A lack of tempo in Chelsea's midfield has been noted for some time, as has its primary repercussion - a lack of service to a certain £50M striker. There's been some question over whether or not this is a weakness given the potential creativity and pace down the wing with Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge and the potential change of pace with slow buildup in the centre, but as far as I'm concerned I'd rather have the midfield able to play with something approaching speed, and right now they can't. And Fernando Torres agrees...
It's normal that it takes some time; it's not easy to find midfielders because the best are already in the best teams and that's why I said that the arrival of [Juan] Mata is going to give another pace to the team. Daniel Sturridge, who has been ruled out for some matches, is also an incredible player, maybe the one that surprised me the most since I came here.
In the next matches, you will see another pace, and I hope the midfield will adapt to that pace. That is what you need in the Premier League. If not, then the teams don't work. When the team will start to get the ideas of the new coach, about paced and vertical football, it's going to be very good.
-Fernando Torres. Source: Guardian.
The fact that Torres has consistently been chosen to lead the line even with Didier Drogba healthy strongly indicates that Andre Villas-Boas really does want a much faster-moving team than Chelsea have previously deployed, so it really does sound like the team is making a transition to a side able to move the ball around far quicker. If the current side can start upping their tempo (Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel in particular), the Blues will be far more successful. We've already seen signs of Lampard making some adjustments in the match against Norwich City - now it's time to turn that into a steady supply for the big man up front.
And yeah, I'm really looking forward to a winger partnership of Mata and Sturridge. It's amazing how fond pretty much everyone at the club is of the latter, as well - both Torres and John Terry are singing his praises - and if he plays half as well as his teammates say he can he'll be a star for the club.