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Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Marin… Who Should Play On The Wings Or The Free-Role?

Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Marin… Who Should Play On The Wings Or The Free-Role?

This season unlike the previous ones, Chelsea have been blessed with three top talented creative midfielders in the shape of Mata, Hazard and Oscar. Although the latter (Oscar) has the ability to play on the wings and can even manage to play further deep as a deep-lying playmaker, both Hazard and Mata have shown on the field of play and even in the case of Hazard, has openly shown his preference for the nummber 10 role which was seen as a precondititon for choosing Chelsea instead of United or City. With the preferred 4-2-3-1 formation of Di Mattteo, who will you prefer to play in the middle of the 3 attacking midfielders or behind the striker in a free role and who should stay on the wings. I believe this would be some kind of headache for RDM but a positive headache for every manager to have.

 One major problem for Chelsea in the past few years has been the lack of dynamism, flare and creativity in the team. This was part of the reason why when AVB took over the club made the acquistion of a creative player a priority. We all saw how well the club pursued Luka Modric till the last minutes of the transfer deadline only to be turned down by Daniel Levy. However, the capture of Juan Mata eased this problem a partially who contributed immensely to our last season campaign creating 22 assists. Although he was initially used by AVB on the wings due to his preferred 4-3-3 formation, he was sometimes used as number 10 and later when RDM took over Mata was mostly played right behind the striker as number 10, a position in which he has excelled so far. Many believe that Mata’s natural position should be the number 10 role where he is given the free role to operate and offer dynamism in our team with his good eye for passes and his great understanding with Fernando Torres who will lead our attacking line this season (barring no dramatic turn of events).

Hazard on the other hand is seen as a “Messi” according to many including Thomas Vermalen of Arsenal, (his national team mate) and in the last half of the season at Lille he played behind the striker in a free role where he also excelled by assisting and scoring many for his club to qualify for the Champions League. He added to this by emerging as the best player in France. Hazard’s preference for the number 10 role has not been made secret; when he was leaving Lille, he made several interviews where he made it abundantly clear of his desire to play as a number 10 where some journalists even misconstrued it to mean he wanted the number 10 jersey.

During the preseason Hazard was usually played at his preferred number 10 role but maybe it might be because of the absence of Mata. So if you happened to be in the hot shoes of Di Matteo, Hazard or Mata who will you play on the wings or the number 10 role? Do let us know. KTBFFH!

#Seth Adusei (twitter @sethaadusei)

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