After Chelsea’s comfortable victory at Newcastle many Chelsea fans were wondering what crisis they were supposed to be in. In all seriousness, whether Chelsea can be judged to be in a crisis or not is dependant on where they are after next Monday, games against Valencia in the Champions League and Man City in the Premier League, at home, are both must win. However, first, to focus on the positives of a competent, assured performance in the most part. Chelsea looked much better in defence, John Terry was superb, as well as looking much more potent in attack, creating plenty of chances with Sturridge and Mata at the heart of all things positive for the blues.
I’m going to concentrate on 4 player’s who were key to yesterday’s match, Terry, Romeu, Mata and Sturridge were superb. Terry was comfortable and dealt with a lot of danger, Romeu was comfortable in possession and was good when not in possession, many times taking the ball from opponents and setting up play confidently, both Mata and Sturridge were extremely potent in attack. Sturridge had a hatful of chances and both of them must be considered as permanent first team fixtures from now on.
With 4 blocks, one of which being on the line and 12 clearances, John Terry was a stalwart yesterday, was superb in possession, completing an excellent 27 of 31 passes, a pass completion of 87%. If Chelsea are to try and get out of this so called crisis then Terry will need to carry on this good form, he has faced many critics recently however has improved lately and yesterday’s was a mark of that. With David Luiz at centre back then Terry arguably has to be even better than he is, although Luiz is good in possession (23 out of 29 passes completed) he can make rash decisions. Terry, as captain and centre back needs to show his worth in the up coming games which are vital to Chelsea’s season.
Oriol Romeu yet again showed his worth in a midfield three, last week I wrote about his influence in the Chelsea side and yet again he proved his worth today. AVB decided to take a calculated risk in starting Romeu and it paid off, yet again he was comfortable in possession, completing an excellent 40 out of 44 passes, a 91% pass completion rate. He shielded the back 4 well as well being able to cover for the roaming David Luiz, Romeu was a credit to himself on Saturday and with that performance he should be able to cement his place in the Chelsea side as the defensive midfielder of a 3 man midfield.
Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge were pivotal to Chelsea winning this seemingly difficult match, on the counter both were excellent, Mata used his incisive passing and Sturridge used his electric pace. Mata as we can see from the graphic below was comfortable in coming back to collect possession, distributing the ball over the pitch and creating an assist, amazingly in open play he completed 37 of 38 passes, a remarkable 97% pass completion rate. Sturridge was also excellent and caused Ryan Taylor huge amount of problems, as such he had a hatful of chances as we can see, he hit the post and had shots saved on numerous times by the excellent Tim Krul. The only problem with his performance is that he only converted one of his chances, this is a sidenote as he was excellent and in future will improve his finishing as he is so young. Mata and Sturridge were the attacking difference in this game, Mata getting another assist and Sturridge getting another goal, both of them are key in a 3 pronged attack, the only question is to who should be the main man up front?
In conclusion Chelsea’s victory over Newcastle can be the starting point of a resurgence in form. There were signs all over the pitch that the side can improve, defensively solid, flowing midfield and potent attack, all of which have been missing in recent weeks. The four players that I have mentioned should be the mainstay’s in this Chelsea team, all of them are pivotal to the future progression of Chelsea, three of which, Romeu, Mata and Sturridge are still very young and can have fantastic careers at Chelsea. Although there is a ‘crisis’ regarding older players, there is a lot of new, young talent which is coming through the ranks and this is something to be looked upon as a positive.