A 16-YEAR-OLD TACTICAL GENIUS?

Josh-McEachran

A few weeks ago CFCnet felt stung by a comment left on another Chelsea fans’ website disparaging one of our articles by saying ‘CFCnet will publish anything’.  In many ways that’s wrong, but it also has a grain of truth.  After all, CFCnet was not established in 1998 to put forward our own views.  Instead, it was created as a Chelsea fans website and Chelsea fans forum for every Chelsea fan to have a voice and a say.  So, if we stand accused of ‘printing anything’, guilty we stand.  It’s not our job to censor other Chelsea fans views.

To that end, a young 16 year old Chelsea fan called Tim Palmer approached us last month with some tactical thoughts and views on our season so far.  When we opened up his Word document we were astounded as to the level of tactical analysis and maturity behind his views.  We’ve since published a few of Tim’s articles which you can read here.  Tim, incidentally, is serious about coaching/football tactics and one day hopes that it might lead to a full-time career.

For this blog post we thought we’d hand over the reins to Tim who below outlines his ‘Tactical Canvas of Chelsea’.  Over to you Tim…..

Three months into an unpredictable Premier League season, Chelsea sit second behind the reds of Manchester. It seems like long ago that we were flying high at the summit, with an unquenchable thirst for goals and a seemingly unbreakable defence. It’s definitely over exaggerating by saying “we’re in crisis” (think Portsmouth 09/10) but four points from five games is not title winning form.

Injuries to key players

Injuries can be the definition of a team’s campaign. Unfortunately, Chelsea’s hand is tougher than most. Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Anelka, Kalou, Benayoun, Zhirkov and now Alex have had time on the physio’s table. That’s five first team players and our three best substitutes.

In their absence Ancelotti has pushed forward with the 4-3-3 he adopted this time last year after his much-touted diamond was countered. However there has to be real questions asked about wherever players can comfortably fill the roles of the player they replace. For example, Lampard.

Chelsea is not lacking in the creative player department with Malouda and Zhirkov among the best in their class. However both are predominantly wide left players and so often they tend to drift to their natural position when playing in the creative role in the midfield. As a result the team looks bereft of an enganche, a hook between the midfield and the forwards.

The heat map below shows Lampard’s role against West Brom versus Zhirkov’s against Sunderland.

by Guardian Chalkboards

The loss of Essien

It’s far too easy to underestimate Michael Essien. His somewhat clichéd stereotype of “a bull-like thrust and drive from midfield” is a cliché because it’s the best way to describe the way he dominates a midfield. Ancelotti referred to his return in the off season as a “new signing” – and for his teammates, his suspension must feel like losing a leg. You don’t appreciate how good it is until it’s gone.

As you can see from the two heat maps of Chelsea’s below, the right side of midfield has had a significant less amount of action and success during Essien’s absence. The top is the game against Arsenal, and the bottom is against Sunderland.

by Guardian Chalkboards

Struggles

Chelsea at present are struggling when up against teams deploying a two striker system, and also when their opponents narrow the space and place pressure across the park, particularly on the free, fluid roles of the front three. The tactics make sense, as the wonder football at the start of the campaign owes its dues largely to the individual skills of Malouda, Drogba and Anelka working in tandem and harmony with one another.

But now teams are taking the “Sunderland model” and forcing the players into quicker, pressurised decisions, rather than having the time to pick the right pass.

Teams are also nullifying the threat of Ashley Cole by issuing one of their own with the encompassing task of man-marking Ashley Cole. Even when Cole is in a striking position, his marker is on his goal side. The best example of this is Kieran Richardson’s superb job in the shock 0-3 defeat.

I won’t go into providing solutions as I’m certainly no world class coach. At the age of just 16 I’m really only getting started on the journey to replacing Ancelotti.

At the end of the day there is only so much that chalkboards and stats can tell you. Sometimes teams have blimps and off-days, for us it’s all come at once. But you have to have faith.

You can follow Tim on Twitter@ozunited

Comments

comments

Please note : the views in many of our blogs are written by fans of Chelsea FC and are not necessarily the views of the club

  • Daniel

    Wow Tim am proud of you i can’t wait to see you as coach of chelsea someday,I suggest we need to loan most of the players and bring new ones in players like ferreira,mikel,ramires they are total flop.Daniel from Ghana

  • Owizzy

    Ancelotti, Please ensure to have sturridge/Anelka & Drogba together early in the game. Sturridge's pace is bound to crumble any defence with backing from Anelka and Drogba goals will surely come. Pacy players become useful in upsetting opponents defence. With a Potent attack then the Chelsea defence will not fall into disarray.. And we cannot afford to lose concentration in defence and midfiled for our upcoming games. PLEASE I KNOW CARLO KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING, but please we need more attacking prowess to upset our opponents. I LOVE CHELSEA VERY MUCH.
    I have a small concern here, NOTE!!! no derision meant just concern about the progress of our darling team CFC. Please is Paul Ferreira the oldest player we have, he plays like a weakened old man in the midst of youths, funnily he is one of the old players in the squad however he isnt commanding first team-selection has he relegated himself to fill-the-gap player.

