One of the most hotly debated topics amongst Chelsea fans in recent weeks has been focused on the proposed formation that the Chelsea first team will utilise next season.
Chelsea supporters, like most other Premier League fans, are used to seeing a 4-2-3-1 formation, with a dynamic number 10 playing behind a single striker. This has become the standardised formation in English football.
Now however, with the introduction of Antonio Conte, rumours have been circulating that would suggest that the Italian manager is keen to utilise two forwards; given that he has always played with two striker’s during his previous managerial roles.
Whilst it may be a change for Chelsea; it would most definitely be a welcome one. It is a change that the Premier League has been screaming out for for years!
Here are FIVE reasons why Chelsea MUST play with two strikers next season…
The obvious answer comes in terms of the options that Chelsea have available to them; the striker depth currently at the club, and potentially coming to the club, is very impressive – and would suit playing two strikers.
Diego Costa will no doubt continue as the side’s first choice striker, and he may find himself joined by new signing Michy Batshuayi. You also have the potential signing of Romelu Lukaku on the way, and Loic Remy still in the squad for added striker depth.
The reality is that in these four players, you have four top quality forwards. It makes sense to utilise as many of them as possible in order to get the best out of your playing squad.
On top of that, you also have the topic of morale of your strike force.
Playing one striker obviously limited Antonio Conte to choosing one striker as his desired number 9, likely Diego Costa. As a result, you have the £30million Michy Batshuayi AND the potential £70 million signing of Romelu Lukaku – £100million worth of strikers that won’t be starting each week.
These strikers are some of the best in the world, and they will demand that they play each and every week. They won’t settle for second place, and they won’t settle for a bit part role.
In order to accommodate the quality, ego and price tag of Chelsea’s striking options; The Blues must play AT LEAST two strikers every week.
If Antonio Conte does choose to utilise two forwards next season, the logical position that will be scrapped will be the number 10; the player typically behind the striker. And at Chelsea – that would make sense.
The only natural number 10 that the side really have is Oscar, with the rest of the sides attacking midfielders typically more suited to a wide role.
Oscar won’t be able to play each week, and in truth most fans wouldn’t want him to; he isn’t consistent or good enough to play the role regularly.
By replacing that role with an additional striker, Antonio Conte will instead have a few WORLD CLASS striking options to choose from; and that will only make his Chelsea side stronger.
This is, again, an obvious one – but the use of two strikers in the Premier League has for the most part become a foreign concept.
Ten years ago, when the 4-4-2 formation was everywhere; it was an exciting and different change to utilise just a single striker; but now the shoe is on the other foot.
Team defences likely would struggle to defend against two strikers, simply due to the fact that they are used to playing against a single striker.
This is something that sides would get used to; but it could give the edge this season as they look to progress after a disappointing campaign last year.
Playing two strikers will also, naturally as a result, allow more space around the midfield areas.
As opposed to the middle of the opposition half being filled with a number 10 like Oscar, that area will likely allow more space for Chelsea attackers to move in to.
This will be of a huge benefit to players like Cesc Fabregas, who will likely play deeper. It will give him more time on the ball and allow him to pick out his pass; where as he was often over run last season with so many players ahead of him.
It would also allow the Chelsea wingers to cut in and shoot from distance, something that was largely impossible last season. It would add a whole new dimension to their game.
This difference will likely be subtle, but it could really prove advantageous for the Chelsea attackers.