After now falling 13 points behind United and 9 points behind United (although we have a game in hand) we as a club must think, why have United and City been far superior in the league over the past few years. Other than the fact there is no real stability at Chelsea I personally believe that Squad Depth is something that sets the Manchester clubs apart from the rest. When you compare our best starting 11 to United and City’s starting 11 they are both world class but when you look at the benches of these 3 teams United and City have far better players than us. Here is a breakdown of how the Chelsea compares to Manchester in the 3 key areas of the pitch; Defence, Midfield and Attack.
In the defence is the only place where we are on par or if not better than with United and City. Presuming that our starting centrebacks Backs are Terry and Luiz we also have Cahill who is an extremely underrated centreback back and Ivanovic who can play at either Right back or centreback back. At Left-Back we have arguably the worlds best in his position, Ashley Cole. His understudy at Left Back is Ryan Bertrand who has the ability to step in and get the job done but not on a full time basis. At Right back we have arguably the bargain of the season. Cesar Azpilicueta has been a revelation at Right Back, managing to make the position his own. As mentioned before Ivanovic can also step into this position as a back up.
In the Central Midfield position is where we have lacked quality depth badly. Our usual pairing in the double Pivot has been Ramires and Mikel. On the Bench we have Lampard who is the only real world class replacement for these two. Oriol Romeu still needs time to mature top reach his potential but this may take a lot longer than most expected after his long injury lay off. Oscar and David Luiz have also been Used as alternatives in this position. Personally I believe David Luiz far better when he is playing as a centreback back. When he plays CM his positioning is awful which leaves our vulnerable to fast paced attacks. Oscar has shown great potential at CM and I believe that he should be trained as a CM because he has unlimited potential in this position. But until we start doing this he will not be a decent alternative in this position. Michael Essien’s career performing at the top level seems to be coming to and end. Josh McEachran who is currently on loan at Middlesborough is being trained to be a defensive minded player, but it will still be a few more years before Josh breaks into the First Team. United and City has astounding depth in this position. United have Fletcher, Cleverley, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs and Anderson while City have Barry, Milner, Toure, Rodwell and Garcia. While come of those players may not be considered as world class they all have the ability and knowledge to get the job done in the CM position.
In The Attacking Midfield/Winger positions is where I believe we lack Quality Depth the most. While many will say we have way too many attacking players but how many of then can we count as world class. In the 3 attacking players behind the main striker our best options are Hazard, Mata and Oscar. Then on the bench we have Moses who has been a grea contributor to the team this year but other than him who else can we rely on. MArko MArin ahs been a big disappointment and Lucas Pizon is not yet ready for the Premier League on a regular Basis. Our other loanee Kevin De Bruyne is our only other top class option in the s behind the main striker. The Manchester clubs have a wide range of top class options in these positions. At United they have Valencia, Nani, Young, Kagawa and if needed they have Rooney and Welbeck to fill the void. At Man City they Have Silva, Nasri, Sinclair and also have Toure, Tevez and Aguero as other options if needed.
WE all know about our lack of Depth up front. We currently have 2 strikers, Torres and Ba. These two alone can not be expected to carry the team all season. WE have nobody else currently at the club who can support them. We have Romelu Lukaku who has been in great form but is on Loan currently and I expect him to go out on loan once again next season, The two Manchester clubs have 4 World Class strikers to chose from each week, A very nice selection headache for Sir Alex and Mancini to have. United have Rooney, Welbeck Hernandez and Robin Van Persie. At City they have Tevez, Aguero, Dzeko and Balotelli.
How to fix the Situation
It’s simple, after getting a manger that WON’T be sacked half way through the season we need to buy a Central Midfielder, a Central Attacking Midfielder and at least 1 striker, preferably two. These players would all have to be world class as well . If we do this then I would give us a chance at beating the Manchester clubs and winning the Premier League but at the moment our squad just isn’t up to par and over the long and tough EPL season the benefits of having a team with quality are shown.