Britannia Stadium

Next Game

Stoke v Chelsea

Monday, 22 December 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

iPro Stadium

Last Game

Derby 1 - 3 Chelsea

Tuesday, 16 December 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Quarter-Final

Chelsea squad stuck in the middle

TEAMtalk's James Dixon believes Jose Mourinho's Chelsea squad is far too midfield-heavy as the new Premier League season edges ever nearer.

Last Updated: 18/07/13 at 17:06 Post Comment

Chelsea: Have too many central midfielders, according to Dixon

Chelsea: Have too many central midfielders, according to Dixon

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

How many times has the phrase; 'too many cooks spoil the broth' be related to football? Surely never has the saying been so appropriate as to describe the current Chelsea midfield.

Looking back at Jose Mourinho's first stint at Chelsea, the foundation for his success was based upon the principle of a competitive 22-man squad, which could allow for rotation of players without compromising quality over the course of a long season.

But since taking the Chelsea reins for a second time in June, the club have added two new signings in what is an already congested midfield quota.

Recent additions Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel would strengthen most teams, however Chelsea's central midfield now consists of 10 out-and-out midfielders, in which the majority cannot just be passed off as reserve players and youth products breaking through from the academy.

The list of men seemingly stuck in the middle includes; Frank Lampard, Oscar, Juan Mata, Ramires, Mikel, Marco van Ginkel as well as players who have returned from previous loan spells; Kevin De Bruyne, Michael Essien, Josh McEachran and Gael Kakuta.

This also excludes David Luiz, who was deployed in a midfield position with some success last season, as well as Blues wide men Victor Moses, Eden Hazard, Lucas Piazon and new boy Andre Schurrle, who can play as a forward but has spent a good period of his career on the wing.

Unless Jose is attempting to reintroduce total football, 14 midfielders is a ludicrous figure especially for a team that is crying out for balance and additions in other positions.

Comparisons can be made to other Premier League teams who have bulked up their midfield line.

Manchester United have 11 midfielders, but they include veteran Ryan Giggs and long-term absentee Darren Fletcher. Another factor to take into account is the issue of balance in a squad; United currently boast four strikers with international experience whereas Chelsea have only two.

League rivals Manchester City so far have two strikers, similarly to the Stamford Bridge outfit, but only have 11 midfielders. The Arsenal set-up is also the same as City's with 11 midfielders and two front men.

Despite Mourinho recently stating the club are under no pressure to sell players and appears content with the state of the squad, the Portuguese manager has inherited this situation and even one of his most recent signings, Schurrle, was not sanctioned by him while he was manager.

What you can be certain of is, come the start of the season Jose will have loaned out another batch of midfielders he deems surplus to requirements for the season, but you can guarantee that more than one will be sold.

The problem stems from Chelsea's relatively new policy with the club focus on promoting youth, but while the Blues have been blessed with an abundance of talented midfielders, they simply can't play them all at once.

In an ideal world they would have the quality to enter the fray alongside experienced men like Lampard, Ramires and Mata to develop their raw ability, but that can't happen unless the current batch of trimmed.

Bizarrely still Jose appears to focus his concentration on building on his current midfield. Rumours linking the club with Italian midfield international Daniele De Rossi and Manchester United's Wayne Rooney - a player who recently has moved into a more midfield role and a position seen by many to suit him more in the future.

Whatever the remainder of the transfer window brings Chelsea need to readdress the balance to the side. Jose must drag the club from its fixation with the midfield and focus on where games are won - in attack.

Follow James on Twitter at @JDixon_88

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

m only commenting on this (I don't care about Liverpool) because F365's twitter said I had call Matt Stanger a tw*t (which I don't agree with anyway) but I just wanted to be the first. Am I the first?

tk421
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

S

unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

megabrow (cufc)
A Season Of Continuous False Dawns

T

his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

hump3.
Trial And Error Rather Than Transition

Footer 365

Premier League: Joe Hart agrees long-term contract with Manchester City

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Manchester United can still win title

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Saturday's opponents Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident James Milner will sign new deal at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident James Milner will soon sign a new contract with the club.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property