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The Best Tactics. Formation, and Personel Pochettino Should Deploy to Start Getting Good Results at Chelsea

By Laleye Joseph

Pochettino is a disciple of a 4-2-3-1 formation with a high intensity attacking style of play. This system comprises two industrious midfielder in the double pivot, a creative number 10, two wingers on each flank, and a top man. This was how Pochettino set up his team to a devastating effect while managing Tottenham Hotspur.

Now a Chelsea Coach, Pochettino deployed his usual 4-2-3-1 system in all the pre-season match unbeaten and I was expecting him to continue with that same system but I was shocked when he tweaked his formation with a 3-4-2-1 approach against Liverpool at the first match of the season. Albeit this match ends in a statement not because of the altered system but because of the players’ profligacy in front of goals.

Chelsea have played five games so far using the 3-4-2-1 formation with just a win, two draws, and two defeats, albeit they have been the most dominating team but with nothing to show for it. I have a problem with this system Pochettino is deploying: 1. it is too defensive. It makes no room for expansive display. It makes good sense against a bigger superior team like Manchester City to play on a counter attack but not again the so-called smaller team. 2. He is fielding players out of position. Ben Chilwell is a left back/wingback and not a winger.

Poch should stop using him as winger. 3. He is overcrowding his system with three defensive/central midfielders and benching all his attacking flair players. This has made the team lack creativity in tight spaces and lack ideas/spark in the attacking third of the pitch. This has also led to Nicholas Jackson being isolated and struggling up-front. No attacking players to link up with him or thread the passes to him 4. With so many attacking players at his disposal.

Raheem Sterling is the only attacking player he uses in this system. No wonder the team has been unable to attack the opposition team with great urgency and purpose. This 3-4-2-1 formation is not working, and Pochettino needs to change quickly. Now let me analyse the best formation and personnel suited to this Chelsea team. A 4-2-3-1 formation is the answer to bring back the glory days. A back four of Malo Gusto as the right back pending when Reece James, (Chelsea Captain) recovers from injury, Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill at centre back and Ben Chilwell completing the back four at left back.

A double pivot of Moises Caicedo and Enzo. Caicedo will play as a blocking 4 (proper defensive midfielder) protecting the defence line while Enzo will play as 8 roaming back and forth. The attacking triumvirate of Mudryk, Sterling, and Cole Palmer. The latter played as a number 10 in the hole behind the striker while Mudryk and Sterling were playing on each flank. Finally, Nicholas Jackson or Armando Broja plays as the centre forward, pending Christopher Nkunku returns from injury.

This 4-2-3-1 system is balanced both defensively and offensively. The system will make the team more dangerous when in transition from defence to attack. Chilwell from his left back position with his marauding run can lay a quick pass to a player like Mudryk that hugs the line with trickery and lightning pace, which will dismantle any defense and gives pocket of space for other attacking players to pounce. Cole Palmer is a dangerous player who has the panache to move past players with deftness on the ball. He is also good with intricate passes as he is a graduate of the tiki taka tactician (Pep Guardiola) Manchester City academy team. There will be a lot of goals and penalties for Chelsea if Cole Palmer is played as a number 10. He’s that good.

We all know Sterling for his exploit at his previous club that he is still one of the best wingers with pace, good dribble, and killer instinct in front of goals. When given the chance to score, he will bury the ball into the back of the net with aplomb. And finally this 4-2-3-1 will make the hungry Nicolas Jackson not to be isolated up front, the three attacking players behind him will link up well with him and can always interchange between themselves to cause chaos and confusing to the opposition team.

Though this Chelsea team is full of new player that I’ve not played together or get used to each other and so there is no cohesion yet but with persistent use of this formation the guys will get together and good result will follow suit.

Laleye Joseph

Laleye Joseph is BrandiQ’s Senior Sport Correspondent. He is a Unilag graduate of Public Administration

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