|How to start : 2012/2013
Chelsea’s season is almost underway, & a somewhat disappointing pre-season came to an end vs Manchester City in the Community Shield. That being said, let’s get the Starting XI and formation for the season covered, as that has been a subject of debate for a while now.
Di Matteo is no stranger to the 4-2-3-1 formation and he certainly uses it more often than not. That’s the formation I expect him to use, since he used it as our caretaker manager last season and during our tour of the US. He did use the 4-3-3 formation against Brighton, but the result of using that formation was disastrous. Not only did we lose 3-1, our game lacked creativity, our midfield lacked penetration & Torres found himself stranded up front with no one able to find him with any sort of pass. The 4-2-3-1 is most likely offensive, but as seen before under Di Matteo, it can also be very defensive. Now, let’s get to the fun part and actually picking the squad and bench.
RB : Ivanovic CB : Terry, Cahill LB : A.Cole
DM/HM : Essien DM/HM : Lampard
LAM : Hazard CAM : Mata RAM : Ramires
FW : Torres
Bench : Turnbull, Hutchinson, Luiz, Oscar, Marin, Sturridge, Bertrand, Mikel.
Before everyone goes ballistic & questions my sanity for not starting Oscar or Marin or Luiz or Mikel, let me explain. I would start Cahill next to Terry because of ease of communication between the two, Cahill is less risky and because of Terry/Cahill relationship. I didn’t start Oscar or Marin instead of Ramires because Ramires has proven himself there and was very important in triumph of FA Cup and CL. Essien should start instead of Mikel because Mikel has a tendency to not track back and lose the ball in key areas. Yes, he was fantastic the last 2 months of last season, but those tendencies can be very crucial to teams success. Also, Essien can return and emulate his prime if given the minutes to do so.
This is how I would start 2012/2013, because it was vital for us in our 2011/2012 Double. It was vital due to the tactical aspect of it, it can be defensive, offensive or balanced due to the way it’s setup. Each part of the formation affects and supports another part of the formation. The 4 in the back is the back bone and has an affect on the double pivot, the 3 in the forward line and the 1 striker because “defense is the best form of offense”. Finally, the striker affects the whole team while having the support of the whole midfield and the defence. I would be more defensive than offensive, because it’s what brought us to glory. I wouldn’t go full out like vs Barcelona (both legs), but I’d be defensive-minded for sure. As seen in pre-season, we can be caught out and beaten on the counterattack. If we play defensively, counterattacks are very tough to even occur, but will rarely be successful. We must in turn go on the counterattack which can be very vital (Ramires vs Liverpool in FA Cup final, Drogba vs Barcelona and Torres vs Barcelona). Counter-attacks and defensive minded tactics were the root of our success last season. We must continue to play this style and formation to emulate last seasons success.