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Creative midfielder or Wingers?


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Ok, this is merely speculation on my behalf, but I wanted to get some of your opinions on this:

Okay, we all might agree or disagree that Grant is basically playing with a team and style that he has inherited from Jose, and has not been able to fully make his stamp on our sytle and the palyers he uses. Again, the January transfer window will allow us to bring in a player or two to reinforce our squad, but it isn't exaclty the opportune time to try nad change everything.

So, in the summer what will happen, and who will we wign to make the transition from Jose's era into Grantdom?

Firstly, I think we have to look at who might be leaving in the summer before we worry about who will be coming in. again, this is merely looking at the midfield so players like Drogba, Paulo etc do not consider.

I think that Sidwell was merely signed as cover for the ACN, so he will be gone. Makalele is pretty much too old, so I doubt we will see him figure next season either. The Lampard saga continues, and without having signed a contract I feel that he will be gone too. therefore, our central midfielders will consist of Mikel, Ballack and Essien.

Now, on to our attacking midfielders. I think we will keep Malouda, and I for one hope that we will keep him. His start to the season showed the immense amount of talent that he has that earned him the French Player of the year award last season. Joe Cole seems to be happy at the club, and he seems to be a regulat feature of Grants, so I think he will stay too. SWP has been great one game, then not the next, but I think he willstay also. Kalou I am counting as a striker, so he doesn't figure. Finally, we have sinclair. Now, as much as I would love to think Grant would give him a chance to break into the first team, I feel that if he doesn't make it this season he will not be here next.

So, we have 3 central midfielders and 3 attacking midfielders to fill 4 positions.

If we go to a 4-4-2, then who would play the central 2 and who would play the wide 2? On Current form it would have to be Ballack and Essien, thus reducing Mikel to the bench! the wingers would be Malouda and Cole, with SWP back to the bench again.

However, if we were to look at players such as VDV then surely there would be no place for him in a 4-4-2. So, what formation should we play next season if we are to go for an attacking midfield option; conversely, who should we look at if we are wanting our creativity to come from the wings?

These are purely speculative formations and I am totally open to the fact I may have simplified things to get a point across, but I am curious as to what your feelings are in relation to next season's formation and players that we would therefore bring in if we were to go for the formation you feel we will resort to. On top of that, would we be able to attract top talent to our team if they consider us as having a full midfield already?



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I am still of the belief that the 4-3-3 will be our primary formation now and into the future. I think the changes will be more along the lines of style with a gradual shift away from the old way we played the 4-3-3 under Mourinho to something more closely resembling the 4-3-3 employed by Barcelona.

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I think we just need a good top class winger/wide attacker or two and a replacement for Drogba. We have generally been dominating and controlling games of late and really just need a bit of creativity, quality and finishing in the final third to put teams away when we are in control.

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JT already said that Grant will not integrate many changes into the side at this point in time as there have already been "changes" that have caused a bit of instability. He wants the team to be run as close to Jose's way as possible for now, including training methods, etc... In time, i.e. the summer, he will bring his own training methods to the table.

What has been done is to lessen the long ball style and increase the amount and variety of passing from the back to the front. I think the addition of Anelka will help that immensely, as apart from being a cool finisher, he is also good at coming deep for the ball, keeping possession and bringing others into the game.

But the area of the pitch that you specify - attacking midfield - is one that I believe will make the most impact in terms of changing the "way" that we play. However, I also believe that changes have already been made in terms of the playing philosophy. While players such as SWP, Joe and Malouda still work hard, I think the "shackles have been removed" and they are encouraged to get forward and pass the ball quickly, rather than just maintain possession.

I think Makalele's role is more important than ever in such an open, attacking philosophy, but I agree he is also probably not able to play 2 matches a week every week. We can't afford to just let him go though. I believe we should keep him and play him in the important tactical battles. He still is a cut above the rest at what he does and Mikel will continue to learn from him. At the same time, I don't think it would hurt to bring in another winger/attacking midfielder who can add an increased thrust and cutting edge. SWP/Joe/Malouda/Kalou have all had some questionable performances for us at one time or another, and while I like them, they have their weaknesses. Van der Vaart certainly is an attractive option but I'm thinking that for a club of our aspirations and resources we need to have our own Ronaldinho/Messi/Ronaldo-calibre player.

I also very much like the idea of resigning Guddy for many reasons. First, I felt that the team spirit and togetherness of Jose's first season, with the likes of Guddy and Duffer in the team, was simply fantastic and part of that was the fact we had so many "Chelsea boys" in the squad, including JT, Lamps and Guddy. I think he would help bring some of that back for us. He is also a very good ball possession player with a good eye for the pass, which I believe is the type of player you need to implement a good passing style of football. Finally, he would be a good option as a striker when we have problems in that area, and we will if one or more of Drogba/Sheva/Pizza are unhappy at Chelsea and want to leave. He will fit right in and there are a few good years left in him yet.



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I would ALWAYS be up for re-signing Guddy, ideally in non-fat form.

As you say, he would give us that something different we will need to break down the more stubborn teams, and could play some very nice balls through to Anelka, a la Jose's first season when Guddy played Duffer and Robben in time and time again. happy0034.gif

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