When Victor Moses was introduced for Ryan Bertrand in the second half of Chelsea's 0-0 draw against Queens Park Rangers, all was fairly normal. Moses slotted into the left side of the third band in Roberto di Matteo's 4-2-3-1; a like-for-like substitution. And then... well, then strangeness happened.
Eden Hazard ended up on the left wing. Moses on the right. Ramires was clearly somewhere in the centre of midfield, but he abandoned John Obi Mikel too often to really call him a pivot player. Frank Lampard was standing around in the hole looking a wee bit lost. It's difficult to read formations over short periods of time, but it looked like Chelsea were playing either a very poorly-executed 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 with a midfield trio of Mikel, Lampard and Ramires.
Thankfully, Moses and Chelsea TV have cleared up a little bit of the confusion:
When I came on we were playing 4-2-3-1, but the manager pulled me back and said we were switching to 4-3-3. I moved out to the right and Ramires went back into the middle with Hazard on the left.
I've been pretty outspoken in my belief that a midfield trio fits our existing personnel far better than the double pivot at the moment. Oscar, Ramires and Lampard are all better off in a three, and it's not as though Mikel's completely incapable of playing as a lone holder. I'm glad that di Matteo's experimenting with different shapes rather than staying wedded to his favourite -- we might not have gotten the result on Saturday but it does bode well for the future.