Chelsea, the European Champions, are on top of the Premier League table for the 2012-2013 season. Great news for the Blues’ fans, players, and management, and such news is surely a big morale boost, no matter how temporarily it will last. With three wins, eight goals, and nine points after three games, it seems that Chelsea are on the right track to fight for the title.
Meanwhile, the transfer market saw Chelsea and Roman Abramovich spending big luring in some exciting names into the Bridge. Marko Marin, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Oscar, and Victor Moses, signed for the club. On the other hand, big man, and club’s legend, Didier Drogba joined his ex-teammate Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua in China, Kalou and Bosingwa left, and Meireles and Essien made a transfer day deadline moves away.
All looking good? Check again. This Chelsea squad might fail to grab any silverware this season if reinforcements are not made soon; from within or using Abramovich’s money.
It is just fair to label my statement above as “ignorant” or “awkward” especially that reinforcements have already been made. Bear with me while I try to explain:
- There were times when the “Makelele Role” was essential at Chelsea. Nowadays, there are no holding/defensive midfielders in the club assuming this role. Mikel is fragile and Oriol Romeu is not given the chance or trust by Di Matteo, yet. On top of that, John Terry is past his good and David Luiz is undecided whether he wants to attack or defend. In summary, Di Matteo has no one to cover his back-line or support the troops upfront the way he would want to. He needs to promote the role again or sign someone, maybe by the next transfer window, who can perform better than his current players.
- Chelsea were labeled last year as a “negative” team, playing defensive ball, and extremists went into describing their style as a “park the bus” one. This year, with the quality of their signings, indications say that Chelsea are going forward and will play attractive ball. But wouldn’t it be difficult to make such a transition in four months and under the supervision of the same coach? Wouldn’t going forward to prove the critics wrong, cost Chelsea on the long run? Didn’t Reading, and earlier Manchester City, score five goals in two games against Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid, more specifically Falcao, cause enough damage?
The key for Chelsea to win the league, and perhaps retain the Champions League title, is balance. The gap between the attacking players and the defence line is opening wide and no one seems to care, as long as the team is scoring and winning.
I was calling for the appointment of Roberto Di Matteo before hiring Andre Villas-Boas, because I believed that he was the right man to build a strong and a balanced team on the long run. Yet, the success Di Matteo brought in a short period of time and the quality of the new signings might be bigger than Di Matteo himself and lead to failure.
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