Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v Chelsea

Sunday, 21 September 2014, 16:00

Barclays Prem

Stamford Bridge

Last Game

Chelsea 1 - 1 Schalke

Wednesday, 17 September 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group G

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

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

W

riting a minute by minute account on Berbatov would be like chronicling the days of the guy punished for sloth in the movie Se7en. Day 4 - lay in bed, did nothing - 15th minute, stood there did nothing .

lustral
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

W

hen players in their 30s leave Real Madrid, it's usually to Bolton Wanderers. I miss those days.

sailingmagpie
Top Ten CL Players Whetting Our Appetite

W

ow Pete, you would make an excellent stalker!

fouloleron
Taking A Close Look At Mario...

Footer 365

England move up FIFA world rankings after Switzerland victory

England, Northern Ireland and Wales move up the latest FIFA world rankings after recent wins in European qualifiers.

Transfer news: Nigel de Jong ready to sign new deal at AC Milan

Nigel de Jong was flattered by summer interest in his services, but is looking to pen a contract extension at AC Milan.

Premier League: Liverpool looking for Mario Balotelli to learn from past stars

Brendan Rodgers hopes Mario Balotelli will take inspiration from the likes of Luis Suarez as he settles at Liverpool.

Mail Box

Could Arsenal Benefit From Top Four Exit?

That's one idea in the morning mailbox as the Arsene Wenger debate rumbles on. Plus, comparing Welbeck to Gervinho and some advice for Greg Dyke and the FA...

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

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