Eden Hazard & the False-Nine formation - Is this now the way forward?

Having ended Manchester City's unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory two weeks ago many of us would have been surprised ...

Having ended Manchester City's unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory two weeks ago many of us would have been surprised that Maurizio Sarri opted for the same false-nine formation against Brighton. Is this the way forward for Chelsea or should we be looking at alternative options?

Eden Hazard had a good game against Brighton with a goal and an assist following up on his assist against Manchester City. On both occasions, he was able to collect the ball facing his opponents, to take them on and cross into the box from a wide area. If he continues to do so with others getting up around him to support him, then I believe we could be onto something.

However, I still personally believe that you do not get the best out of Eden Hazard with his back to goal and a centre-back marking him closely - as the option to play a pass to out of midfield or defence. You get the best out of Eden Hazard by giving him licence to move into space either side or just in behind the main striker. He WILL hurt the opposition by collecting a pass and immediately facing up to his marker or nearest opponent and as we have seen, you give Eden Hazard space then you are in trouble.

Another issue I have here is the message Maurizio Sarri is giving Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud. Morata was sat in the stands against Manchester City and then picked up an injury against Vidi last week. He missed the game at the weekend against Brighton because of it but as we all know has been struggling of late for form. If anything, his form has stuttered ever since he arrived at our club (despite the fact that I believe he is different class and a good run of games should see more goals).

Olivier Giroud has done nothing but impress all of us with his contribution and (it has to be said) his quality since he arrived almost a year ago. He has given various demonstrations of being the perfect foil for the likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro up front as the target man that they can all play up to. He has proven his ability with the ball at his feet, he can score goals and steps up in the big games.

So to the January transfer window and as we have all seen, Chelsea are being linked with all-sorts of names which will continue right through to the end of January. Some of those names are strikers with Callum Wilson and Mauro Icardi being touted as potential signings with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi being possibly recalled from loan. Now let me just say that this all rumour and speculation at the moment with no indication of any real substance. The only thing that I will say is the decision to move to a false-nine against Manchester City is understandable, to do it against Brighton leaves you slightly confused questioning Sarri's trust in the options he has available at the current time.

The thing is, I can only see it changing and the team/formation rotating as we move into the ridiculously busy Christmas period. With so many games coming thick and fast it would be impossible to stick with the same eleven players in the same shape for every single one of them. There is an opportunity for Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud to remind Maurizio Sarri of their worth to the team as we look to maintain our position in the top four, to hopefully extend our advantage over Arsenal.

If not then for Maurizio Sarri it seems to be clear. Stick with Eden Hazard up front or make new signings.

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