A lot has been spoken about the bad defending in the Premier League, but I think Chelsea are in the league of their own. In the past 10 matches, Chelsea have kept a clean sheet on just two occasions – against minnows Genk and in the League Cup against Fulham.
Frankly, I cannot understand how a defence containing Petr Cech and John Terry can perform so badly for such a long time. Chelsea conceding against Genk yesterday is probably the final straw for me. I am extremely frustrated and lost for words in explaining the predicament.
Strangely, it is difficult to put a finger on a certain aspect. Sure, many people would point to the fact that we are fourth in the table and are on course for qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, Chelsea have conceded a mammoth 15 goals in the Premier League so far, which is a staggering 1.5 goals per game. This is a statistic that alone will tell you that Chelsea are not good enough to win the League this season. It is proven by the nine-point advantage that Manchester City have over Chelsea.
Maybe the fault rests within Villas-Boas’ 4-3-3 formation. Even though it has been in use during the majority of the last seven years, maybe Villas-Boas is using a slightly attacking version of it. Certainly, Ramires, who plays on the right side of the three in the midfield, attacks a lot more than others who used to play in that position did. In fact, I would say that he is on par with Lampard in terms of the preference given to attacking.
Maybe, it is with Mikel, who is simply not good enough to play in the 4-3-3 formation. As Jose Bosingwa and Ashley Cole are always on the attack, a lot depends on the defensive midfielder to shore up the defence. His pace and ability to read the game have always been the weak links for Mikel and he will never be able to replace Claude Makelele.
It is hard to pinpoint the cause for the recent defensive troubles to just one aspect. It has been a combination of various issues and Chelsea need to sort it out quickly before this League campaign vanishes into thin air.
Bharath Ram is a professional blogger and a freelance writer. An ardent Chelsea fan, Bharath Ram also writes for other sites like the Daily Sports Mag