David Luiz’s future
Will he go or will he stay? One thing for sure is that after today David Luiz does not appear to be in Antonio Conte’s plans for the rest of the season.
Resting Andreas Christensen may not have been the worst thing, but the strange decision was Gary Cahill starting in the centre-back role over the Brazilian, who we cannot forget was superb last season.
To see Luiz slip to the number three choice in that position doesn’t quite seem right and it actually puts a massive red flag over his future.
Conte seems to be moving on without the defender, but will Luiz leave or will he outstay his current manager?
3-5-2 or 3-4-3
It’s the formation debate that has been raging on for quite some time now and several Chelsea fans seems to be getting a bit frustrated of the 3-5-2 system.
Chelsea won the title with three up top, but Conte insists that having different players, ie no Nemanja Matic, is forcing his hand to change things.
3-5-2 has really worked at times, however it only seems to be a success if Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard are both firing, yesterday they most certainly weren’t and it creates a massive problem.
Where you would have creativity from all sides, it just isn’t the same in that system and it allows the defence an easy look at what’s coming.
Something needs to change to bring the spark back into Chelsea’s life, because it isn’t firing at the moment.
It’s pretty tough when you have to try to make everything happen on your own and that certainly seems to be the case for Eden Hazard at the moment.
When things were going badly for Chelsea earlier in the season, when Hazard recovered from his injury you could count on him to rescue a misfiring Blues.
However, it might have caught up with him a little bit because his form has dipped slightly and Conte described him as ‘tired’ after yesterday’s match.
Simple passes went astray, defenders brushed him aside and he lacked that edge and skill that is in abundance:
He needs help, he can’t do it all, and while Morata struggles to create playing up too does not seem to be working for him at the moment.
Seeing him on the left, cutting in and causing havoc for defenders is what we want to see him doing, but that will only likely happen should Conte switch back to 3-4-3.
Jamie Vardy……why not?
Much talk has been about Riyad Mahrez and where he might head off this month, and yesterday’s match was a clear example of what qualities he has.
But Chelsea are also in the market for a striker and they could do worse than having a cheeky punt at Vardy.
At 31 he might not be the desired Blues age, but he showed as much desire and passion as any player on the pitch and he ran Chelsea’s defence ragged at times.
He time runs to perfection to get behind Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta, especially when the Blues played quite high in the first half.
One downside is that he should have taken his chances, some that were pretty decent, but he certainly put in an excellent display, linking up with the rest of the team well.
Conte seems to want a more ‘target man’ approach, but Vardy showed what kind of threat he can be.
Barkley need has never been greater
It’s interesting to see where Ross Barkley might fit into Antonio Conte’s side when he finally gets to make his debut.
The new signing looks set to make his first appearance on Wednesday night when the Blues take on Norwich City in the FA Cup third round replay at Stamford Bridge, but there is no indication yet whether or not he will start the game.
Barkley has always been an exciting talent, a midfielder or forward that likes to drive from the heart of the pitch at defenders with decent end product and quality that has been lacking in recent matches.
That sort of player is something that Chelsea could desperately do with at the moment, especially if he adds some goals into the mix as well.
All he needs to do is stay fit, get in form and then the Blues can massively benefit from a highly talented player.