When you talk about Chelsea’s incredible unbeaten start to the season, many of you will speak about Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar, rightly so. These three have been the absolute pinnacle of all things quality in an attacking sense and a real breath of fresh air to watch.

They have transformed our unimaginative dead wood midfield into an exciting, creative and highly dangerous tippy tappy outfit. The Blues are once again playing attractive football. They spark fear into any opposing defence and it really is a joy to watch.

As much as I feel these players are the fore front of our recent fortunes, I strongly believe that we would not have had this start if it was not for the unsung hero’s, the core of our team, the deeper lying central midfield players.

Admittedly, like many of us supporters, I haven’t always been a fan of Obi Mikel, he has often been very clumsy in tackles, too casual on the ball, passing to the opposition and an all round liability. But this season, particularly in the last 3 or 4 matches, we have seen a different player, he has really come on and proven his worth, becoming one of our key players and a true unsung hero.

This season we have seen Mikel grow in stature and in maturity, he has become disciplined and really understands his role. Add to that, the lightening quick rugged Ramires, and here we have the perfect ‘central core’ to our team, and the real key to our current success.

Don’t get me wrong, without Oscar, Mata and Hazard, we wouldn’t be scoring the goals and creating the chances that we have been, but for me, these guys wouldn’t be able to do the attacking creative work, if they didn’t have Mikel and Ramires behind them.

Ramires has the energy and pace to be Mikel’s runner, it works a dream. They defend as a unit of two, Mikel holds, while Ramires breaks the play up and turns it into a counter attack, at devastating pace. Unfortunately with Frank Lampard playing in that role, it simply doesn’t happen, he does not have the turn of pace or the match engine to get back and defend.

Ramires probably has the most stamina and energy I’ve ever witnessed from a football player, and alongside Obi Mikel, this is a dream partnership that is really proving it’s importance to the team this season. This partnership allows freedom for Mata, Oscar and Hazard to attack. If the two in midfield didn’t do their jobs properly, it would force our attacking players to do more defending and restrict us from making fast counter attacks.

We should not over look the fact that the players are playing as a team this season, they defend together, attack together, celebrate together, all for the team, the fans and Di Matteo. In the Tottenham game, it was a joy to watch Juan Mata getting back and doing his bit to help defend an attack. Something we did not witness as much last season.

I believe we have found our perfect core here, it’s a winning formula allowing the team to play, all we need now is some finesse from a centre forward, whether it’s Sturridge who gets a chance, or whether Torres re-invents himself as an out an out striker and stops drifting wide all the time, or whether we bring in Falcao in January, we need somebody up there now to finish off all these impressive creative moves, someone to provide the BANG to the TIPPY TAPPING!

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Simon Phillips – News Editor


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