With only the arrival of two players during this summers window – could we possibly be seeing the first mistake from Manager Jose Mourinho?
The Portuguese man claims he is happy with his squad and that there will only be one more signing of a left sided defender arriving. But I can’t help thinking about various stages of the season last year when we got a lot of luck to win games as well as relying heavily on narrow wins defending for our lives. I also remember a sincere lack of creativity and a heavy reliance of Eden Hazard to make things happen.
I have some concerns – mainly over Oscar, Ramires, Falcao, Cuadrado, Ivanovic and the insistence to keep playing Azpilicueta at left back.
I keep saying this every year but I really hope Oscar proves me wrong this season, because he hasn’t yet. I’ve always found him to be a decent player and he does possess many qualities that deserves him to be playing in a top side. However, I’ve always felt that he has lacked the ability to beat a player and also has lacked range on his ‘killer’ passes. I’ve seen far too many attacks break down when Oscar’s imagination lets him down and he’ll either turn sideways or backwards to pick out a pass. I’ve always said from day one that he is naturally better in a deeper midfield role, especially now he has more strength.
I feel that Oscar in an attacking midfield role is a wasted position, where we could have someone with more direct pace as well as the creativity that Oscar does have at times, albeit without any consistency. I feel that with Willian in the number ten role, we have seriously missed out on bringing in another winger who would be similar in style to Hazard to take some of the pressure off the Belgian International. Our saving grace here could be Bertrand Traore or even Victor Moses who has arguably been our most creative and direct player during pre-season.
As for Juan Cuadrado, again he is a Chelsea player so I really hope he proves me wrong but I am failing to see any signs of anything that makes me believe he is up to the standards of the Premier League champions.
As well as that, I can see Mourinho once again sticking with the same back line as last season which let’s be honest, was far from perfect at times. Ivanovic gives it his all and is a true committed Chelsea player who will die for the cause. He will always pop up with important goals and be a real asset to the team. But once again, for me he has always be a central defender and is once again wasting another position on the pitch. Wasting an opportunity to have a high flying right back bombing up and down acting as another attacker on the counter and providing us with more creativity that Ivanovic does not give.
And to mirror that on the other side with Azpilicueta. Yes he is a full back who gets forward and offers more down the flanks, but only when he is on his natural right side. On the left, he misses out on vital crosses that Diego Costa could be eating up as he prefers to cut inside or pass back as apposed to trusting his weak left foot with it.
And finally, the ever reliable Ramires. Ok so I’m sure he won’t be starting much and is a good squad player to have but besides his energy and work rate – he is not good enough to be a regular at Chelsea, he just doesn’t offer anything extra and will only ever do the basics. But like I say, I do understand keeping him in there as he is reliable and will doe a job if needed.
And then there is Falcao, can we really rely on him when Costa is out? I’m not convinced although I do have a feeling deep down that he will step up this season and do the business. I even have a gut feeling that he will score on Saturday! But my concerns currently out weigh my confidence here.
I worry that if Fabregas, Costa or Hazard get injured – we lack others who will step up to create and score goals. I feel we are entering the season short of two or three vital players who should have been added. Yes we have a big squad size and we also have some very decent young players who I have said before deserve the chance now to step up – but then the majority of these players I mentioned have now been sent out on loan. So we should have made a couple more signings on the wing, in midfield and at the back.
We will be seeing Baba Rahman arrive, but I’m pretty sure he won’t be a starter and will suffer a similar fate to Filipe Luis last season. We must utilise our full backs and use them as extra attackers. We need to have the right balance between attack and defence, we relied heavily on lady luck last term and defending out holding on to a slim lead, which could have easily backfired. We need to look at controlling the game and producing chance after chance with direct pace and no fear. We lack these qualities right now and it does concern me.
I look at Arsenal and the pace and speed they move the ball around, they have a team who will be frightening this season and I really feel will be genuinely challenging for the title. We do have the individuals who can give us the pace and speed, but there isn’t enough of them.
Still, deadline day is not for a while yet, there could be some more arrivals, especially if we don’t play well on the opening game against Swansea!
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Simon Phillips – News Editor – CFCnet