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Too Many Playmakers for Chelsea?

Chelsea have clearly delivered a statement of intent in the transfer window with the additions of Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the last two seasons Eden Hazard and his brother Thorgan Hazard, Marko Marin and Brazilian youngster Oscar. However, they may be signing the wrong players. Chelsea already have a skilled playmaker in Juan Mata and both Eden Hazard and Oscar are also talented playmakers. This means that there will be three players battling out for a first team place, giving manager Roberto Di Matteo the difficult task of keeping all three players happy, but also ensuring that Chelsea win a trophy, because Roman Abramovich has shown that he is ruthless concerning managers and if Di Matteo doesn’t put at least one piece of silverware in Chelsea’s trophy cabinet then he may be sacked.

Towards the end of last season Mata looked very fatigued and needed to be rested in crucial Premier League matches, so when Eden Hazard joined the club I felt that this was a good signing. It would mean that Mata and Hazard would fight for their place in the team, but it would also mean that when one of them needed to be rested, Chelsea would still have plenty of creativity in their team. So, things were looking good for Chelsea – Mata and Hazard would be providing plenty of creativity, hopefully leading to Fernando Torres stepping up and having a great season as Chelsea’s main striker.

Then it was announced that Chelsea would be signing 20 year old Brazilian playmaker Oscar.  While most people would be excited with this signing I was worried. All three playmakers – Mata, Hazard and Oscar – all will want to be playing first team football and it seems that Di Matteo will struggle to provide this for them. Di Matteo favours a 4-2-3-1 formation and all three of them prefer playing in the traditional No.10 role behind the striker. It seems as though Hazard and Mata will be fighting for this spot, with the loser of that battle likely to be featuring on the left wing. The right wing spot looks to be filled by Ramires who was in scintillating form last season meaning that at least one of them looks to be missing out on regular first team football, and of the three, I fear for Oscar most.

He is a young star with great potential for the future, but in order to grow and improve as a player he needs to be playing regularly, but it looks like that will not be happening. Josh McEachran was, and still is, a promising central midefielder, but I fear that the lack of first team action last season may have set him back. Di Matteo has got a difficult job trying to balance giving younger players experience, but also putting out a strong enough team for Chelsea to win a trophy. Andre Villas-Boas was too quick to dismiss older players such as Frank Lampard, resulting in poor performances and conflicts from the experienced players being left out. However, if Chelsea don’t play their youngsters then they will end up with the same situation as last season – an aging squad.

So what is the solution to this problem with playmakers and young players? I personally would like to see Chelsea take a leaf from Arsene Wenger’s book and put out a youthful team in the League Cup. It will give Chelsea’s younger players an opportunity to get first team football but if Chelsea do poorly in the cup it is not the end of the world. Having won the Champions League last season, Di Matteo and Abramovich will be aiming higher, with the main aim probably being to become the first team to retain the Champions League Trophy.

In conclusion, I think that Di Matteo will struggle to keep all three of his playmakers happy, unless he decides to field a youthful team in the League Cup.

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  1. Farhan

    7 August, 2012 at 12:10

    I think 4 4 2 is best cezch terry invanich cole mike remares oscar hazard torres mata

  2. James

    7 August, 2012 at 12:11

    Whilst I like Oscar as the number 10 I think he will rotate between Oscar, with Mata and Hazard either side and Ramires and Mikel holding, to Ramires on the right, Mata in the Middle Hazard on the left and Oscar and Mikel holding. Of course when I say Mikel it would be on other holding midfielder but I think RDM likes Mikel. so Oscar’s positions are CDM or CAM. This means he will get a lot of game time.

