The Chelsea team spirit is something that never seizes to amaze me, no need to talk about comeback wins, most notably the night in Munch. Today was no different as the team battled to comeback from 2-1 down against newly promoted Reading.
There were many positives to take away from the Chelsea performance today, particularly Hazard, his interplay with Mata which will surely only improve as the season progresses, his great change of pace and his ability to draw penalties.
However, the point of this article/thread is not to point to our strengths but our weaknesses, which have been clouded following six points out of six and nicely sitting a top of the premier league table for the first time since King Carlo.
My main concern following Chelsea’s first two league games is our lack of depth when we attack which has tended to be a one-dimensional attack down the middle. Our main summer signings shine when they have space and are in the middle of the pitch, which is also their preferred position. Most of our attacking plays were focused down the middle, which was great when we were on the counter or caught an opposition player out of position. Nevertheless, when we faced a compact and organized defense, which was the case against Reading when they were leading, our attack struggled being incisive and penetrating through. The breakthrough came via a Cahill shot outside of the box and was not a particularly great shot. The team greatly improved once Sturridge was brought on as he added width on the flanks and was not afraid to challenge on the wing and attempt something different.
One of the main problems Barcelona has faced throughout the recent years is when a team ‘parks the bus’ and they are unable to break through with their usual attacks down the middle, which almost regularly tear apart defenses. Barcelona is definitely aware of this, as they have brought on players who can add more physical presence or directness when they signed players such as Ibrahimovich, Villa and Sanchez.
With the recent Chelsea purchases we are definitely heading toward a new fluid attacking system that flourishes on the counter and in an open game. However, if a team takes an early lead and resorts to parking the bus I am particularly worried about our ability to break through. We currently have 3 maybe 4 players who can add width to our attack and of those, one is naturally a LB (Bertrand), one is clearly past his best (Malouda), the other desires to play down the middle (Sturridge) and finally Marin who is young new dynamic signing who will definitely add width to out attack.
Therefore, our main priority for the remainder of the transfer session should definitely be either a striker who can add more direct penetration and another dimension down the middle i.e. a player who can take shots outside the box, score headers and be more physical or a player who thrives on the wings and is great stretching the oppositions defense or naturally a player who can do both. My particular favorite player for the role is Schurle taking into consideration age, price and ability. However there are plenty others who fit the mould, players such as Moses, Hulk, Cavani and Llorente come to mind. I have no doubt the manager and directors at Chelsea have identified the problem and hopefully will not relent until the problem is adequately addressed.
*The article is not to push forward signing of a particular player but to identify a problem/issue.