Ok, so you guessed it, I’m a Chelsea fan ! I rarely miss a Chelsea game, and as the season is coming to an end, this is a very stressful and exciting moment. So here is my question to ya’ll .. What formation should Ancelotti adopt to ensure success in CL and EPL? I’ll take a stab at it:
Depending on the type of opponents we need to be able to use different styles. I like the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 systems.
Ancelotti started the season with a diamond shaped 4-4-2 somewhat similar to the system he employed in Milan. Sir Alex Ferguson commented earlier in the season that this system would fail because Chelsea does not have a true playmaker who can lead at the top of the diamond like Kaka did it for Milan. Unfortunately, it’s quite obvious now that Sir Alex was right. Ancelotti’s diamond system worked for a few weeks but very quickly came up short because of the lack of creativity at the top of the diamond, and lack of width on the wings. Such a system could have worked with a full blooded playmaker like Kaka or Fabregas, and a world class winger like Ribery or Roben on either flank of the field. The only positive out of this experiment was the growing partnership between Drogba and Anelka, which we’ll come back to in a minute.
After this system’s failure, the coach reverted back to the usual 4-3-3 played by Chelsea in recent years (inherited from the Mourinho era). This system has given more width, and more fluidity in passing the ball. The main problem I can see now is that the Anelka-Drogba partnership has suffered from it. In this system, Anelka is forced out wide as a winger and struggles to get goal scoring opportunities. He even struggles to create goals as well, which is one of the main things you expect from a winger; but again he is no winger and can do so much more than that.
Here are the systems I would go with:
In both of these systems, Ashley Cole, Essien, and Carvalho could be replaced respectively by: Yuri Zhirkov, Ballack and Alex. In the 4-3-3 system, Drogba could be replaced by Anelka.
The 4-3-3 system gives Chelsea the width desired. It will favor quicker and fluid plays.
The 4-4-2 system gives Chelsea more solidity defensively and will allow Anelka and Drogba to work better together upfront since Anelka will not be isolated on the right flank, he will be able to cut into the middle behind Drogba as he did very successfully at the start of the season.
I’m very curious to know your thoughts on these systems, and what you would have done differently, feel free to post comments on this and propose alternatives to these systems.