  • Owizzy

    WELL SAID TIM: SOMETIMES WE ALL KNOW AND SEE WHERE WE GO WRONG AS A TEAM, SOMETIMES WE WORK HARD AND THE STARS JUST SEEM TO GO AGAINST US. aT SOME POINT IT BECOMES NECESSARY TO TAKE A SOLITARY BREAK FROM EVERYTHING (KINDA LIKE WHAT ANCELOTTI CALLS CONCENTRATION), REVIEW WHERE THINGS WENT WRONG AND GO BACK TO THE TRAINING GROUND TO CORRECT ERRORS AND PERFECT TACTICS AND DEVELOP NEW MANIFESTO FOR SUCCES.
    CHELSEA CAN DO IT!!!! I KNOW SO, ALL WE NEED NOW IS TO RESTORE OUR CONFIDENCE STOP ANY FORM OF HASTY PASSES AND NOT LOSE CONCENTRATION IN DEFENCE AND MIDFIELD. THERE SHOULD ALSO BE TARGET PRACTICE SESSIONS FOR OUR MIDFIELD PLAYERS TOO, IF LAMPS/ESSIEN CAN SCORE FROM DISTANCE, THEN MIKEL AND RAMIRES SHOULD BE ABLE TO FOLLOW SUITE. NOW ERRORS ARE BEHIND US THIS IS THE TIME FOR FORMIDIABLE PERFORMANCE THAT WILL SHOW THE SENSE OF CHARACTER THAT RESIDES IN THE BLUES.

  • Martey Shadrach

    Tim must be a rare gem.

  • Asa

    Quality analysis, should be working next to Andy Gray & Martin Tyler, World Class Analysis

  • patrick

    I dont see why Chelsea cant give Tim a trial or something, there cant be many teenagers in the world who follow Football ,littleloan Chelsea, with so much tactical nouse, they could send me there to, as his, um, assistant, yeah, purely bussiness wise

  • cal

    i totally agree with you tim ,
    i think we should spend more time on the ball , instead of bombing on, keep the ball , pass it , so it builds the teams confidents so we let the final third find posistion's where they can see we can press , we are soon to find are feet we just need an open play goal to show the team that nothing has changed and that they are still the chelsea they were at the start of the season , josh mclecran , is also a talent but it is better to keep giving him the odd game other wise we will ware him out to quick , we need keep working on him because he is still so young , also we need essien against these big clubs , because players sucha as mordric , fabregas , nasri e.t.c will run the show with little flicks if we dont have a bully like essien when essien is up for it he will bully the midfield , UP THE CHELS <3

  • psalmsongold

    the problem with chelsea is inability to believe in young playres, look at mceachran, van holt and bruma. i think it is high time ancelloti start to believe in this guys they are fantastic player they should be playing in the premier league .Anceloti should be sack for not playing this guys, look at the game against sundreland he should have played bruma at the center back intsead of playing two full back in person of ivanovi and ferreira, and again using three defensive midfielder of ramires , mikel and essien is very bad cos out of this three only essien have registered a goal this season so tell me how can the ball get into the net even if the strikers are not playing at the top of their game,i mean mceachran should be played and giving a major and atacking role to build his confidence in the absent of frank lampard the master , look at barcelona young players are being giving time to play.

  • frank

    if roman can employ Tim then i believe we have a replacement for ray wilkins.kudos lad!

  • Daniel

    I agree with u the most if you have to sell Ballack ,Deco and Joe Cole who even in their worst forms are more effective than Ramires who is a more defensive minded player you will always have a week midfield when you loose players like Essien and Lampard lets hope for the best and Tim keep it up as you said maybe you will become the youngest coach of our beloved CHELSEA……….BLUES FOR LIFE..

  • george

    Inmy opinion our main problem is Ramires. We need to get rid of him. We need to change our tactics and adapt tactics to counteract each team. Stop playing our one dimensional game.

