After Chelsea romped to a 5-0 drubbing of a poor Dynamo Kiev team, it was the only the second time this season they had scored five goals in a match. Previously the other game was against rock bottom Huddersfield in the league. It was a pleasant surprise to see the blues be so clinical which is something that has been lacking throughout the season and has caused us so many problems.
The Style of Play
Whilst the debate on Maurizio Sarri goes on, his style of play, when executed correctly is incredibly attacking, fast and very easy on the eye. It’s true, however, that you need the right players to execute this system and in Sarri’s defence some of the players at the club cannot do that and shouldn’t be a part of his squad if he is for a long period of time, that is simply how it is.
If we look to the stats, its shows that Chelsea haven’t been ruthless enough over the course of the season. Rather than ‘its just passing for passing sake’ The Premier League website statistics show Chelsea have had the 2nd most shots, most through balls, hit the woodwork the most whilst also creating more chances than any of their top four rivals (Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham)
This style of play is in its first year in the Premier League, the most competitive league in the world. Of course, we have had defensive problems as well. However, a lot can be tied down to individual errors and a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. This style is bold way of playing but it also has a lot of potential.
Being More Direct
Whether it was a mix of different tactics, different players or a combination of the two, the five goals scored in the Europa League away at Kiev was something we haven’t seen a lot this season. That clinical nature. I know it was only the Europa League, but this is Chelsea Football Club. We’re not a club that hides away, we’re a winning club and in front of goal this year we have struggled.
With Olivier Giroud up top, the team did go more direct in the more traditional sense at times. But, the other goals scored were from two very good through balls from Marcos Alonso and Giroud that opened up the Kiev defence. Look at the likes of Liverpool who have the willingness to run in behind on the wings; it stretches defences and opens up avenues to attack in.
I believe Sarri’s style should be altered slightly to incorporate more moments of direct attack. I don’t mean long ball football, of course not. I just think we can cut to the chase quicker in terms of how we attack. We are very predictable at times and when teams sit behind the ball we struggle to break them down.
When you look at Manchester City, teams go there and sit behind the ball, but they find ways around that. Perhaps it is that they have that additional quality to do so. However, I think if we can invest in the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi and give them the real game time over the likes of Willian, Pedro and Barkley we will see an upturn in fortunes.
Jorginho was so successful at Napoli because they were willing runners, something which we haven’t seen to anywhere near the same extent at Chelsea. Full backs pushing on is also an important factor for this system to work but as mentioned in this article, I think we have the quality to move the ball a little bit quicker and cause more problems. Nevertheless, its been shown how many chances we do create as a team and whilst we can debate positions and tactics all day, putting the ball in the back of the net has been our main issue this season, not Sarri.