Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea: Here are FIVE reasons why Chelsea lost the game.
You all watched the game, you all have read the match reports so let's not waste any time here and let's get into the reasons why...
You all watched the game, you all have read the match reports so let's not waste any time here and let's get into the reasons why we lost the game and why it's worrying times for Chelsea.
Think back to our previous visits to Manchester City, think back to how we set up, how we played and how our approach to those games frustrated City and Manuel Pellegrini. Chelsea got this wrong yesterday and it has cost us.
Here are the FIVE reasons Chelsea lost the game yesterday:
1. Ramires starting position.
When Jose Mourinho took his Chelsea side to Manchester City two seasons ago, he played Ramires wide right because he had Nemanja Matic and David Luiz playing in the holding roles in midfield. In that first half, Ramires was out of position and it exposed our defence.
In games such as these, Ramires' work rate would be key if you decide to start with him in the side. We are used to seeing him put himself about and get up and down the pitch so to start him wide right was 100% the wrong option. If anything, he shouldn't have started the game at all.
2. Zouma/Mikel should have started.
I had expected Chelsea to play with SIX defensive minded players focused on keeping things tight at the back, to negate the space in front of our back four and to force City into play the ball wide. That's been the approach in previous seasons but for some reason it was not the case yesterday.
For me, Kurt Zouma or John Obi Mikel should have started playing next to Nemanja Matic to give us a foothold and stability in those deeper midfield positions. Just look at how many times City opened us up and created chances. It was as early as the first couple of minutes that City playing in Sergio Aguero only for Begovic to deny him with his feet. It was a warning sign of things to come and for forty-five minutes, Chelsea never learned from it and it eventually cost us.
3. Fabregas - push him forward behind the striker in the big games.
Watching the game back last night, listening to Gary Neville's co-commentary of the game, he called it right time and time again. He couldn't believe what he was seeing, a Chelsea side so open and vulnerable through midfield that he stated that Cesc Fabregas was being exposed and he was spot on!
In these massive games, we MUST push Cesc Fabregas further forward away from the holding midfield role and play someone else in there because it's not naturally his game. He lacks real pace, he isn't the strongest in that role and gets beaten easily compared to others and gives away needless free kicks!
I honestly cannot see why he started where he did yesterday, As stated above, based on previous seasons, it was an ideal opportunity for Jose Mourinho to push Cesc into the number ten role with Hazard and Willian either side of him supporting Diego Costa up front.
Those four should have been given the responsibility to create and craft chances against City's back four to expose their weaknesses.
The gap between our attacking three and Costa was huge and the forward was left exposed at times dropping deep to collect the ball or lay it off.
Fabregas should never play as a holding midfielder in games against our main title rivals.
4. Chelsea's match fitness.
Jose Mourinho revealed that a decision was taken to allow the players extra time off, to then gain match fitness through August after Chelsea's players suffered with fatigue towards the end of last season and it's costing us dearly right now. Chelsea look a yard short all over the pitch and it's clear to see.
This whole player fitness thing is bollocks really. From playing and training throughout the whole of last season, to have a month off leaves me wondering how much of an affect does it really have? OK, they relax for a couple of weeks and take things easy. They go off on their holidays as we have seen through Social Media and they enjoy their lives away from Football but how much do their bodies and their fitness suffer?
This whole thing about players being tired is an absolute joke in my opinion anyway. They play up to twice a week and train for two hours a day! I would bite your hand off to have a job like that and to be paid the amounts they are!
This whole issue about fitness will run and run and it will be interesting to see how we perform next Sunday at West Brom as Chelsea have had a mini pre-season last week and will again this week as they look to get the players back to their best.
5. Everything seems flat, there is no spark.
Anyone who has watched Chelsea since their return to pre-season training and our performances in games will see that everything seems flat, like there is no spark about us and no swagger.
Think back to a year ago, we had just signed Costa and Fabregas and there was a real sense of optimism and excitement about the club and about the team. Is the lack of signings costing Chelsea right now?
Maybe it's the whole fitness situation as mentioned previously but for me right now, Chelsea only play the football we know we can in bursts throughout the game and it's not constant.
In this League, you need a team to be up and at it from the kick off, to be on point and to take the game to the opposition. We need to press high and play our football which is by moving the ball forward quickly to force the opposition backwards.
Everything looks flat to me and almost as if the spark we had last season simply isn't there. We seem at times to just be going through the motions until something happens in the game to wake us up.
Yes City were the better side by a mile in the first half and Chelsea came back into the game in the second half but it's simply NOT enough!
Players that had a major influence on our games last season seem to be off the pace and it's hurting us badly. Diego Costa, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas have not been able to influence games as they did this time last year and look below par.
It is really worrying times for Chelsea and I don't care if it's only the second game of the season! From what I have seen, we look a shadow of ourselves for whatever reason and it's about time someone shakes people out of their slumber sooner rather than later and that includes the manager.
Chelsea find themselves FIVE points behind City and United and have work to do already so this week is key in our preparation for Sunday's game at West Brom.
I've had my say on yesterday above and I am interested to hear your opinions. Do you agree with my reasoning or do you have your own views? Post them below, I would love to read them.