younger keeper since he has like 200 years of service ahead of him (going by Van der Sar's level) and I suggest we sell Cech soon since he will still have a nice re-sale value especially when some top teams will be looking to get a quality keeper.

Now let me get to the point of the whole article, now when you hear of the quality in Chelsea's squad , you think of Mata, Oscar, Hazard , Kevin, Willian and Schurrle but then again notice all the 6 of them play 3 POSITIONS. So personally I think it covers up the flaws in our team as we have so many stars and the balance of the team is not there.

Like I have pointed out above, either we have players past their peaks in vital positions (Eg. Torres , Eto'o, Cole, Lampard Terry) or we simply have someone who has altered his game to fit into the role not taken by Lampard but till then I think we will continue to see our inconsistencies showing up its ugly head every now and then until we have a squad sorted out not necessarily with ' star ' players but with players who can fit into their roles well.

And you could blame these on the revolving door but that again is for another article. Remember how our last two years have been in the league and how we have struggled from being perennial title contenders to a race for top 4 place? Well I think these things are the cause of our problems and our reducing the age of the squad without getting necessary replacements. So till then don't expect the title (even though it is a possibility) nor a fantastic performances to the Champions League Final.

So perhaps we aren't as good as we think we are. Are we?

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The Journalist

Writer: Don capon Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday December 3 2013

Time: 4:34PM

Your Comments

An interesting question.... I have a slightly different spin on things as I don't actually think we are any good.... Not YET anyway! You're very right in your points, and I think we still have some scary gaps in our "natural" playing roles, but can I ask a question of how many "world class" players are in the Southampton squad? The Liverpool squad? Newcastle from 2 years ago? Swansea last year? A team of 11 "world class" players does not make you the best team in the league. It gives you the best foundation for success, but unless you can get all of the players working together at their best then ultimately you can fail. The old saying of a chain is only as strong as its weakest link comes to mind. What we do have is great players who are evolving together as a team. This comes back to my "yet" comment. We have the blueprint for a great team with solid back-ups within the squad. We have talent that many other clubs wish they had. In fact every club in the world wishes they had at least one of our players on their books. Can you imagine what Barca could do with a defensive enforcer like Terry? How about Real Madrid with a keeper like Cech or RB like Ivan? Man Utd or countless others with Mata? You get the point I think. Our biggest challenge is bringing these talented (and versatile!) players together as a team. Once we achieve this then we'll be the best team in England and one of the best in the world. Right now we're probably in the top 10-15 teams in the world, but we could be top 3 if we can harness all of the talent at our disposal. Courtois - Ivanovic - Cahill - Terry - Cole - Luiz - Ramires - Hazard - Oscar - Mata - Lukaku. If all 11 of those players were to play at the best of their ability AS A TEAM then how many clubs in the world could challenge us? 3 maybe? At most 5. So yes, I agree that we are not as good as some people think we are NOW, but we have a great potential which has yet to be tapped.
i think you did nice to put this together *thumbs up* but totally disagree with your point and would rather say the reverse is the case which jose has touched on today. he said 'Here we have some people that have won the title before but not for quite a long time, and when you don't win it for quite a long time you forget it. 'We have other people that have played in clubs that are not used to fighting for titles, it is just about doing fantastically today and not worrying about tomorrow or any big responsibilities. 'You have to learn how to live with the pressure of trying to be top of the league, how to fight until the last moment, knowing that every detail of every game can make a difference in the end. It's a process, not something you do with a click.' All in all, what is needed to be achieved is for a balance in mentality. which i can go down to say one reason jose is playing lamps, iva and JT more is so his trusted allies can show the newbies and rub off on them the mentaliy needed.
am just tire of this mou.he seams to like alienating players whenever he goes.what does that bring to the team.time will come when injury strikes to his dear pals and the bench warmers will fail essien howler vs soton,all bcoz of gametime.And if the pivot will not be solved in jan ,4get any trophy 2013 season.
At the end of the day we have some fantastic players who would get into any team in the world but the football that we are playing this season is the worse,that iv'e seen for many years.Why?
@don capon, I disagree with the mikel and rammy can't pass part, against schalke we dominated and won 3-0 home and away, so how did these two players perform? I don't know what most of u are using to measure our performance, but I will always reiterate that mikel/rammy is the best pivot combination in the club presently, when these two play, we win more with them, it is as simple as that and we tend to dominate other teams when they are paired, rammy make runs, presses and tackles well, mikel use his body, retain the ball well and is actually a fantastic passer of the ball if u watch him well, my only problem with him is that there are times he ought to take risks but would rather go for the safest option, if the whole team is doing their job like rammy and mikel are doing, then we'll be winning more games
@desmond i think rami and mikel are our best combo when playing top teams like man city and all , but then we are also a top team therefore most teams actually sit back and defend , and remember that match and count how many times rami and mikel passed back to terry and cahill , and they offer less goal threat which we need when playing teams that sit deep
Don capon

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