Jose and 4-3-3 To Make a Return?


All but confirmed is Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea. It will be an extremely significant moment when it is official, simply because of our history. He was and still is loved by every Chelsea fan, simply because he gave us our untouchable image. It was evident that this image ceased to exist after his departure. Carlo Ancelotti brought back what was a considerable amount of self-respect and power to the Chelsea name, but after his exit, we were back to square one. Therefore I couldn’t be more thrilled that Jose will make his return, even though I do fear for the long-term, if he does leave us for a 2nd time.

Mourinho is and was known for his tactical mind games – Something that Alex Ferguson hated, to a point where he knew what was coming when we played against his lesser Manchester United team. In the year that United won the title off Mourinho’s Chelsea, Jose still managed to bag two trophies. Such was the power of a man we knew as a football wizard.

However, it was not just the mind games that made Mourinho unique. Mourinho was very versatile and open when it came to being able to change a formation, before and during a game. He would read a report his scout would provide (This fella’ named Andre Villas-Boas?), and create a team and formation for every individual opponent. This is something we haven’t been able to do since Ancelotti changed our 4-4-2 diamond to 4-3-3, our most comfortable formation.

Should Jose make his return, one can be sure that we will no longer have to remain a 4-2-3-1 team, but will be capable of changing our shape without leaving dangerous spaces. This is one of Jose’s expertise. He knows that a 4-3-3 enables our defensive midfielder to drop back, covering our back four, which allows two midfielders to join in a 5 man attack. This also allows the two wider midfielders to cover the left and right wings, which also means that our wingers won’t have to do as much defensive work. This is where midfielders like Lampard and Ballack were useful. They would enable us to stretch play, while reading a game quick enough to perform their defensive duties. This is why we were lethal when it came to counter attacks and getting out of the blocks at pace, under Ancelotti. In contrast, a 4-2-3-1 with one faster midfielder and one slower, but equally fast at intercepting, midfielder leaves us cover for the back 4, but the 2nd faster midfielder joins a congested attack, which restricts us from playing it wide and switching the play. Therefore, if not executed properly, we are prone to leaving massive spaces when teams counter attack, as we’ve seen against teams like Manchester City. 4-2-3-1 is most useful when the defensive midfielder is a player that can cover a lot of ground in very little time, and make tackles that will not see them carded.

Jose is even comfortable playing a 4-4-2 against the appropriate opponents, which only strengthens the argument that more than having an identity, we need to be great on the field.

In midfield, for a 4-3-3, I definitely see David Luiz anchoring, and would like to see Oscar pushed out to that wide right, which does give him the licence to move forward and overlap our right-winger. I believe Mata should be played on the right-wing, so he is able to cut inside and play between the lines. I do tend to prefer Hazard in the middle, and we will need a suitable cover on the left-midfield, which allows Hazard to replicate Mata’s movement on the wing. Lampard also loved playing in a 4-3-3, it allowed him to get into the box and score those crucial goals. Ideally, for a left sided midfielder in a 4-3-3, someone like Ramires does the job well.

For me, our 4-3-3 should look like this:


Gary Cahill                  John Terry

  Azpilicueta                                                           Ashley Cole

David Luiz

   Oscar                                        Ramires

     Juan Mata                                                                Eden Hazard


Our 4-2-3-1 should look like this:


Gary Cahill                   John Terry

Branislav Ivanovic                                                        Ashley Cole

  David Luiz            Gundogan

  Mata                                  Hazard                             Di Maria


A rare 4-4-2 should look like this:


Gary Cahill         John Terry

Ivanovic/Azpilicueta                                   Ashley Cole

        David Luiz          Oscar/Ramires

  Moses                                                              Di Maria



A lot of editing has been done, and a summary of what I expect to see if the ‘Special One’ does make his return “to somewhere where people love me to be”.

Leave me your thoughts below!


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