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New signings and tactics

New signings and tactics

Saber's great contribution made me think about the tactical side of the game

Many would argue which was the most important transfer we made this summer. A reasonable amount of people sought improvement in the striking area or felt that we needed a deep lying playmaker to bring some versatility to our game and we made two brilliant moves signing Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

The former scored numerous goals and helped Atletico in their quest to break the domestic dominance of Real and Barca, proving to be a clinical and deadly striker, while the latter left the fans and the pretentious board of the Catalans with mixed emotions, despite providing a fair amount of assists. I believe that if Fabregas hits it off soon with the rest of the team his quick, accurate and diverse passing will help us a lot against teams who tend to park the bus.

His presence will free some space for Matic, who is not only a defensive rock, but also has a good eye for long ranged passes who release our strikers or wide players and this duo will add a lot of fluidity to our game and will relieve some of the pressure from our atomic trio behind the striker to drop back, collect the ball and deliver it forward, where they are supposed to be. This will allow us to play a lot quicker and I see us being a scary counter attacking team with fast forwards and precise passers to distribute the ball to them.

Now let's move to Costa. So far I have observed a few things about him. First, he is a great finisher who isn't afraid to shoot from any point within the box. Second, from a striker with his bulky appearance you wouldn't expect that turn of pace, which has pleasantly surprised me. Third, although he might seem like a willing passer with the two assists he dished against Vitesse against a teams that are better defensively like Werder he spends a little bit too much time on the ball and tends to dribble himself into bad positions, failing to pass to open team-mates.

I understand it is only about a week he has been training after the WC break, but that is an aspect of his game I will definitely continue to observe. And one last thing about him - his cockiness has no limits, which can only be a good thing with the media hovering like vultures over any expensive striker Chelsea FC decides to buy, pressuring them to deliver goals from the very first second they spends on the pitch. I believe Costa will deliver for us although it might take some time, but knowing that the media cannot ruin his self confidence is always an encouraging sign. But we just have to supply him with good balls to allow him to thrive as he is not an Aguero or Suarez type of striker, who can create his own chance.

Which brings me to my next topic of discussion - wide play! This is an aspect of the game we were terrible at last season and was one of the reasons why we failed to unlock tight defenses. But the signing of Felipe Luis provides us with something we haven't quite had for a while - a good crosser on the left flank. Imagine Luis and Hazard playing together. Do you double team Hazard and prevent him from cutting inside or mark Luis who might supply a fine cross for Costa?

For a long time we have been crossing the ball only from the right side of the pitch which made us predictable and lead to teams clustering the right side of the pitch. Now we have another option - Hazard might go a little bit more in the center leaving Felipe Luis the whole flank and the freedom to whip the ball in. All that unpredictability will confuse defenders and we will have the tools to make teams parking the bus crack under the pressure from our multiple ways of attacking.

If anyone feels they can add something to the topic they are more than welcome to share their thoughts.