  3. Farhan

    7 August, 2012 at 12:11

    I think 4 3 3 is best cezch terry invanich cole mike remares oscar hazard torres mata

  4. Swat

    7 August, 2012 at 13:50

    I think 4-3-3 will do.. cech
    Rami,oscar,lampard mata,torres,hazard

  5. Bhermy

    7 August, 2012 at 14:01

    I think 4-5-1 is d best formation. Cech,cahil,terry,cole,ivanovic,mikel,mata,ramires,hazard,marin,&torres. Oscar a supa sub

  6. Anonymous

    7 August, 2012 at 14:04

    4 3 2 1 will do best. cech, azpi, luiz, terry, cole, ramirez, mikel, oscar, mata, hazard, torres

  7. OPAS

    7 August, 2012 at 14:30

    Mikel- Ramirez

  8. hammed

    7 August, 2012 at 14:33

    i think the formation would be a 4 2 3 1 in an advance way that is 4 1 1 3 1, and the squad will be as follow: cech, ivanovic, terry, luiz, a.cole, mikel, oscar hazard, mata, ramires torres. Marin will be a sub for the am

  9. langie

    7 August, 2012 at 14:39

    ithnk th best formation z 3.5.2 cahil ivan cole mildfild ramires luiz. Atackin lampard oscar mata. Stricker harzad and torres/sturridge

  10. Swiss

    7 August, 2012 at 16:07

    Hazard can play on the left side, Mata can play on the right side. So where is the problem with a 4-2-3-1? Cech, Ivanovic – Terry – Luiz/Cahill – Cole, Ramires – Mikel/Lampard, Hazard – Oscar – Mata, Torres. Only one creativ player on the pitch is to less – sea last season. All three (Hazard, Oscar, Mata) can play some diffrent roles, so you can rotation them in the game and you have not one No.10, you have three. Oscar can play on the right side too. I think, E. Hazard and Oscar are very good signings, Marin and T. Hazar we will see.

  11. Doc

    7 August, 2012 at 17:08

    Nice article, Oscar definitely will be used more as a back up playa to Mata and Hazard

  12. Ogunbanjo Oluwole

    7 August, 2012 at 17:34

    As good as the analysis appeared,the writer failed to factor in injury and the numerous competitions chelsea will be involving in.Also,when financial fair play begins,it will not affect us that much since we already have many players who have age on their sides.Think about it.

  13. pardon

    8 August, 2012 at 03:07


  14. jehoshaphat

    8 August, 2012 at 12:40

    well to me i will like Di matteo should play 4-2-3-1..cezch,terry,luiz, cole,ivanovic, mikel, oscar,Hazard,mata,ramires,F.Torres..then marko marin wil be a super sub

  15. Leonard mahlaule

    8 August, 2012 at 13:42

    I don’t see any problems at all 4-2-3-1 its the best option it means all of them can play. Rotation in the game could be good for Chelsea if they get the understanding going when one goes left one goes right one stay in the middle you give all of them the freedom to change their positions during the game and make Chelsea unpredictable

  16. Max Quick

    9 August, 2012 at 02:54


    Azilcueta Cahill Terry A.Cole

    Lampard Ramires

    Oscar Mata Hazard


  17. Max Quick

    9 August, 2012 at 03:01

    (Alternative/League Cup)


    Hutchinson Ivanovic Chalobah Bertrand

    Romeu McEachran

    Marin Piazon Feruz


  18. Max Quick

    9 August, 2012 at 03:06

    Or an exprimental formation of 4-2-1-2-1

    Azilcueta Cahill Terry A.Cole

    Lampard Ramires


    Mata Hazard


    Allows interchangabilty and constant movement between Mata and Hazard behind Torres (hopefully dragging defenders all over the place). Oscar links the back of the midfield to those two, drifting in an out of the space their movement has created. If done properly this will enable either the full backs to get forward to cause trouble, or alternatively either Lampard or Ramires can venture furthur forward to give the team another avenue of attack.


  19. Anonymous

    10 August, 2012 at 12:55

    Hazard, Mata, Marin
    Ramires, Mikel
    Cole, Terry, Cahill, Ivanovic

  20. kani

    13 August, 2012 at 06:21 by playing ivanovic,terry,luiz.a.cole. Mikel and ramires, then hazard mata and oscar behind torres simple.

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