Ivanovic & Ramires: An Effective Right-Sided Partnership?

Balance in a team is very important, you need to be dangerous offensively but at the same time sound defensively in all areas of the p...

Balance in a team is very important, you need to be dangerous offensively but at the same time sound defensively in all areas of the pitch. Ramires and Ivanovic compliment each other’s game very well when sitting deep and playing on the counter attack, however questions arise when we are in possession of the ball and the threat they carry in the oppositions half is tested.

According to UEFA's official website, we held a total of 51% of the possession against Juventus; this is arguably a good stat considering our opposition and recent inability to hold onto the ball. Juve looked to set up for a defensive/counter attacking style of play, this meant that both Ivanovic and Ramires found themselves in more advanced attacking positions, which is neither of their strong points.

Both of our goals scored on Wednesday night were created from our left and both goals we conceded were from our right. Is this just a coincidence or is there more behind it?

In truth we held no true attacking threat on the right flank, as I said both of our goals originated from the left, with Oscar receiving the ball from Hazard for the first goal, then from Cole for the second. All of our other promising attacks were also from the left side, including Ramires’ early chance when he bottled taking a left foot shot and Hazards penalty claim.

So why do Ramires and Ivanovic seem to not pose a big enough threat when combining on the right?

Like I said the right sided partnership between Ramires and Ivanovic is best suited to an extremely defensive counter attacking play style. Ivanovic excels when there is little to no space in behind him; so he can use his dominant strength and excellent tackling abilities to his advantage, plus when the defence is deeper his lack of pace cannot be exploited. Ramires excels when there is space open in front of him that he can drive into on the counter, his excellent work rate and pace are valuable assets to the team (which i would like to see utilized in a central position).

Whilst being successful in a defensive set-up, they are definitely not the best selections on the right when we are looking to control a game. 

Both lack the skill required to go past a man from a standing start, which is an imperative ability for wide players to possess when controlling the game and playing against a penned in defensive unit. Ramires has a tendency to run into the opposition with the ball and make silly decisions which lead to losing possession. Ivanovic’s lack of pace means that he can very rarely drive past a man and put a good ball in, so he plays high early crosses often, forgetting that we no longer have Didier Drogba up top. This inevitably ends in us giving the ball away; which could set up the opposition for a quick counter attack.

So, who would give us the cutting edge that we need down the right flank when attacking?

Do we have a defensively capable right back with pace and the ability to beat a man? A player with a similar skill set to Ashley Cole for our right side of defence?

Well we have recently acquired the U23 Spanish right back; he has Champions League experience and is known to be a good attacker as well as an accomplished defender. Cesar Azpilicueta is yet to make his debut for Chelsea, I really do not see the reasoning behind signing a right back, then playing a centre back there instead?

Do we have a right sided winger who has pace, good dribbling skills and loves to drive and defenders and beat them?

Former Wigan forward and Nigerian international Victor Moses is yet to make his full debut for the Blues, he is certainly capable of bringing a cutting edge to our play (just look at the difference he made v QPR). His intensity and willingness to press would also help us in terms of defending further up the pitch, which Oscar is likewise good at.

Call me crazy but I believe that a Right Back at Right Back and a Right Winger on the Right Wing creates a far more effective and natural combination than; a Centre Back at Right Back and a Central Midfielder on the Right Wing.

The less us Chelsea fans have to use the phrase “square pegs, round holes” this season the better.

In summary, if we want to sit deep and counter attack, then Ivanovic and Ramires could be a good option. But if we want to play a possession based game where we control the match, then the better choice would be Azpilicueta and Moses (although I certainly wouldn’t be against an exciting attacking midfield trio of Hazard, Oscar, Mata).

 What do you think ChelseaDaft readers?

  • Is this the best way to utilize our right flank?
  • Or am I looking too much into it?

Leave your opinions below!

 Article by Martin Smith

Follow me on twitter @MartinSmithCFC


Post a Comment

  1. This is a great article. I fully agree with all the above. Honestly I can't make sense of why we brought in a true right winger and a true right back and yet we're not making use if them. Moses has established himself as a premier league player and Azpi has more than enough first team league experience, albeit in a diff league. Rami would fit perfectly in central mid with either lamps, Mikel and Romeu. I also believe Brana could partner any of our centre backs really well. We could make use of them in RB and RW in games where we're clearly conceding possession as you mentioned. We have the resources for an incredible season, I just hope RDM makes proper use of them. Btw, I always enjoy reading your pre and post match and other analysis, I don't always agree with everything but its great hearing fellow fans views on our team. Keep up the good work. #ChelseatilIdie

  2. This is exactly what we should go for but i believe RDM is waiting for the right time to try something new - so wait till next week vs Wolves and see - and i expect Rami alongside Mikel/Romeu in a 4-3-3!
    Hopefully that works out like in my dreams - im sick of seeing that lack of flair in the right wing coupled with the slow build up in the middle!
    Great Article Martin - been reading you and i admit you got skill, very professional work!

  3. Hazard should benched for Moses to make his full debut at chelsea,likewise Aquzi too,Terry can benched for Aquzi.Ivan can play Terry place




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