FORMIDABLE FORMATION: CHELSEA'S NEW TACTICS ARE SOLVING THEIR DEFENSIVE WOES
Ridiculed because of sloppy defense recently, Chelsea are looking to get serious this time around. Maintaining three clean sheets in their last four games, it seems fortune has turned on the side of the Blues, with the most recent one against Manchester United.
With Frank Lampard focusing on tightening the back lately, many are hopeful that this will be the beginning of a new system in the club. His resort to such tactics has brought about good results for them so far, but the club will want more than just a draw.
Employing 3-4-2-1 in their latest meeting against United had good and bad effects to the team. Putting Reece James and Ben Chilwell in the right and left flank of midfield proved to be effective in helping the Blues maintain possession in the middle. Not being limited to such roles, also means they have opportunities to help defend on the wings.
Thiago Silva is gradually beginning to show his bargain worth with his veteran skills as a centre-back, a position of big issue for the Blues. His blocking and aerial skills say a lot on his game. Silva’s passing is also accurate, enabling him to have a positive impact both defensively and offensively. His precise passing has meant Chelsea have been able to turn defence into attack effortlessly at times this season.
Surely, Edouard Mendy’s classy performance will not be counted out as a factor of their clean sheets. Being a reactive and physical stopper, the Senegalese is beginning to take a firm position between the posts. His performance exhibits confidence not only for himself, but for the players around him as well.
But looking on the downside of things, the back three also has its negative effects on Chelsea. Marcus Rashford’s run towards goal following a Jorginho error exposed their weakness in defending breakaway plays, with the United forward having an option to pass to another teammate. This will be an avenue to look at for the coaching staff in improving their defence.
N’Golo Kante’s recent form has been dreadful to say the least. Being a defensive midfielder, the Frenchman will really have a lot to look at if he wants to strengthen his place in the starting squad.
Their performance surely was a response to what many are longing for. This longing was not only present outside the squad, but also within them. It was Timo Werner who issued some wake-up calls to the defense according to the Metro.
“In the end think it’s not the offence that wins titles. In Germany we always say defence wins titles. I think that’s true.
“When we concede so many goals in every game then it’s hard to win games but in the end also to win titles. I think we have to work in it because six goals in three games is too much. I think we have to be better in this,” Werner said.
So, will the back-three totally solve Chelsea’s defensive problems? This may not be the perfect position for a defensive team, but with the right blend of players, it may show some better results than many will expect.