The Midfield Situation

Posted by on Jul 12, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The last season, Chelsea’s tactics and gameplay was defined solely by the players in the middle of the pitch. The likes of Hazard, Mata, Oscar and Ramires made the season come alive for Chelsea, even though our defence and attack lacked in the quality that supporters would expect. Frank Lampard, David Luiz, Victor Moses and even Mikel provided many options in midfield, but weren’t as influential as the likes of Mata and Hazard, who shone and made it possible for us to stand third and also win the Europa League crown.
This season, with Jose coming back, we have seen many changes already. Jose called back players like Kevin De Bruyne and Essien from loan. Andre Schurrle and Marko Van Ginkel have been additions to the already strong midfield. Chelsea’s midfield is now young, fast and really powerful. The players that will be fighting for first team contention will be:-
1- Juan Mata. Mata’s first team place seems permanent, his ability to create and play makes him our best midfielder and most important man in the middle, creatively going forward.
2:- Eden Hazard. Hazard showed loads of brilliance in his first season, proving that he can assist and score goals as well. Playing through the middle or on the wings, he has no problem, is fast and versatile. Combined with Mata, he is a force to be reckoned with and I see him have a permanent place in the squad.
3:- Ramires. The way Chelsea played last year, Ramires proved to be a beast when it came to work rate. Playing with either Mikel or Lampard, Ramires worked twice as hard in the same position and managed to hold the defensive midfield position well for us. If transfer prospect De Rossi doesn’t come to Chelsea, Ramires can surely be seen in the DM position.
4:- Oscar. With a brilliant national record in the Confederations Cup, Oscar seems to have bright chances of making it into the first team if he impresses Jose. The trio of Oscar, Hazard and Mata would rattle defences creatively and be a force to reckoned with if they manage to not lose the ball cheaply and cause problems for our defence. If Jose can figure a way to play the three of these players together, we will have loads of success.
5:- Andre Schurrle. In his time at Germany, Andre has proven to be a very fast and goal minded midfielder. With his record, I think he can also play in an attacking position, like he did when he played at Mainz, but for now if we regard him as a midfielder, he can surely fight for a first team place and make rotation possible.
6. Kevin De Bruyne. KDB proved at Bremen that he is a quality youngster. His first team chances are not a lot considering the fact that the players mentioned above have a more experience than him and may be better than him in quality, but he’s a lad that can give them a tough fight and also help in rotation. Definitely he has impressed Jose, who called him into the first team and didn’t opt to send him out on loan for another season, proving he is vital for future plans.
7. Frank Lampard. Two years back, SuperFrank would have been number one on this list. But with the addition of fast, young players at Chelsea, we know that Lampard’s style of playing creates an imbalance. Lampard loves Chelsea and will surely make attempts to appear in the first 11 but chances are that he will just be the kind of a player who may come off the bench with his shooting boots on to make an impact. Although I love Lampard and regard him as a Chelsea legend, his time at Chelsea surely seems numbered. If he doesn’t impress this season, he may just be offloaded.
8. Mikel. John Obi was a good asset to have last year. But his mistakes have cost us a lot in the past. 09, against Barcelona is the most unforgettable mistake. He may be regarded as world class but he has to work hard to make it to the first team. I’d rather he leaves this season and joins prospective clubs. Better for him and Chelsea.
9. Micheal Essien. Jose called Essien into the Madrid squad on loan last year and he received a fair bit of playtime there. But only as a stand in right or left back and rarely in midfield. This year at Chelsea, it will be interesting to see how he makes it into the first team. Surely isn’t the player that he was, Essien will have a tough time.
10. Marko Van Ginkel. MvG, our latest addition, a creative and brilliant youngster only must have joined Chelsea if Jose promised him first team chances. If he impresses in pre season, it’ll be hard not to promote him to an almost permanent spot in the starting 11.
Transfer Prospects:-
If the rumours are to be trusted, we can be sure that Bruma and De Rossi will be additions and the last jigsaw pieces to the “New” Chelsea of Jose. If Mikel leaves, De Rossi is a necessity and quite frankly he is a player we need. De Rossi is made for the Premier League. Bruma is a young and very very talented played with a price tag of at least 15-20 million only at the age of 18. If we get him for under 10 million, it would be our best steal of the summer.

Chelsea Insider thanks Harsh Chauhan, @chauhan_footie (twitter account)for taking the time to put together this article.

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