This is my ideal Chelsea starting eleven. It’s just my opinion on how I would play if I was. Chelsea boss, but like most of my opinions I am normally wrong. I’ve tired to explain my reasoning behind my choices as best I can. I would love to hear your views and lines ups as well, so please feel free to comment below or Tweet me at @Lolo_CFC.
Had a tough start to the season in 2011/2012, struggling with form and injuries, but bounced back beautifully by pulling out a series of top class performances when called upon. His displays against Barcelona, Liverpool and Bayern were faultless, solidly cementing the Czech as one of the best keepers in the world. With Thibaut Courtois back out loan this season, I’m certainly expecting another top season from Cech.
Ivanovic – RB
The great thing about Ivanovic is that he is not a natural RB right back but you couldn’t tell. The Serbian is consistently solid, rarely makes mistakes and reads the game so well. He lacks the pace, but his positioning and physical strength make up for it. Ivanovic is hard to get round, and very underrated considering how silent and effective he is in his role. He also likes a goal as well.
Terry – CB
I questioned his form and antics at times last season. But his performance in the Euros convinced me that he is still a world class defender. His commitment and reading of the game are vital element to his game, and the Chelsea defence benefit from it greatly. He has developed a strong partnership with Cahill which will be strengthened further at international level. He’s great leader on the pitch and a huge goal threat from set play. He was never going to be left out this team.
Cahill – CB
It’s a tough one between Cahil and Luiz. But I have gone will Cahill because he makes fewer mistakes, and I think Luiz will play more in the Champions League. Cahill is very clam on the ball, he likes to pass/carry it out of defence, very similar to Luiz, but Cahill seems to use his footballing brain better, releasing the ball at the right time to safer and smart options. Cahill also has better positional awareness than Luiz and is better in the air. However a key reason for having Cahill in my starting 11 over Luiz is because of the partnership with Terry, the pair have looked solid for Chelsea so far and it should only get better.
Cole – LB
The world’s best Left back. We all know the deal with Ashley Cole. Still got a few years left in him yet. Great defender, and is just as good going forward. I fully expect him to have another top season.
Lampard – DM
AVB wanted him to play in a deeper role for Chelsea when he took over, but it was RDM that finally got him playing there. I know some fans think that he will not have a massive part to play for Chelsea this season, but I think the complete opposite. He is still one of Chelsea’s best players, a natural goal threat, set-piece specialist, a leader and he is still possibly one of Chelsea fittest players. (Remember when started over 120 consecutive Premier League games? That takes fitness). His range of passing and footballing intelligence will be fundamental in making this 4-2-3-1 system work, I see him as our Xabi Alonso, Pirlo or Scholes a master passes, who will dictate the tempo and pick out passes his trademark passes. By playing in a deeper role, it will preserve Lampards legs, so this should get a few more seasons out of him. I think he will pick up where he left off from last season, and continue his fine form.
Ramires – DM
This may raise some eyebrows, as many people will be expecting Mikel or Oscar to play here. But I have gone for the hardworking Ramires, he impressed me as a CM for Chelsea last season under AVB, scoring goals, winning tackles and tracking back, I think he has the discipline to play this role perfectly. His work rate and pace will compliment Lampard wonderfully. Also when you consider that Man City (Barry and Milner) and Man United (Scholes and Carrick) hardly played with a typical tackling DM last season, I think we can do the same. They both play with midfielders who can pass and get around the pitch, which results in them conceding the LEAST amount of Premier League goals and scoring the HIGHEST last season, so I refuse to believe that we need a defensive player in the team all the time. We should be trying to keeping the ball and dominate with procession, this will make us more offensive in our play. Finally for anyone doubting if Ramires ability to play here they shouldn’t he has played as a DM Benfica and Brazil. Mikel/Essien can come on and close games out or play in tougher games.
This is a position that has a lot of question marks, people think Ramires will stay here, or Marin or Moses could end up starting RW. But I think it could change depending on opposition, however I would like to see Oscar play here. He is fairly quick, clever and skilful, but to be honest that’s all I know about him. We must remember this was arguably one of our most effective positions last season when Sturridge and Ramires played here last season, they scored plenty of goals. Never got many assists, but the key was the goal scoring element of them, so I think this should continue. There Oscar or Hazard would be my first choices to play here. Oscar plays with freedom and composure, likes beating players and can deliver good quality passes. I know some people see him as replace for Frank Lampard, but I think his natural dribbling skills and pace will be a little wasted if he played in the CM/DM position, as Premier League players would crowd him out and his strength may be questionable. I think we should utilise he raw attributes on the wing. He may not be a natural winger, but he is young and maybe able to adapt, he has also played there for Internacional before so it shouldn’t be new to him.
Mata – CAM
The little Spaniard is a magical player; he is so clever those little flicks and smart passes, so I feel theses need to be exploited from a centre role. Last season teams tried to mark him out the game as they knew he was Chelsea danger man, but it don’t stop him getting 22 assists. His chemistry with Torres is another reason I’ve chosen to played him centrally, they understanding the elements of each other’s game so well. This partner could easily blossom in the coming season. I would’ve put Mata on the wing, but I think he is a little too slow and weak to play on the wing, he needs to be involved centrally especially when he creates a goal scoring chance every 26mins (average) like he did last season. He also may lack the fitness to play on the wing, he regularly gets subbed around the 60 min mark.
Eden Hazard -LW
I’ve put Hazard on the left. This is because he is an extremely confident dribbler, very skilful, quick and isn’t afraid to take players on. If he played centrally I worry that these elements of his game might not get shown too often, as teams will try to crowd him out the game. At Lille he showed that he has a very keen eye for goal, therefore I have put him on the left so he can beat players and cut in on his right foot, similar to how Cristiano Ronaldo and Ribery operate for their teams. I think he is a very special player, with good strength and a lightening change of direction; he will excite a few people at the Bridge this season.
Fernando Torres – CF
Torres the Golden boot winner in the Euros, a top finisher, has intelligent movement and link up play, will lead the line in my starting 11. He has been patient and I think Chelsea fans will finally see the rewards. He works hard, loves moving into the channels and playing off the last defend. I fully believe our array of attacking midfielders will provide him the chances to have a top season.