We won the Europa league, we brought back the Special One. We competed on all fronts but finally we ended trophyless, finishing 3rd in the league and having played the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, in a season characterised by strong defensive display but a lack of finishing prowess. Chelsea lacked a striker who can deliver 20+ goals every season.
It was also a season that marked the end of the careers of veterans Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole and also fan favourite David Luiz in the blue shirt. The striker issue has been looked after by bringing in Diego Costa for around 32 million pounds while Samuel Etoo has left the club. The 25 year old who is expected to spearhead the attack has scored 27 league goals in 35 appearances helping Atletico Madrid win their first Liga title since 1996 while also scoring 8 goals in 9 appearances in the UEFA Champions League. Moreover to strengthen the midfield and also to fill the void left by Lampard, Cesc Fabregas has been brought in having been let go by his boyhood club FC Barcelona for a fee of around 30 million pounds.
Last Season Analysis:
Jose Mourinho preffered the 4-2-3-1 formation last season with Etoo taking the role of the lone striker in home matches while Torres and Ba took turns in starting on the road. The left wing was primarily reserved for Hazard while in the right wing Schurrle, Willain and later Salah was used. Oscar played just behind the striker. In the lower half of the midfield Matic was partenerd by Luiz, Ramires or Lampard. Terry, who got his contract extended by a year was partnered by the impressive Gary Cahill while Azpilicueta filled in at left back and Ivanovic played on the right.
Our team next season MAY look like:
In the 2014-2015 season Mourinho may continue with the 4-2-3-1 system with Costa coming in for Torres who might have to settle for a place on the bench along with Ba, while another loan deal for Lukaku seems to be looming with Atletico considered the probable destinaton. Hazard, who was the club’s top scorer, the fans’ player of the year and also the Premier League Young Player of the Year will keep his place on the left while Oscar will also probably continue as the playmaker. The right side may be flanked by any of Schurrle, Salah or Willian as Chelsea have no dearth of options in this position. In the middle of the park Matic, who so seemlessly settled into the team, and played so brilliantly in the holding role, will be partnered by Fabregas who is known for his ability to keep the ball and also for his distribution. Mikel will be used sparringly while Ramires may have to get used to spending more time on the bench.Terry performed with the old known grit last season and will keep his place at centre half along with Cahill, while the hard working Azpilicueta and Ivanovic will continue as full backs. Kurt Zouma, the young defender who was bought from St Etienne will probably be sent on loan to gain first team experience just like Thomas Kalas will spend this season with Cologne in the Bundes Liga. As it seems, Thibaut Courtois might start next season with Cech leaving, may be for PSG with Schwarzer signing another extension.
Mourinho may opt FOR 4-3-3:
Fabregas not only has an eye for a killer pass, he is known also for goals as well as providing assists. This may prompt Mourinho to revert back to the the more attacking 4-3-3 where Costa would be flanked by Hazard and Salah or Willian. The left and right of midfield may be stationed by Fabregas and Oscar. With Abramovic demanding a more stylish brand of football, and also the arrival of left back Filipe Luis seeming probable, we might see Azpilicueta in his more favoured right with Luis on the left while Ivanovic being used as cover. Most Chelsea fans will be hoping that Costa lifts the “striker’s curse” from the Bridge and are banking on a mouth-watering partnership between Oscar, Hazard and Fabregas.