Pat Nevin is featured on the Official Chelsea Website talking tactics and it's a really good read and raises plenty of questions. I am...

Pat Nevin is featured on the Official Chelsea Website talking tactics and it's a really good read and raises plenty of questions. I am not going to paste all of it in here, just the important part I want to focus on.

When asked about the way we have been playing and the international break, Nevin believes that AVB has using trial and error up till now, but when the players come back this week, we could see a different Chelsea side prepared to take plenty of risks to be successful.

He said:
"The smart money I suspect would be on a 4-3-3 formation not unlike his favoured style in his successful season at Porto. They had three strikers spread across the front line with Falcao usually up front centrally and the likes of Hulk powerfully patrolling one of the touchlines, but with licence to break infield when the play was coming down the other wing.

Another certainty is that he will want his full backs to get forward at every opportunity and this was pretty evident in the last few games when Jose Bosingwa and Ashley Cole often looked more like auxiliary wingers than defenders when Chelsea had possession.

Even if he does decide on a 4-3-3, which of course leaves the Didier or Fernando question looming in the air, it will probably be very different in style to the 4-3-3 often utilised by Jose Mourinho in his time at the club. It isn't just about the shape, but what you ask the individuals to do within the shape. Jose was naturally cautious and conservative but AVB almost certainly will be less so. One of the upshots of that is that the defence will be asked to take on more individual responsibility. Having less cover means that more chances will be created against you and small adaptations have to be made.

When you play a slightly higher defensive line, it is imperative more than ever for those players to follow their men. Marking and having responsibility for 'your' player is paramount. There can be no passing the buck as it were, if there are fewer defenders around then if your guy gets through then it is pretty obvious whose fault it is.

The Brazilians have been doing this for years. The likes of Lucio never expects to have cover, he expects to be able to win the battle every time when he is one on one with a man attacking him. It is fairly high risk, but if you trust your defenders to be able to defend, then it allows you to commit more players forward.

In short it could be a very exciting period that the club is entering into, a period that may see a few higher scoring games than we are used to. This would be nothing more than a reflection in a step change in the culture of the game at the highest level. Driven by Barcelona, the slow deliberate build up, by a very structured side intent on defending first and ensuring security, is quickly losing dominance.

To play this way takes energy, legs and a willingness to put in the miles. It also means utilising the entire squad, so maybe it will have to be Didier sometimes and Fernando others, with Lukaku and Sturridge not spending months on the bench either without getting a few opportunities. That should relieve the boss of at least one or two of his decisions for a while.
I think all of us have noticed that defensively we haven't been at our best at times and thinking back to the Norwich game and the amount of chances they had, was something we haven't been used to for a while. Could this really be what we have to expect this season?. Would better sides not put us to the sword and make us pay?

United and City have conceded goals too but ARE scoring goals for fun. I guess at the end of the day who cares when you concede two but put eight passed Arsenal?.

The thing is, we have the attacking players at the club that can score goals for fun so I wonder if the signings of Mata and Meireles will take us to the next step, moving the ball forward quickly and creating plenty of opportunities.

Could it be the case that we now as Chelsea fans have to be prepared for a new mentality at Chelsea of "You score one goal and we will score two!?" How would you feel as fans watching that kind of football? Would you enjoy it as long as we are winning or would you be worried about "getting found out" against the better sides?

You would imagine the likes of Petr Cech and JT would be mortified at this new approach as they have always prided themselves on their defensive records. The most successful sides are based around a strong defence to then build from there would now become a thing of the past and the other way around, Attack first, defend last? Why can't we combine the two to ensure we remain defensively strong but with a fluid attacking game?.

Come Old Trafford a week on Sunday, we will see exactly where we are at and will see if this new mentality is in effect from AVB and his Chelsea side.


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