Analysing Benitez's Chelsea after 2 games
We are now two games into Rafa Benitez’s Chelsea reign and I just wanted to try and get as many views from Chelsea fans all over the world as possible on your opinions on how Chelsea have looked so far.
Two 0-0 draws against Manchester City and Fulham and at the full time whistle, a chorus of boos rang around Stamford Bridge. Do you agree with them?
Let’s have a look at how we lined up for both games:
It’s interesting to see that Rafa has kept the same formation and team shape after seeing just how exposed we had left ourselves in recent weeks before his appointment. In saying that, it’s obvious that he has gone in and worked on our defensive shape and solidity and we have seen early signs of that over the past three days.
For me, David Luiz isn’t taking as many risks again and sticks to his position. Ivanovic is playing a lot closer to Luiz and both full backs are tucking inside to close down any space behind our back line.
Cesar Azpilicueta has to start each game now as he has shown solidity at the back by winning tackles, stepping in front of his attacker, winning the ball back and also just how useful he can be going forward.
Looking at the positives here, we have given ourselves a solid base to build on. Two clean sheets in a row after having not kept one for ten games is an obvious improvement.
The problem we have at the moment is that it seems that we have worked so much on our defensive shape that we are lacking in attacking areas. Having just four shots on target in two games isn’t good enough for a side that should be winning games to make a challenge for the Premier League.
From watching both games, I have made the following observations and just wondered what you people think of them and if you agree:
- Fernando Torres is still playing too deep. He needs to be pushed up right on to the shoulder of the last defender.
- At last we are looking to try and get the ball into Torres earlier than we have done, as we look for his initial movement when he makes his run. Problem is as above, he isn’t pushed up high enough.
- Very noticeable that Juan Mata was deployed out wide right against Manchester City and for the most part, wasn’t allowed to drift inside. Mata can be the man to unlock the door from deep and play the type of through balls Torres needs to run onto. Do not want to see Mata stuck out wide.
- Against City, we did sit too deep in our own half and allowed City to come onto us. I know we are trying to close any space down in between the lines of our back four and two holding midfielders but we should press slightly higher as a unit to break up possession and start our counter attacks.
- Like I have said, we have been very rigid in our formation. We have seen hardly any freedom of movement from Hazard, Oscar and Mata together as we have under Di Matteo. Rafa needs to allow these three to express themselves more.
- Our set pieces have been woeful and disappointing.
Like I said, these are just observations I have made and wondered if you the Chelsea fan reading this feels the same or has noticed things differently?
We have a solid base at last, now it’s time to build on that because going forward, we have been woeful!
Carefree & KTBFFH!