There is no coincidence that Chelsea’s midfield flourished when playing 4-5-1 with individuals finally in their most favoured roles. The team looked balanced and confident – something I have not seen for quite a while.
With Joe Cole on the right pinging crosses in and Malouda opening up space for Ashley Cole to attack on the left, Chelsea’s central midfield could push forward and destroy Sunderland. It was an exhibition match and we could have reached double figures. Having said all this, Chelsea have had more chances to score against other teams this season but not been aptly rewarded – only in this case I have rarely seen so many clear cut chances on goal.
A special mention must go to Ashley Cole who scored one of the greatest Chelsea goals I have ever seen. Considering the stick the player gets from opposition fans on the terraces (which shows me how much they are scared of him!) and press his contribution and consistency to this side makes him arguably the best left back I have seen since beginning to attend Chelsea matches.
The problem Ancelotti now faces is whether to keep this formation when the players return from the ANC – who will he play if he has a fit Drogba and Essien to pick from? Does he drop Joe Cole who flourished playing in his favoured position?
Preston this weekend. As usual a silly kick off time for ITV – at least it wasn’t an evening kick off as there would not have been any trains to get us home on time but at least I get to go to a new ground and finally visit the national football museum. Let’s hope they have some badges on display!