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Restructuring Chelsea

chelsk1 Restructuring Chelsea

This summer should be a restructuring time for Chelsea, when new faces are brought in everywhere.

Manager:  If Guus Hiddink stays, this would be a great boon for Chelsea as so far, he seems to have instilled belief, or at least provided results, Tottenham game aside.  If he does leave, and the wily Dutchman has stated repeatedly that he will, Chelsea should look for a coach with a proven winning mentality and success in Europe – Frank Rijkaard or Carlo Ancelotti, or possibly Dick Advocaat or Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Defense:  This area really is not Chelsea’s problem, despite the disaster it was under Scolari.  Losses like 3-0 against Manchester United, 3-1 against Roma, and poor home form in general never happened under Mourinho, and coached correctly, shouldn’t under a world-class manager, given the talent on hand.  Cole and Bosingwa are excellent attacking backs, and Alex has started to partner well with Terry.  The only question is whether to keep the injury-prone Carvalho around, or to sell him (probably to Inter) and let Ivanovic be the first-choice substitute.

Midfield:  The center is the strength and the problem, and how this problem is resolved will dictate the sort of game Chelsea will play.
•    Essien must stay, and must play in every game in the center of the pitch, not being used merely as a Makelele-style holding midfielder, but by pushing Chelsea forward and scoring goals.

The rest of the midfield – Ballack, Deco, Lampard, Mikel, Malouda, Quaresma – must be examined closely.
•    Mikel needs time to develop, and if the coach decides to abandon the Makelele position as staple of Chelsea’s midfield, a loan to another EPL side might be the best choice next year.
•    Malouda should be sold, as should Deco.  The Frenchman has been poor for two seasons, the Portuguese for a little more than a half.  If Deco were in his early 20s I would say keep him, but by the start of next season he’ll be 32 and will only play a more and more withdrawn game.
•    Quaresma hasn’t been awe-inspiring but I would like to see him play a little more, particularly with a healthy Joe Cole to see if they can be a Premiership-winning wing duo.
•    Ballack and Lampard have the quality to start in every game, and as much as I’d like to say they are growing old, I’m not convinced there are readily available replacements.  This is where Chelsea should try to bring in a youth player and set him up in the mold of these two greats, ultimately phasing them out over the next few years.

Chelsea need width.  Once EPL teams figured out that locking down Cole and Bosingwa did wonders to stop Chelsea, the 4-3-3 has looked very narrow.  Signing a true winger, especially if Quaresma does not prove his worth, should be a priority for the Blues.

Forwards:  Here is the big problem area for Chelsea.  Anelka scored 14 goals by the end of November; it is now the end of August and, admittedly played out of position, has scored a total of 15.  Drogba has started to look deadly again, but the lack of goals from what should be a scary partnership is scarily frustrating.  Franco di Santo and Miroslav Stoch don’t look like finishers, but the truth is they need to develop quite a bit before anything else is said.

Chelsea need to sign a true number 10 – a forward who can create for the greedy finisher up top and bag a few himself.  Kalou impresses in flashes and then looks like a youth player making his debut.  Tevez might be up for sale in June, and has proven he can play this role at the highest level in the Premiership, so why not snap him up?  If the 32 million pounds requested seems a high price, offload Malouda, Deco, and one of the strikers – Drogba or Anelka – to cushion transfer fee.

Finally, a long-term 20 goal a season striker must be found, especially as the prolific goal scoring midfielders age.  Huntelaar was my favorite before Real Madrid snapped him up, and so now I would opt for Karim Benzema of Lyon or Mario Gomez of Stuttgart.

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10 Responses to Restructuring Chelsea

  1. Andy B says:

    I think we have to ask questions over Ballack – he looks increasingly one-paced this season, without the ability to increase tempo and exert the extra pressure needed to get that important goal. Chelsea had this under Mourinho, showed it less and less under Grant, and havn’t shown it at all this season. Essien is part of the answer, but we need another pair of younger legs in midfield too.

  2. uh? says:

    should’ve kept robben and catered to his every need. he was a huge reason for the chelsea back to back titles and he was (and still is) young. instead of bringing in old superstars like sheva, ballack (though he is my favorite player), deco, etc. they need to make a splash in the market by bringing in a superstar striker who is still in his prime like david villa or eto’o. they constantly hint at it but never make the move. perhaps a kun aguero? that would be smart. chelsea needs to get younger and faster.

  3. Dano says:

    “Here is the big problem area for Chelsea. Anelka scored 14 goals by the end of November; it is now the end of August and, admittedly played out of position, has scored a total of 15.”

    Are you predicting the future? It’s the end of March.

    Pedantic comments aside, I feel like Chelsea would do well to model themselves on a Liverpool style. Lampard, when on form, is almost as good as Gerrard. Add a holding midfielder and a world-class striker and Chelsea would be set.

    In terms of money, definitely offload Malouda and Deco. I’ve always thought little of Deco – he’s the type of player that people will inevitably say is amazing but truly great players make people around them look good. Deco just tries to make himself look good.

  4. Ty Brenner says:

    I am starting to feel as if Ballack will never be hugely successful at Stanford Bridge. There are too many big name superstars in the midfield, Ballack is moved into a lesser role as a RM. Because of this, Ballack has too few touches in attack to be the same kind of goal scoring machine as he is for Germany. Naturally a CAM, Ballack is the type of midfielder that needs to work directly with the forwards in attack. Nearly every ball played through the build up of an attack, is played through Ballack. For Chelsea, Ballack is placed too deep in the midfield for him to find any real scoring opportunities, and he receives far too many touches in the build up.

    When you take the most effective goal scoring midfielder of all-time (40 goals in 91 caps for Germany) and give him a lesser role, deeper in the midfield… He will no longer be effective as a goal scorer.

  5. Sam says:

    Jesus…

    Why is this “writer” given this platform?

    Loan Mikel…

    Do you even watch Chelsea play?

    Only someone who knows so little would say something so ridiculously stupid.

  6. thepupsplums says:

    Loan Mikel???? You halfwit!!!!

    Probably the most improved player at Chelsea this season.

    Lampard should be “examinde closely” WTF are you talking about??

    Imbecile!!!

  7. thisguysanidiot says:

    i cannot believe i just read a chelsea fan saying they want to sell Carvalho! he is one of the best defenders in the world! he is chelseas rock in the back line! he can pass!

  8. Ha$$an says:

    hey, there is a thing that all managers don`t know…..(ricardo quaresma),i find him the best winger in the world ,he dribble best than ronaldo ,and he is a skillfull player,i want him to stay with chelsea,and play in all there matches. Really no body know ricardo quaresma more than scolari,and the guss hudiing put him in his formation.
    some news talk that they will change carvalho with quaresma,and morinho want carvalho, i hope that, since we have ivanovic and alex,and that to stay quaresma in our team,and beat c.ronaldo.

  9. Sam says:

    I agree with uh? Kun Aguero would be an excellent signing! He has tons of talent and enthusiasm. We need a high profile signing to lift us globerly. Definelty sell Deco! Old & useless. Need to bring in a young CAM to challenge Ballack. Diego would be the perfect player! His four goals against Udinese show his quality, & great technical adility. Maybe one of the best in the world. We need some flair and skill in our side, someone who is willing to dribble with the ball. For the right price he could be prized away from Werder. Players like David Villa and Kaka are far too over priced, they love there current clubs far to much to leave. Ashley Young could be a hit on the left. Also Sessegnon of PSG would be great in the prem! tough player

  10. Kun Aguero says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work.

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