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19 January 2010


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i think its better to change the formation according to the opponents...


Great article, very insightful!

I love those Guardian chalk boards.

ZaneeBlue - thanks for your comments. I think you're probably right in an ideal world, and Hiddink was the master at that. Whilst I do however think 4-3-3 does suit us a little better, the point I'm making in this article is there is a real need for width. This could come even through the diamond Ancelotti currently employs - atm even the likes of Malouda (when he plays) seem to be given orders to play through the middle. Odd.

Sparky - thanks! Agree on the chalk boards. You can spend ages playing around with them...


i totally agree with this article...
sometime i really miss jose maurinho...jose will change the formation or the way the team play according the opponents...especially when we are behind...but carlo sometime make the substitute very late in the game...


Interesting point about formation. But what happens when Drogba comes back? How are Drogba and Anelka going to play in 4-3-3? Surly we cant ask Anelka to play on right wing after his brilliant performances as second striker. I think this is an enforced change in formation and Carlo will go back to diamond once Drogba comes back. Formation against Arsenal will be interesting to look at provided Drogba plays.


Exactly TrueBlue, I put the lacklustre performances down to the person behind the strikers and whoever plays the 2nd striker role, Mainly Anelka of course but is what provides width in the formation to me, aiding the full backs and such. We weren't as good when he wasn't playing and Joe Cole / Deco were oh so poor in our run of games where we didn't get much goals in, or points for that matter.

And we don't always play the diamond anyway, it changes during the game and why doesn't anyone bother talking about the christmas tree used early on in the season too?


Reading all the talks about Essien's injury I think we may be talking about ACN being "the worst thing to happen to Chelsea" in a while.

Nathaniel - we have played different formations, but generally speaking it's been the diamond, I think. You're right though, it's been a fairly fluid midfield/ attack with plenty of exchanging positions and so on. But my argument isn't so much with the formation (although I do prefer 4-3-3 with this Chelsea squad), rather how the diamond has been executed so narrowly. There's no need for it - when playing, the likes of Malouda could more often get into wide positions.

Kostaz - don't get me wrong, the loss of Essien is huge. I just think that, for the long-term, it's potentially a good thing if Drogba's absence makes Ancelotti realise that having width in midfield is a must.


not sure I agree totally with this. I think the 4-4-2 is fine *if* the player a the tip of the diamond can go out wide when he wants.

What really hurt us, IMO, is the lack of players actually running with the ball at the opponents. When you play a 4 in midfield of Ballack/Obi/Lampard/Cole, only Cole is willing to run with the ball and Ballack/Obi both like to play the quick first-time pass. It made our 4 midfield so close together that it was too easy to defend against.


I have to say we were too narrow and were trying to pass through the opposition during our bad spell. In answer to the formation v Arsenal, well play the system that beat them in November.Arsenal will play their normal football so why change anything? The way we played against Sunderland was great but their defense was non existant.Scolari used the full backs regarding width and that was pretty easy to negate.


With all being said though, we do need to get at teams more as Oliver said, even though lampards been running at people too, getting his close control back really.

And the teams that really defend against us are quite good I say, I'm going to the birmingham game next week and don't know what it's going to be like, hopefully we can get an early goal on

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