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

Date:Thursday August 7 2014
Time: 7:15AM


in 433 use shirley as a front winger he can press n shoot .. fabregas as a false nine with costa falling back when needed but with matic n ramires providing backup ....oscar n will can be rested ... n if rumours r true real madrid need a keeper we can swap cech later for a good striker if they have one that is
07/08/2014 07:46:00
as for the clustering it wont happen this time much coz fabregas can pass any was with accuracy n is not afraid with him up the feild few errors can be rectified asap with good pressing n counters c an be avoided with matic backing up
07/08/2014 07:48:00
I am interested to see how Jose lines us up next season. I think he needs a good few games to see what works best before settling into one style that will take us through the season. For me Oscar if he plays either goes wide right or into a CM 3. Last season I think we lost a lot when he played the No.10 role. Yes he tracks and fights but the no.10 really should be allowed a free licence especially if you have Matic,Ramires,Fabregas in the team around you. I would love to finally see Hazard given the no.10 play making role behind the striker to go with his shiny new no.10 shirt. Yes he is great at cutting in but he is not the best at tracking back out wide so if he is in the centre at least we can not worry to much about if play does break down with him its not when we are short of cover on a flank. Matic,ramires and Cesc can all help him out. And with schurrle,willian and Oscar who all have that tracking back and tackling part in there game they really would be better options to play in front of Luis and Azpi. I am also hoping now with Filipe Luis in the team that we now have that balance that means the fullbacks can push on and open the field and the play up so defences have to come out more. Last season was terrible to watch as the fullbacks either sat to deep or watching Azpi cutting in or not crossing well due to him being on the wrong side and Bane's crossing!! well lets leave that eh. Also now we have a real centre forward who's hold up play is fantastic I feel will help players like schurrle,willian,cesc,oscar and especially hazard all shine. He makes amazing runs his movement is awesome and he occupies a whole back 4 on his own. If he clicks with this Chelsea team then I can see Hazard having a real breakout season as a real goal scoring no.10. If Jose decides to play him there.
07/08/2014 08:50:00
4231 or 433 dont have much difference only that the No10 is little bit backwards in 433...Oscar or Fab will fit well there. Remember Oscar is a DM converted to CAM.
07/08/2014 09:04:00
very nice article. sweet and succintly put . CHEERS
07/08/2014 10:06:00
Good analysis Simeon.
07/08/2014 11:38:00
@blu_run this is the first time i'l hear that, was oscar really converted? If so, by who?
07/08/2014 11:46:00
Off topic, PSG pull out of Di maria talk. As the saying goes ''human wants are insatiable'', i wouldn't mind having him on our right wing instead of Mohamed S. He's too good for manure.
Cyprian Bassey
07/08/2014 12:10:00
So, who will get Di Maria & Reus??? I guess ManU & Arsenal respectively.
07/08/2014 13:00:00
Great Article. I think our best XI as it stands is, Courtois Azpi Cahill Terry Luis Matic Fabregas Schurrle Willian Hazard Costa
07/08/2014 14:03:00
If PSG can't get DiMaria cos of Madrid 's asking price then there is no way we will get him as I don't see us paying 50m for him. United on the other can even pay as much as 65m for him as they are desperate to succeed, lol!
07/08/2014 14:37:00
*other hand can
07/08/2014 14:39:00
Rues to replace Salah and Willian.
07/08/2014 14:46:00
The good thing about our squad is it takes care of every permutation that can be thrown at us at any given time. For instance, its a champions league match and we've got that away goal and need to shut down shop. Who do you call on with 80mins to go? That's right MIKEL. We're two goals up and the opposition players are throwing everything at us thereby leaving spaces in the middle to run in to. who would you love to come on? Yes RAMIRES, SCHURRLE, SALAH. I can go on and on and you all will probably agree that everyone has his use. That's why its a team sports. #KTBFFH
07/08/2014 16:10:00
@samex , Surely you arent implying that United would go so low as to try to buy the title are you ? lmao
07/08/2014 20:04:00
From what I've seen of van ginkel so far in pre season and the utter determination of the boy to get in the side, for me I think he deserves his place in the side. Let's revert back to 4-3-3 with fabregas-matic-van ginkel, hazard, Costa, schurrle. Let's give Burnley and Leicester a nice warm welcome to the PL by going all out for the jugular. There's no need to play Ramires or mikel in these 2 games and the midfield 3 I have chosen, has power, strength, creativity, vision, pace in abundance. However the big question we have to ask ourselves is, have we got enough quality in our strike force to win the PL this season?
07/08/2014 23:15:00
last year it was azpi.. this year i think that MVH will force his way into the team. think him and matic can form a nice partnership. would like to see another striker before we start.
07/08/2014 23:57:00
totally agree with u, i hope Schurrle & hazard will get more goals with this new system.. Like many people, i am concerned about the a strong back-up(or support) for matic, we need one more central midfielder. Five or six years ago our team was amazing in central midfield with lampard, essien and ballack. we need one more player to make it look more complete..
Sathish Lakshmanan
08/08/2014 06:35:00
@Smog, Oscar was not a defensive mid pre-Chelsea. He spent some time in the "pivot" his first season with us because we were weak there. Despite him being stronger than his frame suggests and a good tackler, that position is far from ideal for him. He is a versatile center-mid best delpoyed in a 4-3-3 (4-4-2 would work for him too if it worked for the club). Next best position is #10. Playing him at CDM/LW/RW occurred because we had holes in the squad, and he's a great and fairly versatile player. We no longer have those holes. I'm confident JM will start the MF trio of Fabregas, Matic and Oscar 80%+ of the time. It's a midfield to die for! Each player complete but each with a niche that complements the other two. Oscar and Fab will both float into the 10 role at times but it'll be rare that either is truly assigned that position. Hazard is more likely to receive that designation in the times we move to a 4-2-3-1 or diamond MF- Schurrle and Willian might even see more minutes there if Salah becomes more reliable.
09/08/2014 07:13:00
@Sathish, I would really love to swap out Mikel for a superior, experienced CM backup. But don't forget that Ramires, Ake and van Ginkel are all fairly well suited to that role. We have enough quantity as backup. We might be slightly lacking in quality.
09/08/2014 07:20:00
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