Strikers and wingers is all fans seem to talk about these days, without realizing the importance of some positions. The pivot role in the 4-2-3-1 (the 2 midfielders behind the 4 attackers) is one of the most important roles in that particular formation. It allows play to be switched from defence to attack, counterattacks to be created and importantly allows an extra body or two in defence when being attacked by the opposition. There are 4 players in mind who could fit this role from a Chelsea perspective at the moment. David Luiz, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel. Here is my analysis of the players:
Known as the joker at Chelsea, David Luiz is one of the most loved players at the club by the players and the fans. He’s not only loved for his crazy antics but also the exciting football he plays. David Luiz possesses many attributes which allow him to be a solid player in Chelsea’s midfield.
Pace: Probably the quickest centre back Chelsea has, Luiz is blessed with a substantial amount of pace for his size. While playing in defence, Luiz has always been a nightmare to play against for strikers, either for his knack to get in front of them and pinch the ball or ability to catch up to strikers once beaten. In Midfield this is seen as an extremely important feature, for either working on the defense, or on the offense. He has the ability to drive through players similar to that of Yaya Toure, and with his strength manage to complete annihilate other midfielders.
Passing: As well as being an incredible quick player, he is also one who owns a fantastic range a passing, whether it be long or short. Many times while playing in defense or in midfield, we have seen him spray passes across the field, or pick out wonderful passes to gift our attackers an opportunity to score. He is also very composed on the ball, sometimes too composed and may give away the ball in key areas, which we experienced a lot of in the 2011-2012 season.
Goal Threat: Although Luiz has never been a massive goal threat like Lampard, he has the ability to score amazing goals. In recent weeks, he scored two outrageous goals, a 30 yard screamer against Fulham and a 25 yard left-footed curler against Basel, both being my goals of the season. Luiz has also been our most consistent free-kick taker this season, scoring 3, and to top it off he is also a consistent penalty taker as well as an aerial ability.
Defensively: Probably our best defender this season, Luiz has been consistent in defense and in midfield. He stands at 6ft2, while maintaining a lot of upper body strength. Being a defender, he will always hold that instinct to track back and help out the team while being attacked on, which is one of the most important traits necessary to be a holding midfielder.
Known as the work horse as Chelsea. We all know that every game Ramires plays, we are gauranteed a superb work ethic from him. He never seems to run out of energy, and he has established himself as a very important player in this Chelsea team.
Pace: One of the quickest players at Chelsea, Ramires' pace makes him stand out more than any other players in the midfield. Ramires has the ability to pick up the ball from midfield and drive into the oppositions half, or defensively can catch up with any player.
Goal Threat: Ramires has scored 8 goals this season, and score 12 goals last season, which is a great output for a holding midfielder. His shooting from range needs to be worked on, but his finishing in the box is normally very good, as we saw against Barcelona in the Champions league Semi - Final last year.
Defensive work: Ramires' defensive work is stellar. He is great and breaking up play and starting a move. An example of his fantastic work ethic and ability to defend was against Man United at Old Trafford, where he cleanly tackled Rooney and started a counter attack which led to a goal.
Passing: I have never been a fan of Ramires' passing. His short passing is normally composed, but when he gets up the pitch he hasn't got the best vision and often doesn't make the right choice. If he managed to improve his decision making and long passing, he has the potential to be one of the best.
Lampard is a Chelsea legend. There's not too much to say about him as we all already know his qualities. He is arguable one of the best midfielders in the world on his day.
Pace: One of the few things that Lampard has lost through his age. Lampard used to be famous for his surging runs forward, showing immense strength and pace, but now he's lost that he's had to adapt to a different role in the pivot role. The problem with his lack of pace is that, Lampard being Lampard, you expect him to go forward from time to time, but his pace lets him down when tracking back.
Goal Threat: Still Chelsea's biggest goal threat at the moment. At the age of 34 and being Chelsea's current top scorer shows that the goal scoring instinct is still there. He can score any type of goals; with his right foot, left foot, head, penalties and in the past has scored some free kicks (although I'm not a massive fan).
Passing: Still a fantastic passer. Lampard manages to switch play better than any of our players on our team and has the ability to pick out a pass that no one else would be able to. He is very composed on the ball when playing in his pivot role and rarely gives away the ball.
Defensively: His weakest attribute. As i stated above, he seems to get forward a lot and struggles to track back. When he is in his defensive midfield position, he has often been criticized for not being able to close players down enough, although we can't really put too much blame on him seeing as he is a converted attacking midfielder.
A player who has really picked up his game ever since the appointment of Roberto Di Matteo, Mikel is probably Chelsea's only real defensive midfielder (excluding Romeu who has an injury till the end of the season).
Pace: Lacks pace, but it isn't really necessary for his role as he is not one to bomb forward.
Goal threat: Not a goal threat at all. 2 goals in 250+ games emphasizes how poor he is on the offense. Maybe if he was given a more attacking role his tally would be higher.
Passing: His passing is good in terms of being composed on the ball. His accuracy is usually high and Mikel has erased the mistakes he always had in him. Like Ramires, Mikel could improve his long passing and short passing in terms of creating chances for the team.
Defensively: Mikel will always offer you that safety in Midfield. He is always present there as he never gets forward, which is key to a succesful midfielder. Defensively though he is prone to mistakes, sometimes you see him giving away free kicks in dangerous areas, or he wouldn't track his runner. He is still probably Chelsea's second best defensive midfielder in terms of defending, as his tackling and intercepting is fantastic.
In my opinion, the partnership should always have Luiz unless he needs resting. He holds all the attributes that is necessary for a holding midfielder and is Chelsea's most complete player.
Home: Luiz - Lampard. At home you are always expected to have possession more than the opponent, so i reckon its important that Lampard plays at home rather than Ramires, for that extra goal threat and brilliant passing that the latter lacks.
Away: Luiz - Ramires. When playing away, its important to have a player who is ready to work his socks off, and with Ramires you are guaranteed that, which is why he is better suited to playing away from home.
Follow me on twitter: @AriaMirafzal96
Comments would be great, this is my first article, cheers!