A diamond in the rough

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
 

Expectations of a new Chelsea era under Carlo Ancelotti were sky-high as both fans and pundits anticipated a barn-storming season of Premier League football.

Many have tipped the West London club to prevail and ensure United and Liverpool remain level at 19 titles a piece come May – myself included – however, on current evidence, I’m not convinced all is as rosy as the league table suggests.

Despite being top, having collected six points from their opening two games,  Ancelotti’s diamond formation has failed to sparkle and it was only after the Blues’ boss ditched his beloved set up – and thanks to an inspired Deco performance – that Chelsea were able to bag the goals that earned them their second win at the Stadium of Light.

The ‘fag-puffing’ Italian had been described as the best signing of the summer. Forget Man City’s Arab-backed £100 million spending spree – which not only strengthened City’s team, but weakened United, Liverpool and Arsenal along the way! – this is the man that will determine the destination of the league title.

Their first win against my favourites for the drop, Hull (whose tango’d boss is in need of being taken down a peg – just a shame the club will be taken down a league in the process), was a scrappy affair and only just saved at the death by Drogba’s shite cross.

A lack of width was highly evident during the game, and it slowed the pace of Chelsea’s attacks to a pedestrian level as players such as Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack had to look up to the right, to the left, and wait for a full-back to lend support.

Against the top sides, Ancelloti will be found out.

Against a Man United side deploying a rigid 4-4-2, they will get overrun out wide. Bosingwa and Cole will be pinned back and unable to push forward to supply the much-needed width. The same could be said when they come up against Arsenal, Man City, and (to a degree) Liverpool. Even Spurs have two very skilful players on either flank in Modric and Lennon.

It is a formation that suits the European occasion, and that of a slower-paced Serie A.
The Champion’s League may be a priority for Roman Abramovich, but – as I understood it – the Russian cited a need of sexy football as his reasons for sacking Mourinho.

The sexiest football the Chavski faithful (and even I) have enjoyed was played under the title-winning 4-3-3 of the “Special One.” What we are seeing this season offers no comparison – it’s dull.

Ancelotti is comfortable with his diamond formation, having used it throughout his days at Milan, and it will be tough for him to leave it behind – if he wishes to make an impact in English football, he will need to.

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  • JJ

    I didn’t see the game last night by all accounts they were superb. Sunderland are strong this season so scoring 3 goals away from home can hardly be considered dull??

    Hull played well on Saturday, first game of the season and all that, 6 out of 6 is a perfect start as far as I’m concerned. I’m no Chav lover but what do you want? Sexy football and trophies? Only Barca can offer that I’m afraid!

  • Matt Quinn

    Didnt Chelsea play a different formation last night to the one against Hull?

    Clearly Ancellotti isnt afraid to change things around.

    Could be a big season for Deco— he could be the man to help Chelsea unlock stubborn Premiership defences when a team is playing for a draw. He can be a magician on his day… and adds something different to the Chelsea team.

  • http://markcarteramatteroflifeordeath.blogspot.com/ Mark Carter

    JJ, it was only after Ancelotti changed the formation at half-time that Chelsea were in a position to score the goals to win the game.

    My concern is that the Italian’s love for the diamond formation will see him set the side out in the same manner week-in week-out, only changing if it is completely necessary.

    The return of Joe Cole and Yuri Zhirkov may enable to diamond to work, but in the meantime I’m far from convinced, and against better sides they will come unstuck.

    We shall see…

  • Darren

    1-6, 0-2, say no more!

  • dexylongshot

    Yuris the man and joe boys the…..er boy!
    Chuck essian in the holding role and fat frank on the edge of the d and watch the fireworks. I still think liverpool will do it of Torres stays fit.

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