    • Evans

      @George saying to get rid of Ramires means u have little knowledge of football.Ramires is a best central midfielder with a powerful ethics if u watch him play in brazil u find that is a player maker.He feeds robinho,kaka,neymar,fabiano and pato,and they just finish by scoring without a struggle.Which is defferent when it comes to EPL.Brazillians takes long to coup with english football and most of the couches or managers have mentallity of getting rid of them instead of giving them time as u r.Ramires is just slow coz he is used to one touch ball but i know when given time can also change the midfield and be untouchable.Wenger gave Gilberto silva time and finally he enjoyed his fruits.I have to salute you Tim thats so awesome analysis from you @ the age of sixteen.Dont let that talent go,pliz let your dream come true.Just study Morinho's biography and u will find that u r better but u see now is coaching R.Madrid.All the best man.

  • Mohammed Sanka

    Tim's analysis is incredibly true,i can't help but to agree with him on almost all his opinions.As he concluded,we must have faith,with time things are gonna fall in place,especially now that we have some of the players back.From a Ghanaian chelsea fan in Russia,who wishes to play for chelsea one day.

  • Ron

    What a young brain to be using all his tactical acumen to improve Chelsea FC and I thought football was a simple game everybody says it's not Rocket Science Tim how bout becomming a Scientist.Let me tell you what I think! Take Man Utd Arsenal and us play our best eleven we will all win matches whether against top or bottom opposition.Upset that by playing a second string or upsetting a rythm you lose momentum and start to struggle.Bolton is a good example by keeping a settled side Owen Coyle has got the best out of them if they get suspensions and injuries they'll suffer setbacks.Having JT and Essien back for the visit of Everton should return us to winning ways.Frank did his abductor muscle in training that's why he still isn't ready but crikey I still can't get over Drogba comming back so early from his surgery.

  • Eli

    Keep it up Tim…given me a lot to chew on!

  • Babalola Kolade Michael

    We have an able replacement for Anceloti Already then.

  • elfo

    I hope when you essien return is a big impact to chelsea!! So i hope a win to get back to top of the table! i wish lampard will play and help to win!! So all the best CHELSEA!! BLUES ALL THE WAY!!!

  • shedrach

    Wao………..Am overwhelmed with tims astonishing analysis and discoveris concernong our great chelsea team.Actually,we lack that creative player in the midfield to send forth the deadly balls to the attacker.i really do go with Tim with his contribution to our great chelsea club and i hope this will be observed critically bt our coach,Ancelloti.
    Shedrach, NY, US.

  • Moses Matey

    that's some great analysis. Moses from Ghana

  • Alan

    Brilliant observation!

  • kembo

    Not bad for a 16 year old.
    I hear guardian chalkboards are not reliable.
    Another issue regarding recent performances appears to be the lack of impetus at the commencement of the game in comparison to the opponents.

  • Patrick Daines

    very impressive for any age of writer, and at 16, I can put that into perspective, being 16 myself. Not to seem rude but I wonder if that was the tactical maturity the Author reffered and not just a example of his allround knowledge of language skills and Football. Because I think anyone who has a keen interest in Formation and Football tactics, would have noticed the use of Richardson,and was it Larsson from Birmingham marking A Cole, and the use of having a fluid 2 upfront swapping positions to help pressure our midfield. But still a extremely impressive article, summarising our season so far. thankyou

  • saminu

    dude you are truly the tactical genius……….keep it up i see a mourinho in you

  • kev

    Can Roman give him a job?

  • Mc jltr

    Wow!!!! great analysis…keep it up!!! .The sky is your stepping point

  • Veer

    Also- as a Chelsea fan, something I have noticed is off-the ball movement is not great for many of our midfielders. When Malouda or Zhirkov or any player gets the ball in the final 3rd, they rarely have 2 options. More often than not, there is only 1 pass available which makes our game more predictable to the opponents. More mid-fielders need to run into passable positions; especially when we are out of options in terms of a creative midfielder.

  • Brent Broaddus

    Why is this guy not on the Chelsea payroll? Brilliant, incisive analysis

  • Mazhar Shaikh

    The dip in form is not because of the absence of our key players. It is because we play , ONE DIMENSIONAL football.We play the same type of football week and week out.
    I don't understand, that after working the ball around in the midfield , we lack ideas in the final third.Then after reaching the final third, we drag the ball back to the defense.I don't understand why the hell , this happens. Everyone leave it for each other to make a move.OK , I understand we don't have enough width. But, thats no excuse.We also lack technique.We lack co-ordination. our movement off the ball is bad.One more thing, these days we play, 4-4-3, and the three players in the midfield , don't pass the ball between each other. Malouda cannot play in the central midfield (Playmaker).He can play well in the wing or as a central attacking midfield player. rather than playing him in the midfield, why can't we play Josh McEachran.We need to have faith in our young players.

    • uzoken

      yes u are right. the same treath from the left should also be practice at the right side.

Powered by WordPress | Compare Cell Phone Plans at iCellPhonePlans.com | Thanks to Cheap Palm Pixi, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes