You coulda been a contender. You were just one corrupted FM/FIFA save away from true greatness, but you tragically lost your opportunity. Redeem yourself.
So, it's the international break; to my horror, there are still multiple contiguous 24-hour blocks standing between me and the Blues; this, somewhat unfortunately, actually coincides with a relative lull in my workload, meaning I am now somewhat bored. Let's remedy the situation.
As you might have gathered from the title above, I want to hear your ideas for what we could do to turn our results around and improve Chelsea's results. To illustrate what discussion I want to have, let me start with what this thread is not.
1. This thread is not a bash-Mourinho thread.
I cannot stress this enough. Opinions on Mourinho range from the best to severely flawed, the truth is in the middle, yadda yadda. I've seen comments asserting that Mourinho is an absolutely idiot for playing this player or that player, but he has his reasons for doing so and those reasons are often tactical and have some basis (whether or not you agree with them). He's a better coach than anyone on the board and potentially anyone in the world. This is his record.
Please complain about that somewhere else.
2. This thread is not a transfer thread.
I understand that Falcao would solve a lot of problems, or that Lahm would fix our issues attacking from deep... I also don't care. That's a trivial answer and it's not very interesting.
3. This thread is not a complain-about-playing-time thread.
We get it. KDB should play, Mata should play. We've all heard the arguments ad nauseam. Don't use this thread to complain about it. If players that are currently sitting on the bench add to your tactical plan, include them. For the most part, though, this is about the Xs and Os. For instance, I don't actually care who my front four are going to be when I do mine (below); the interesting part to me is the defending line.
So, what discussions should be had below?
1. New wrinkles we could/should employ.
Think we should run the 3-5-2 full time? Are you a fan of Marcelo Bielsa? Is 4-3-3 the greatest formation to ever exist (Peezy...) Tell me why that option is better than what we're doing now.
2. New roles for current personnel.
Should Mikel really be our no. 10? Should Luiz be our striker? Willian for right back? Sounds interesting.
3. Ideal setups for opposing teams.
Should we run the blitzkrieg attack we used to open against Hull? Counter away to big teams (like the United game, but better)? What went wrong against Newcaste/West Brom, tactically?
To kick off, I'll give you a tactical idea I was thinking of.
I want to run a hybrid 4-2-3-1/3-2-2-3. These systems don't normally go together, but I wanted to use a formation that would minimize the weaknesses I've listed below and highlight unique player strengths.
Weakness 1: fullbacks are not adding quite enough in attack. Cole and Ivanovic are both guilty of this.
Weakness 2: Lampard is not capable of both attacking and defending. He can do either capably, but he struggles doing both.
Weakness 3: passing from deep in midfield. We get a lot of passing between centerbacks and such.
The immediate solutions to these problems (replace those players) lead to new problems; if we swap Ivanovic for Azpilicueta, we become a weak aerial team. If we swap Cole for Azpilicueta, we become narrow (not a new problem). If we swap Cole for Bertrand... Nothing really changes. Mikel for Lampard still gives us passing problems. Luiz in midfield has his own problems. So, what can be done?
I propose a system that intends to hold a few major strengths in tact. I want to:
1. Keep Ivanovic as an aerial threat.
2. Utilize Luiz's creativity.
3. Maximize amount of AMs on the field (no two striker systems for me).
So, when we're facing heavy pressure (or trying to counter), I'd run a fairly standard 4-2-3-1. I'm looking at...
Obviously, this requires that Schürrle (or Willian) could slot in at left back. I would also be comfortable having Azpilicueta in this position. If we get a lot of the ball, however, and are playing a weaker team, then I want to attack more. Thus, I would have the fellas switch into this one:
This allows me to keep Ivanovic's aerial threat, gives Luiz the ability to pass in midfield, and allows us to field 4 AMs at one time (as opposed to 3). Obviously, this formation would be susceptible down the wings, but I think that could be adequately covered by Ivanovic and Schürrle/Willian/Azpilicueta. It was Graham (I believe) who referred to Ivanovic's best position as potentially being somewhere between right back and center back; I agree, and this is my attempt to reconcile that. Ramires can drive through midfield in a typical B2B position and Luiz can act as a DLP. We're weak to crossing on the right? Luiz.
So, I thought this one was fun. Switching between the two formations shouldn't be too difficult, since Luiz and Mikel naturally have some positional overlap anyways.
What are your ideas?